Established in 1929, Brown County State Park is massive by Indiana standards—nearly 16,000 acres of forests, lakes and wooded campgrounds. It offers 18 miles of scenic hiking trails and more than 25 miles of mountain bike trails, which are among the best in the state. The park also has extensive facilities for horseback riding, including several trails, a saddle barn and a separate campground for visitors with horses.
Brown County State Park is busiest during the fall foliage season, when visitors cruise along the well-maintained roads, stopping at the many scenic overlooks. But the park is a stunner year-round, with two picturesque lakes (both open for fishing), several strategically placed lookout towers and the lovely Ogle Hollow Nature Preserve. Extensive camping facilities include hundreds of RV and tent sites with electric hookups and 20 fully furnished family cabins, some of which can sleep up to 8 people. RV sites start at $26 on peak summer weekends.
Because the park is so popular, camp sites are closer together than might be preferable; on the other hand, the crowds support top-notch amenities such as clean restrooms, a well-stocked camp store, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a recreation center and a small nature center. The slightly dated Abe Martin Lodge, located near the north gatehouse, has 84 guest rooms, extensive conference facilities and its own indoor water park. It's also home to the Little Gem Restaurant, which serves home-style favorites like breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches. Don't miss the fried buttermilk biscuits covered in cinnamon and sugar and served with a side of apple butter.