Jasonville, IN: Shakamak State Park


Last week I went on a short day trip over to Shakamak State Park.

Shakamak (an exceptionally fun word to say out loud, it is a Native American reference to the Eel River) is not a well-known Indiana state park. It is about an hour west-southwest from Bloomington and half an hour south of Terre Haute next to a little town called Jasonville. I think it is a more popular destination for those in Terre Haute, but it was a nice change of pace from the more traditionally-visited parks near Bloomington.

The three lakes are man-made, and this area used to be a coal mine. Now it is a popular fishing state park. It is also very pretty - green, lush, and still had wildflowers blooming at the beginning of July. I can also vouch for it being amazingly beautiful in the middle of October, as I stopped by here during some fall break adventuring last year.



I was here with a couple of friends from college. We had planned on going hiking, but didn't find any trails we wanted to do (there are 4 trails on the map here, and the shortest is still a mile and a half; we hadn't wanted to go far). So we meandered around the nature center, pool area, and eventually down to a path that led us between lakes and put us out near the paddle boats.



I visited with my friends Ka'Lena and Becky, below.


Paddle boating sounded like a great idea for how to spend our time here. Just as a warning, it is a little confusing on how to rent the boats. No one from the park is actually at the location with the boats. You will need to go back to the main entrance (yes, where you came in, about 10-15 min slow drive from the paddle boats) and set down a $20 deposit plus $4 per half hour (plus tax) for however many half hours you want to be out on the boat. The gate attendant will give you lifejackets and a receipt (keep this safe so you can get your deposit back). Go back to the paddle boats and pick whichever one you want and set off. (We bought 1 hour and set a timer to know when to head back to shore to get back to the gate entrance on time to get our deposit.) We didn't know all this going in and going back and forth (and trying to find out where exactly to rent the boats - there is also a store area that we thought might have rentals) was a little frustrating. But in the end, it was totally worth it.


Paddle boating the afternoon away was definitely a great way to spend the time.


We saw a turtle, who let us get pretty close before jumping off the log.


The lakes are full of lily pads along the shoreline.


And we spent the majority of our time watching a heron.





It spent all its time posing for us.




We never did see it catch any fish, but we definitely enjoyed watching it.

If you go, know that there is pretty much nothing else near this state park (unlike places like McCormick's Creek or Brown County), including food. We stopped for a late lunch about 30 minutes east of the park, in Worthington, because we didn't really want Subway.

This would be a great place to go camping or to stay in a cabin (we boated by so many cabins with their own boat/fishing docks and wished we were staying), or, of course, to spend a few days fishing. The nature center and pool area are also nice (there was a giant water slide into the pool). Keep it in mind if you want a less crowded place to be in nature nearby.
Jasonville, IN: Shakamak State Park Jasonville, IN: Shakamak State Park Reviewed by Maria on 4:45:00 PM Rating: 5

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