Spring Mill State Park, Lake Monroe and others to host 4th of July activities this weekend

·5 min read

The Fourth of July holiday is one of the busiest recreational weekends of the year, and state parks across south central Indiana will be full of Hoosiers looking to get outside.

While most campgrounds are already full this weekend, lucky Hoosiers may be able to get a spot on the state's reservation system at camp.in.gov.

From McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer to Patoka Lake south of French Lick, here is a list of activities taking place at state parks and recreation areas across the region this weekend.

The historic mill at Spring Mill State Park stands inside the Pioneer Village.
The historic mill at Spring Mill State Park stands inside the Pioneer Village.

Spring Mill State Park

3333 E. State Road 60, Mitchell

Spring Mill State Park east of Mitchell will host a number of activities this upcoming weekend, starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a discussion about the snakes commonly found in Indiana at the campground amphitheater.

Another snake talk will be hosted at 11 a.m. Monday on the patio of the Spring Mill Inn.

The park will also host an Old Fashioned Independence Celebration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Pioneer Village. This event includes spinning demonstrations and pioneer games for all to enjoy.

There will also be a 20-minute long natural dyes talk at 11:20 a.m. Saturday at the back patio of the Lakeview Activity Center.

A naturalist will also be at the Pioneer Village's concession stand at 1:30 p.m. Saturday for a creek stomp, which will allow folks to feel the spring water and look for macroinvertebrates.

At 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the Lakeview Activity Center, a naturalist will lead a craft activity during which children can learn about Bald Eagles and create one out of popsicle sticks.

State Park Jeopardy will test the knowledge of folks on the different state parks throughout Indiana at 2:20 p.m. on Sunday  at the Lakeview Activity Center.

A sign welcomes visitors to McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer.
A sign welcomes visitors to McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer.

McCormick's Creek State Park

250 McCormick Creek Park Rd., Spencer

As of Wednesday afternoon, McCormick's Creek State Park does not list any specific activities coming up this weekend.

However, the park offers many recreational opportunities such as hiking, camping, dining at the Canyon Inn and activities at the McCormick's Creek nature center.

Lake Monroe

4850 S. State Road 446, Bloomington

Activities at Lake Monroe this weekend will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday with the Better with Bobcats discussion at the Paynetown State Recreation Area campground playground.

The park will also host Dandy Dandelions from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Paynetown campground playground, an animal track matching game from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the activity center, weave a web from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the campground playground and spider sniffing at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the campground playground.

Activities continue Sunday with a UV Bead Bracelets craft from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the campground playground, going batty craft activity from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the activity center and firefly flashes craft from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the campground playground.

People enjoy the last days of summer at the beach at Patoka Lake.
People enjoy the last days of summer at the beach at Patoka Lake.

Patoka Lake

3084 N. Dillard Road, Birdseye

Activities at Patoka Lake will begin Friday with birds of prey being on display from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the park's nature center. This activity will also continue from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday.

Folks can also get a closer look to a red-tailed hawk and eastern screech owl from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Saturday at the nature center.

The park will also host a solar bead bracelets craft from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the park's beach house. The cost for this event is $2 per bracelet.

The highlight of the Fourth of July weekend at Patoka Lake is the Thunder over Patoka fireworks show. The fire works will start at dusk and those wanting to attend are asked to be at the beach no later than 9:30 p.m.

Other events at the park include a beginner archery lesson from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the archery range for a fee of $5 per archer, turtle walk from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Sunday at the nature center and a Happy as a Hellbender activity from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Monday at the nature center.

Children can make slime during the Happy as a Hellbender activity for $1.

This photograph shows the original Abe Martin Lodge at Brown County State Park.
This photograph shows the original Abe Martin Lodge at Brown County State Park.

Brown County State Park

1405 West State Road 46, Nashville, and 1801 E. State Road 46, Nashville

Brown County State Park is one of Indiana's most popular state parks.

Activities begin Friday with snake feeding from 11 to 11:15 a.m. at the park's nature center and naturalist hike from 3 to 5 p.m. beginning at the park's fire tower.

Events continue Saturday with a Lake Ogle Hike from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., snake craft from 2 to 4 p.m. at the nature center and a live raptor show from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the large field near the park's olympic pool at the north gate.

Sunday events include a CCC history hike from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday beginning at the Abe Martin Lodge lobby, My First Nature Journal craft from 2 to 3 p.m. at the nature center and a vintage video presentation about Indiana State Parks from 4 to 4:30 p.m. at the nature center.

The park will also host a Fourth of July Arts and Crafts event from 1 to 4 p.m. at the nature center.

Contact Reporter-Times, Times-Mail and Spencer Evening World editor Lance Gideon at lgideon@reporter-times.com or 765-342-1543. Follow him on Twitter: @LanceOGideon.

This article originally appeared on The Times-Mail: Fourth of July activities at Indiana State Parks coming this weekend