The First Of The Indiana State Parks Opened As Long Ago As 1916
In 1916 McCormick`s Creek State Park, closely followed by Turkey Run State Park, were the very first of the state parks in Indiana to open.
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Indiana now has twenty five state parks which are all under the control of the Indiana Department Of Natural Resources.
When the parks were first opened the driving force was a man by the name of Richard Lieber. His vision was that the park areas should remain in as natural a state as possible.
Civilian Conservation Corps Barracks At Shakamak State Park
This vision changed during the Depression years of the 1930`s when the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration gave jobs to the unemployed to build infrastructure within the parks. The buildings and trails they constructed can still be seen today.
However, under Lieber`s leadership around a dozen of the state parks in Indiana were created and his contribution to establishing the parks system is still remembered.
The name of the state dates back to the 1760`s and simply means "Indian Land" and was the name used by the U.S. Congress when the Territory was incorporated in 1800.
It eventually became the 19th state to join the Union on December 11th 1816. The residents of Indiana are fondly known as "Hoosiers" a name which probably originated as a slightly derogatory word meaning a country bumpkin.
The Ceremonial Mounds At Mounds State Park
The first residents of what is now Indiana lived in the region as much as ten thousand years ago. Around five thousand years ago their culture changed slightly from being nomadic to creating more permanent settlements. It was then that they created ceremonial mounds, ten of these fascinating features are to be found at Mounds State Park in Andersen County.
The first Europeans to arrive were French explorers and traders at the end of the 17th century and the French influence is still to be found at two of the Indiana State Parks.
One is Versailles State Park. (spelt in the same way as the famous palace near Paris, France but pronounced locally as Ver-Sayles) The other is Ouabache State Park (pronounced Wabash) which is the French spelling for the Wabash River which runs through the park.
A Covered Bridge At Versailles State Park
Indiana is a fairly low-lying state with the average elevation being about 760 feet. The highest point is Hoosier Hill at 1,257 feet above sea level.
However, this reasonably flat region does boast two important rivers. The first is the Wabash which runs across the state in a general north-east to south-west direction. The second great river is the Ohio which forms the southern border seperating Indiana from Kentucky.
Of the Indiana State Parks, Ouabache State Park is located on the Wabash and the Falls Of The Ohio State Park overlooks the Ohio River with views into Kentucky.
The Beach On Lake Michigan At Indiana Dunes State Park
The northern part of the state has a coastline on Lake Michigan and it is here that Indiana Dunes State Park is sited. Created in 1925 it was amongst the first of the state parks in Indiana.
As well as Lake Michigan the state has over 1,000 other lakes. Indeed the Chain O`Lakes State Park is situated on eight inter-connecting lakes in the north of the state.
Although all the Indiana State Parks are interesting there is one unique one and that is Shades State Park which is the only state park to have its own airstrip.
And here are their positions on a map of Indiana