Indiana State Parks offering free admission at select properties

Road trip alert! This week the Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced that select Indiana State Parks will offer free admission thru October 9th in honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial. The whos, wheres and whens? Take a look at the details from their press release below:

Nine Indiana state parks will each offer free admission on the day the Bicentennial Torch is passing through that park on its relay across Indiana.


The torch relay is patterned after the Olympic torch relay. Indiana’s version will pass through all 92 counties in a five-week period. The relay will cover 3,200 miles, averaging 72 miles a day.

The relay starts on Sept. 9 in Corydon, the state’s first capital, and ends Oct. 15 in Indianapolis at the Statehouse.

It will pass through nine state parks, and on the day the torch is there, that park will waive admission fees as a way to help Hoosiers celebrate the state’s bicentennial and the centennial of Indiana’s system of state parks. At eight of the properties, the fees will be waived all day. At Indiana Dunes State Park {Oct. 9} admission fees will be waived until 10am.

Indiana State Parks Free Admission _ Indy's Child
At most properties, admission costs $7 per in-state vehicle and $9 per out-of-state vehicle.

The free days are:

  • Sept. 10 at Lincoln State Park in Spencer County
  • Sept. 14 at Spring Mill State Park in Lawrence County
  • Sept. 20 at Brown County State Park
  • Sept. 21 at McCormick’s Creek State Park in Owen County
  • Sept. 22 at Turkey Run State Park in Parke County
  • Sept. 29 at Chain O’Lakes State Park in Noble County
  • Sept. 30 at Ouabache State Park in Wells County
  • Oct. 2 at Pokagon State Park in Steuben County
  • Oct. 9 at Indiana Dunes State Park in Porter County {Admission fee waived until 10 a.m. local time.}

Four current Indiana State Parks employees and one retired employee are serving as torch bearers. They are Mark Young, property manager at Spring Mill State Park; Sam Boggs, property manager at Chain O’Lakes State Park; Dwight Brooks, property manager at McCormick’s Creek State Park; Dan Bortner, director of Indiana State Parks; and Marvin McNew, former director of Upper Wabash Interpretive Services.

MORE IDEAS: 10 Quick getaways from Indianapolis

Indiana State Parks’ involvement is fitting because the system is celebrating its centennial this year. Indiana’s state parks system was established in 1916 as a gift to Hoosiers in recognition of the state’s 100th birthday. McCormick’s Creek was Indiana’s first state park.


The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay was created to honor Hoosiers who have demonstrated exceptional public service, achievement, acts of heroism and/or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region or state. Torchbearers will be current or former Hoosiers, representing all walks of life. More than 2,200 torchbearers have been selected through nomination.

The torch will be transported in ways that reflect the state’s heritage, including watercraft, farm equipment, a racecar, horse and wagon, and antique automobiles. Some torchbearers may also choose to walk or run.

Additional information about the torch relay is at

Learn more about ways to participate in Indiana State Parks centennial celebration at

To view all DNR news releases, please see

Related Articles



april 2024 Indys child magazine

From our Sponsors