Patoka Lake State Park

This was our second attempt at Patoka Lake. We had reservations last summer that we cancelled to go to Colorado. Honestly, after the wonders of Colorado we kind of forgot about Patoka Lake.

As the long President’s Weekend approached, the weather in the Ohio-Indiana-Kentucky area seemed to be doing its normal midwest thing. South of us, a few inches of snow and rain were expected. North of us, nighttime temps dropped into the teens. Western Indiana seemed to be in a sweet spot. It would be winter camping, but temperatures wouldn’t dip much below freezing and precipitation would be minimal.

Patoka Lake Campground is about 20 minutes off of I-64, just 45 minutes outside of Louisville. The approach roads were some of the easiest we have have driven to get to a campground. This would be a great option for those still nervous about towing on backroads.

Patoka Lake is a large man-made lake offering plenty of recreational options. Fishing seemed to be extremely popular, but it appeared those who enjoyed spending time on the water would find plenty to do.

The State Park has two campgrounds. We stayed in the very large Modern Campground – 455 sites are surrounded by the woods and lake. There is also a primitive fishing campground for tenters with some great waterfront sites. These are walk-up only and the campground only has pit toilets

As our visit was in winter, we did not get to experience many of the amenities of the campground. There is water available by the camp store and one bath house was still open, but little else.

Most of the sites were pretty spacious. Those who like open sun and those who prefer wooded sites can both find plenty of options. Some of the sites were pretty steeply graded, but manageable with levelers.

We enjoyed a couple hikes in the area – the Main Trail is within the park and one of the top-rated trails in the state, Hemlock Cliffs is less than 30 minutes away. Another great possibility for further exploration!

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