Shades State Park

State Park

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South 890 West Waveland, IN 47989 765-435-2810

GPS: 39.931, -87.076

Last Price Paid: $16
Number of Sites: 105
Reservations: Yes
Elevation: 793 ft

1 person has reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Site Quality

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Bisbee, AZ Ford Transit Connect
38 reviews
Nightly rate: $16
Days stayed: 3
Site Number: 93

WhatsNext_OutWest would stay here again

“Well-maintained campground in a beautiful scenic area”

Reviewed Aug 27, 2017

Overall Rating

Camped Mon-Wed ($16/night rate), August 21-24, 2017.

There's much beauty to see here, with awesome hikes through deep ravines, sandstone cliffs, streams and beautiful forests. Sugar Creek runs through Shades and another beautiful state park, Turkey Run, which is just down the road. When camping, you pay the entrance fee once ($9 out of state/$7 Indiana residents). This also covers the entrance fee at Turkey Run, so you don't pay again if you want to visit that park and take advantage of their amenities.

Shades is more low-key, and the campground is all non-electric. There is no camp store, but the main gate sold bug spray, ice and firewood. Going there after the Indiana kids returned to school & during the week meant the park was pretty much empty.

There are 4 loops to the campground. Most all sites are large with vegetation on each side for some privacy; some had a little path between sites. Many were wooded & shady, with no grass; others though were grassier and more open. Pads are back-in (some longer than others) and are paved with a cement stopper at the end. All had a picnic table & fire ring with movable grill.

We had no cell service in the campground, but when we got to an area by Trail 2, we suddenly had service (maybe 1 or 2 bars).

Shower house was clean, with hand soap dispenser, hand dryers and a fan at the ceiling to circulate air. There are 2 regular-sized shower stalls & 1 handicapped. Handicapped had a hand-held shower head. The other 2 had somewhat low shower heads; had to bend down a bit to wash my hair. Husband said the men's shower, you had to continually push a button to keep the water going (not so in the women's, just a regular on/off handle).

Vault toilets were open type with screens, and 2 stalls with no doors (mens: 1 stall & a urinal). Not messy, but the one by us was smelly.

Water spigots were throughout the campground and had a drinking fountain on the opposite side of spigot. Also there were aluminum can recycling bins, which was nice. For RVs, there is a dump station and a water fill station.

Maintained trails were nice and wide; some have stairs and bridges across ravines, a couple have ladders. In other places you walk a creek bottom or alongside running water. There is also the adjacent Pine Hills Nature Preserve, with more hiking trails.

Other activities: you can fish in the pond within Shades. Sugar Creek access for kayaks and canoes is at Deer's Mill Covered Bridge. There's a place there to rent kayaks or canoes for river excursions (Clements Canoes - they also have tent camping & cabins). Hiking at Shades and Turkey Run is absolutely gorgeous. Turkey Run has an Olympic-sized pool, a nature center, an Inn, a saddle barn, tennis courts, and historic structures. Between Shades and Turkey Run is Lake Waveland, a 248-acre park with camping and more activities. Lake is large enough for motor boating; to get into the park to launch a boat is $7.

Gas station is down the road in Waveland; they have some food supplies but don't have booze. The bar nearby has carry-out though.

Site Quality
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  • dry camping
  • dump station
  • showers
  • water available


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