Looking for the perfect place to go camping in Central Indiana? Look no further than the White River Campground. Just a short drive north of Indianapolis, the campground is situated on the White River, providing river views as well as paddling and fishing opportunities. Across the river, Koteewi Park offers a number of outdoor adventures including archery, aerial adventures, hiking, and trail rides. With so many fun activities, this is one of the Road Trip 7 family’s favorite Indiana campgrounds. In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know in order to have an amazing time camping in Central Indiana.
White River Campground
Located around 40 miles north of Indianapolis in Cicero, Indiana, the White River Campground is an excellent option for those looking to camp in Central Indiana. The 26-acre campground is located on the west bank of the White River, offering river views, a canoe & kayak launch, and fishing opportunities. The campground has over 100 modern and primitive spots, as well as amenities including restrooms, laundry, and a playground.
Our family always camps at one of the riverside, primitive spots. As you can see, the sites are rather spacious and do indeed have a lovely view of the White River.
There are daily and weekly campsite rates which vary by type (full hook-up, electric & water, and primitive). While the specific camping rates and fees can be found on the White River Campground page, in general, they range from $15 – 30 a night.
White River Canoe Company
When staying at the campground, there is no better way to enjoy the White River than paddling down it. Luckily, the campground partners with the White River Canoe Company to offer guests the opportunity for paddle trips. Approximately 6 miles upstream along the river at Lafayette Trace is the launch site. From here it takes about 2-3 hours to paddle back down to the campground. Best of all, the White River Canoe Company will transport you from the campground to the launch site. Pick-up times occur daily at regular intervals. For pricing, operational hours, and reservations, visit White River Canoe Company.
We have paddled down the West Fork of the White River on multiple occasions. Lined by trees, and largely hidden from development, it’s always a relaxing experience.
Strawtown Koteewi Park
Directly across the White River, in Strawtown, Indiana is Hamilton County’s largest park, Strawtown Koteewi Park. Stretching for 3 miles along the river, at over 800 acres, the park encompasses prairie, wetland, and forest habitats, which are home to a number of native wildlife species. Within the park are 8 miles of multi-use trails. While we prefer to hike, these trails are also available for equestrian use. In addition to hiking and trail riding, the park offers a number of outdoor adventure activities including archery, aerial adventures, and snow tubing.
Koteewi Park Activities
Koteewi Park’s 8 miles of multi-use trails are comprised of a Northern Trail Loop (2.3 miles) and a Southern Trail Loop (3.2 miles), as well as a number of connecting trails. We typically hike the Northern Loop, as it is slightly shorter and loops by the Taylor Center of Natural History. Along both trails, you will find covered swinging benches, which provide the perfect spot to leisurely enjoy the park’s beauty.
Koteewi’s trails are easily accessible from the White River Campground via the Strawtown Koteewi Park Bridge. This pedestrian bridge is unique. Two different historic truss bridges located in separate Indiana counties were relocated, restored, and installed over the White River to create the bridge that now connects the campground to Koteewi Park.
As you can see, at night lights beautifully illuminate the bridge.
Taylor Center of Natural History
If you have an interest in history or nature, visit the park’s Taylor Center of Natural History. The center has exhibits on the historic significance of the area, specifically with regard to the Native Americans that called the land home. The park’s name, Koteewi, is said to mean “fire” and possibly “prairie” in the Miami-Peoria language. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Even when closed, the center has a few outdoor exhibits that are accessible year-round, including the Native American village with full-scale structures.
Test your aim at the Koteewi Range. The Sport & Target Archery Center offers five special-purpose ranges for all ages and levels of archery experience. Don’t have your own equipment? The center has rentals as well as lessons and classes. For pricing, operational hours, and reservations, visit Koteewi Range.
Push your limits by completing an obstacle course in the trees! Edge Adventures offers five unique treetop courses of increasing difficulty and height (up to 60’!). Each course has a mix of obstacles and ziplines, which you can move through at your own pace. For pricing, operational hours, and reservations, visit Koteewi Aerial Park.
Take a relaxing trail ride at the K-Trails Equestrian Center. The center has a number of offerings, including 90-minutes guided trail rides, sunset trail rides, wrangler programs, and pony rides. For pricing, hours, and reservations, visit K Trails.
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