Indiana state parks will charge only a dime admission this weekend
Free fishing is available in Indiana and Kentucky this weekend, June 4-5, and Indiana state parks will only charge a dime to visit
Visiting an Indiana state park in Indiana on this weekend (June 4 or 5) will cost just pocket change—literally.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, it is part of Indiana State Parks celebrating their 100th birthday by “rolling back” gate admission to a 10-cents-per-person donation for each of those two days.
It also is a free fishing weekend in the state. Anglers can try their luck without a fishing license. It is hoped the free fishing opportunity will bring newcomers to the sport or bring back former anglers.
The cost of ten cents per person to enjoy a state park is what visitors paid in 1916. The special donation rate applies to all 24 parks and eight reservoir properties operated by Indiana State Parks on June 4-5.
Col. Richard Lieber, founder of Indiana State Parks, believed that the cost of operating state parks should be borne in part by users. Indiana’s state parks have had entrance fees since the beginning.
According to information provided by the Indiana DNR, about 70 percent of funding for operating costs today comes from gate, camping and other fees,
Dan Bortner, director of Indiana State Parks. said, “We think that inviting our guests to make a donation at the 1916 rate is a great way to celebrate our centennial, and a way to encourage all Hoosiers to visit a state park and enjoy a day outdoors,” he said.
Admission at most state park properties normally costs $7 per in-state vehicle and $9 per out-of-state vehicle.
Visitors who have an annual pass or a Golden Hoosier Passport can still use those for admission.
Additional fees for activities inside the park, such as off-road bicycling, horseback riding and camping, still apply at 2016 prices. At Falls of the Ohio State Park, the discount applies to the parking fee, but admission to the interpretive center will remain at current prices.
Attendants will be collecting the donations at the entrance gates, so remember to bring your dimes and spare change. And while just 10 cents per-person will get you in, visitors also are encouraged to give a little more if they can.
Generally, all revenue collected at gates, campgrounds and pools, and for programs and passes goes to one account to support operations at all 32 properties. For this weekend only, all donations collected at entrance gates will remain with the park in which they were received, and will support local property programs and projects.
Turkey Run and McCormick’s Creek were Indiana’s first two Indiana state parks, established in 1916 as a gift to Hoosiers on the 100th anniversary of Indiana statehood. Cagles Mill Lake was the first reservoir property operated through the DNR, opening in 1953.