Two words that visitors to Indiana State Parks never want to hear: “deferred maintenance.”
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is touting about six pages worth of overdue fixes and upgrades that have happened or may be completed soon for visitors to parks in 2023.
“We continue to focus on completing a variety of deferred maintenance projects that have been funded through the Indiana General Assembly, filling full-time and seasonal staff positions, and following our tradition of excellence in interpretation and our Service State Park Style initiative that focuses on exceeding your expectations,” says a statement atop the list of improvements.
Many of the repairs, rebuilds and revamps include things you’d expect: improved restrooms and showers, electrical service upgrades, painting, removal of evasive plants, mends to heating and cooling, and replacing aging docks.
Maybe people can get some ideas for trips by looking at a short list of some of the other improvements:
-Brookville Lake in Franklin County is opening new trails for hiking and mountain biking.
-Cecil M. Harden Lake at Raccoon State Recreation Area in Parke County has new benches, including the facility’s first memorial bench.
-Chain O’Lakes State Park near Albion has a new “EZ Dock” with a kayak launch at the Long Lake boat ramp. The park’s 18 family cabins now tout queen-size beds.
-Deam Lake State Recreation Area in Clark County is getting a new playground in the campground thanks to a donation.
-The Fort Golf Resort at Fort Harrison State Park in Lawrence is adding 80 new golf carts.
-Trails 1 and 2 at Harmonie State Park in Posey County have new bridges.
-Indiana Dunes State Park on Lake Michigan near Chesterton has opened the Pavilion Restaurant and Grill.
-Cabins at Lincoln State Park in Spencer have new appliances., and new docks are in place for boat rentals.
-Durham oxen, Carter and Cash, at O’Bannon Woods State Park in Harrison County are learning to operate the historic haypress.
-Ouabache State Park near Bluffton has added QR codes to identify trees on Trail 3.
-Patoka Lake‘s snapping turtle got a larger tank at the reservoir that spreads across Crawford, Dubois and Orange counties.
-Potato Creek State Park near South Bend added a bridge to the fish-cleaning station.
-Salamonie Lake has added a trail for hiking, walking and bicycling from the interpretive center to the campground. The 12,000 acres are located between the cities of Wabash, Huntington and Marion.
-Spring Mill State Park near Mitchell constructed an accessible trail to Donaldson Cave.
-Summit Lake State Park near New Castle added tandem kayaks for rent, and an accessible fishing pier. A new trail also will open in the summer.
-Turkey Run State Park/Shades State Park Complex has repaired multiple trails, renovated 20 cabins and 29 guest rooms at Turkey Run Inn, and added a diving board to the Olympic-sized pool. The parks extend across Fountain, Parke and Montgomery counties.
Versailles State Park in Ripley County is adding 6 miles to the park’s mountain bike trail system.
Yet they are tearing down the Pool at Mounds State Park and do not plan on replacing it. Surely we could have gotten a few less golf carts? Sad.