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Camping at Monroe Lake

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Monroe Lake, also known as Lake Monroe, is located in Monroe County in south-central Indiana. It is the largest lake entirely situated within Indiana and serves as a popular spot for a variety of outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, swimming, boating, and hiking. Established in 1965 for flood control, the reservoir is now a recreational haven managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Camping Facilities

Camping options at Monroe Lake vary and include:

  • Traditional Campsites: The lake has several campgrounds with sites for tents and RVs, offering a range of amenities like electric hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings.
  • Cabins: For those looking for a more comfortable camping experience, there are cabins available for rent.
  • Primitive Camping: Some areas around the lake may offer more rustic, primitive camping experiences away from developed campgrounds.

Reservations and Fees

  • Booking: Campsite reservations can usually be made online through the Indiana DNR’s reservation system or by calling the reservation line. Some sites may also be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Cost: Fees for camping at Monroe Lake vary depending on the type of site, amenities offered, and the time of year.

Campground Amenities

  • Utilities: Many campsites at Monroe Lake have electrical hookups and some may offer water hookups.
  • Restroom Facilities: Campgrounds are equipped with restroom facilities, and some may offer shower facilities.
  • Accessibility: Selected campgrounds and facilities have been modified for accessibility to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

Rules and Regulations

  • Conservation: Since the lake is managed by the DNR, conservation measures and rules are in place to maintain the lake’s natural beauty and wildlife. Leave no trace principles are encouraged.
  • Pets: Pets are often allowed at campsites, but they must be kept on a leash and supervised.
  • Quiet Hours: Campgrounds enforce quiet hours to ensure a peaceful experience for all visitors.
  • Fires: Fires are typically permitted in designated fire rings or grills but must be monitored and fully extinguished after use.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol regulations can vary; in some public areas around Indiana state lakes, alcohol is prohibited or restricted.
  • Boating and Fishing: There are specific regulations regarding boating and fishing licenses. These activities are permitted, but individuals are required to follow Indiana fishing and boating laws.

Recreational Activities

  • Hiking and Biking: There are trails of varying difficulty around the lake.
  • Water Sports: Visitors can enjoy boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
  • Fishing: Monroe Lake is known for abundant fishing opportunities, with species such as bass, crappie, catfish, and bluegill.

Safety Tips

  • Weather Awareness: Be prepared for changing weather conditions and familiarize yourself with the signs of severe weather, particularly if camping during the stormy season.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Store food safely and be aware of the local wildlife to avoid any negative encounters.
  • Water Safety: When participating in water activities, always wear a life jacket and be mindful of local boating rules and swim areas.

Contact Information

For the most current information, it is always best to contact the Indiana DNR directly or visit their website. It’s also a good idea to check for any advisories (such as blue-green algae sightings or water levels) that might impact camping or water activities.


Camping at Monroe Lake can offer a rich experience full of nature, relaxation, and adventure. Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or an extended stay in the great outdoors, following these guidelines and recommendations will help ensure a memorable and safe trip.

Map of Campgrounds in Monroe Lake
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