Park History

The Friends of Brown County State Park invite you to visit the largest state park in Indiana. This nationally known, 15,776-acre facility opened in 1929.

In the first few years, as the park grew in popularity, several facilities were developed, including Abe Martin Lodge, several cabins and Ogle Lake. The roads, entrances, and many trails were added or improved.

On June 1, 1934, the Veterans Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1557 began its work in the park. Its planting of black locust, black walnut, various pines and spruces gave nature a helping hand in healing extreme erosion on previously cleared slopes. The CCC workers also built many of the existing buildings, shelters, ovens, roads, vistas, trails, and the west lookout tower.

The many miles of marked trails are ideal for those who prefer seeing the park on foot, on horseback, or by bicycle. About 70 miles of bridle trails, 20 miles of hiking trails, and 20 miles of mountain biking/hiking trails lead through the steep, forested hills. The park’s Ogle Hollow Nature Preserve contains an attractive self-guiding nature trail, which describes natural aspects of the property.

Several picnic areas, some of which have shelters equipped with fireplaces, are offered. Several have comfort stations located nearby.

The Nature Center boasts a snake exhibit, bird watching room and other displays. Naturalist services are available year-round, with reduced hours in effect during winter.

The wildlife includes a variety of species adapted to life in the forest and its edges. White-tailed deer, raccoons, gray squirrels, and various birds, including robins, white-breasted nuthatches, blue jays, cardinals, juncos, crows and wild turkeys, abound.

Campsites are available year-round. The campgrounds have electrical hookups, modern comfort stations and showers. The park also has a horseman’s campground.Those who prefer the comforts of home will enjoy the Abe Martin Lodge, which has 84 lodge rooms (each with two beds and bathroom), meeting and conference rooms, a dining room, and an indoor water park. In addition, sleeping cabins, with a total of 56 bedrooms, are offered for rent, as are 20 completely furnished, year-round family cabins.

Other park amenities include a swimming pool, shelter houses, playground equipment, two fishing lakes, guided horse riding, and a country store selling picnic supplies and souvenirs.

Brown County State Park makes for an enjoyable outdoor experience for those with a wide range of tastes and preferences.