Pokagon State Park: Featuring the Unique Experience at Indiana State Parks

If you drive around Indiana State in your car or RV, you might want to check out a recreation ground that will give you a unique experience in camping and other fun activities; if so, Yes! Pokagon in Indiana is an excellent place to stop by.

Pokagon is enclosed by Lake James in the western and meridional area of Indiana state, while the snow lake is in the northern portion. The recreation ground covers 1,260 acres, and it offers tenting facilities, hostels, and the commission staff that will assist you any time.


Basic Information

We have listed some of the necessary information about the parks to help you plan your trip smoothly.

Operational Hours

  • Check-In Time: 2:00 PM local time
  • Check-Out Time: 2:00 PM local time
  • Quiet Time: 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM

The Check-In and Out times may vary accordingly with the site and season.

Operation Time: Open All-Year-Round

Reservation: Click here for reservation

Service Commission Time Frame: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Peak Season: Winter Season and Holiday Seasons

Address: Parks Office: 450 Ln 100 Lake James, Angola, IN 46703

Location Information

  • GPS Information
  • Latitude: 41.70844 / 41°42’30.37″N
  • Longitude: -85.03068 / 85°1’50.46″W

The Direction of Pokagon State Park

The Direction of Pokagon State Park
(Credits to Google Maps)

Using your GPS, input the coordinates latitude: 41.70844 longitudes -85.03068 or 41°42’30  “N, 85°1’50  “W. There, you will drive until you get to the park by following the GPS coordinates and directions.

Suppose you are driving from the North. Go on I-69 bound to the south and exit at exit 354 or Lake James. Follow the sign to the park entrance, and there you will spot the park.

If you are from the south, enter highway I-69 Northbound and exit at 354 Lake James until you notice the signs and follow them to the park.


Pokagon state park History and Interesting Facts

Pokagon state park History and Interesting Facts
Credits LND

In 1925, Pokagonwas created. The district purchased the first 580 acres of the farm on Lake James’s shores using the residents’ fundraising efforts. They donated the area to the Department of Conservation, State of Indiana, and added two additional parcels the next year. 

The park was formerly known as Lake James State Park in 1925 when they proposed to be the fifth state park of Indiana State. The commission changed the name to Pokagon to commemorate the rich Native American heritage of Indiana and the region. The name Pokagon was the last name of the previous two most notable leaders of the Potawatomi, Leopold and Simon Pokagon, father and son. They named Powatatomi Inn after these Native Americans who resided in the area. The up-north-fishing lodge theme of the hostelry is one of the most popular conference centers and resorts.

The recreation ground is one of Indiana State’s original parks. The Pokagon state parks showcase the exceptional work of the Civilian Conservation Corps commission. The members of the group lived and worked at Pokagon from 1934 to 1942. The commission built the log structures and beautiful stones that can be observed in the recreation ground landscape.

Natural Assets

The recreation ground is in Steuben County, where natural lakes that originated from glaciers that melted more than 10,00 years ago are the highlight. The County has more lakes than any other Indiana district. There are abundant opportunities for swimming, fishing, and admiring the panoramic views and the beautiful sunrise and sunset.

The recreation ground is regarded by many as Indiana’s winter wonderland. Featuring cross-country skiing, sledding, ice fishing, and the toboggan run.

Located in the eastern half of the pathways vary in the marsh, hardwood forests, sandhills, and pine trees. People also refer to it as the Potawatomi Nature Preserve.

The Beechwood Nature Preserve is located outside the recreation ground on the northeastern corner. It is thriving with gray dogwood and other woody plants. The nature preserve features red maple, yellow birch, blue beech, and skunk cabbage. There is also an accessible and visible old apple orchard.

The wildlife in the recreation ground is conserved by the commission and is also thriving. There are various birds like ducks, geese, gulls, purple martins, and many more like migrating birds such as grebes, loons, cormorants, etc. You can also observe reptiles and amphibians if you are an animal lover, Yes! You will surely enjoy and immerse yourself in observing these animals in their natural habitat.

Amenities

The commission offers amenities that you can utilize during your trip to Indiana. They are accessible to the public, so make sure you use them to get the full recreation ground experience.

Amenities
(Credits to Pokagon Site)

Nature Center

Nature Center
(Credits to Steuben District)

If you like to appreciate the beautiful nature, this is the best place to go for the public. They have a variety of exhibits, the Woodland window, and a marvelous auditorium. The Nature Center is a must-see area. 

You will be able to observe native reptiles of Indiana, amphibians, and insects as well. There is also a kid’s corner for your little ones and a touch table. A live honey bee is also present that you can observe.

The Woodland Window of Indiana is a popular attraction that visitors can enjoy. The public can observe the birds in their natural habitat without disturbing them. Woodpeckers, cardinals, nuthatches, blue jays, and finches are some of the birds you will spot. You can be lucky and watch deer, chipmunks, squirrels, groundhogs, and yes more among the animals on the ground. If you would like to feed birds, there are feeders where you can donate bird seeds.

Bicycle Rentals

Bicycle Rentals
(Credits to SDTB)

You can rent a bike in the area if you did not bring any bike and you just want to experience the bike pathways. Biking is a good activity for your body and an excellent bonding time for the family. Feel the gentle breeze of the air as you bike in the area.

Boat Launch

Boat Launch
(Credits to SDTB)

You can utilize boat launches to safely board a boat or put your boat in the lagoon.

Cabins

Nearby Guesthouse
(Credits to Pokagon via Facebook)

There are available cabins in the recreation ground that you can avail of. Cabins have a comfortable design and have showers and comfort rooms in them. If you have the budget, then you can avail this cabin.

Fire Ring

Fire Ring
(Credits to District Tourism Bureau)

There are designated fire rings in the different areas you can use to cook or make a bonfire. You are encouraged to use them when making a fire to avoid dirtying the ground and avoid burning property.

Horse Rentals

Horse Rentals
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Saddle Barns are available. If you don’t have a horse, you can rent with professional equestrians’ proper guidance.

Parking

Parking
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There is plenty of space for RVs or any kind of motorhome or cars. There are amenities in these areas like hookups and more.

Office Ranger Station

Office Ranger Station
(Credits to Pokagon via Youtube)

The Ranger Station will be the place you can count on if you need any help or guide through the recreation ground. The Rangers and people there are happy to entertain your questions and help with your concerns.

Picnic Area

Picnic Area
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Picnic Pavilion

Picnic Pavilion
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Activities

You will surely enjoy the activities offered at the recreation ground. You better prepare for them and plan your trip to experience them all.

Activities
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Camping

Camping
(Credits to Pokagon State park Camping)

The Pokagon State park has more than 270 areas for tenting, including electric, non-electric areas, cavins, and a trailer area for motorhomes or RV. Tenting is also available, as well as a retail store and playground near camping areas.

Fishing

Fishing
(Credits to The Dyrt)

The typical fish found in James Lake at the recreation ground are yellow perch, bass, northern pike, rock bass, bluegill, and spotted gar. Make sure you have the proper fishing permit before engaging in the activity.

Bicycling

Bicycling
(Credits to District Tourism Bureau)

You can rent a bike in the area if you did not bring any bike and you just want to experience the bike areas. Biking is a good activity for your body and an excellent bonding time for the family. Feel the gentle breeze of the air as you bike in the area.

Bird Watching

Bird Watching
(Credits to Pokagon State parks via Facebook)

Pokagon State Park and the surrounding lagoons are the residences of a variety of birds. Commonly birds are ducks, geese, purple martins, and gulls when the lagoons are not frozen. There are also migratory birds such as the double-crested cormorants, loons, and grebes during the autumn. You can watch Red-headed woodpeckers and hawks in the recreation ground, if you are lucky, all-year-round, as well as barred and great horned owls. Visitors also observed American bald eagles in the recreation ground sometimes. You will spot more other types of birds: veeries, brown creepers, warblers, bluebirds, Baltimore orioles, Carolina wrens, and pileated woodpeckers.

Boating

Boating
(Credits to SDTB)

Boating at the lagoon is an excellent activity and one of the highlights when visiting the recreation ground. You can bring your boat and safely board, or you can also rent a boat at the boat board rental facilities.

Hiking

Hiking
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There are different locations that you can experience at the recreation ground. Here are some of them.

Toboggan Run

Toboggan Run
(Credits to DNR)

The park’s refrigerated Toboggan Run near Angola, Indiana, has about 90,000 riders every season. With the 30-foot tower and dips and valleys, the total vertical drop is 90 feet throughout a mile. The top recorded speed is 42 mph. It’s a 20 to the 30-second thrill ride.

MODERATE 2 miles

The pathway from hostelry past Nature Center to Apple Orchard picnic area through hardwood forest. Crosse’s pavement saddle barn and back. A suitable pathway for woodland birds and spring flowers.

MODERATE 2.2 miles

At the main road near the gatehouse, it goes through rolling land, past Spring Shelter, through hardwood forest. Terminates at tent ground 1.

MODERATE 2.2 miles

The exciting pathway was leading through Potawatomi Nature Preserve, with varied habitats of mudflats, deep hardwood forests, pines, sandhills; a panoramic view of the area from course overlooked at Hell’s Point. Go back to Potawatomi Guesthouse.

EASY 1.4 miles

It starts near gatehouse (with Trail 2) and extends to Trail 5 through encampment near the musical theater. A variety of habitats are pine trees, hardwood forests, and rolling land.

EASY .7 miles

Begins near Tent Ground 1 and goes past Group Camp to the beach; passes through deep woods; an excellent exit pathway to observe birds and spring flowers.

MODERATE .7 miles

The pathway through a primitive area, including a marsh. It begins and ends on Trail 3—an excellent path to observe mudflats, plants, and animals.

BLUEBIRD HILLS TRAIL 1.8 miles

The pathway starts just below Hell’s Point on Trail 3 and makes a gigantic loop before returning to the starting point. The trail is mostly open, rolling hills. Pasture supports native prairie plants before they farmed it. Restored marsh among the hills provides homes for many species that prefer this habitat.

MODERATE 1 mile

The new pathway that leaves Trail 3 just west of Hell’s Point and heads north crosses a district road and traverses open, rolling hills, managed to return to pasture. Plans will connect the pathway to the nearby ACRES Land Trust Beechwood Nature Preserve.

MODERATELY RUGGED 1.7 miles

Leaves Trail 3 and goes east through wooded marsh and young forests. Touches the former site of the “Pokagon Motel” on Indiana 127, near-69, passes by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)-built stone dams, and returns to Trail 3.

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding
(Credits to SDTB)

Horses are available for rent. You can ride on the equestrian pathways and enjoy the beauty of the forests around the area.

Picnicking

Picnicking
(Credits to Foursquare)

Picnic campground is available for use all around the recreation ground.

Skiing

Skiing
(Credits to SDTB)

Skiing is a popular activity at the recreation ground during the winter season. Pack your gear and head to the recreation ground during winter for a fun winter wonderland.

Wildlife tours

Wildlife tours
(Credits to All trails)

The recreation ground has wildlife pathways that you can experience. Here you will watch the thriving wildlife in their natural habitat.


Policies

Campsites – Capacity and Equipment Allowed

Your group should only consist of no more than six people, not necessarily related. You are allowed to have one central tenting unit per site, with an additional tent and one dining fly on each site. Check the management policy on the allowable equipment or the maximum number of people at each location; this would vary accordingly.

Check-In / Out Times

  • For all tenting grounds, the check-in and out time is 2:00 PM. During Sundays and designated holidays, the check-in and out time is 5:00 PM.
  • Family Cabin check-in time is 4:00 PM, and the check-out time is at 11:00 AM, seven days a week, including holidays. 
  • Cottages, group encampments, and rent cabins have a check-in time of 3:00 PM and check out time at 12:00 PM, seven days a week, including holidays.
  • You can utilize the recreational buildings and shades for day-use from 9:00 AM through 11:00 PM. You must vacate the day-use facilities at or before the specified check out time for these recreation buildings and shades.
  • For the Main Lodge and Equestrian area, the check-in time is 2:00 PM on the day of your arrival and the check out time is 10:00 AM on the day of your departure.

Damage Release Form

You will be required to sign damage and excessive cleaning release form for cabins, recreational buildings, and other indoor reservable facilities at check-in. A debit or credit card will be required for the reservation for the check-in process to be done. If you have done any damage or excessively cleaning, you may incur additional fees.

Daily and Annual Entrance Tours Fee

The entrance fee for in-state plated cars, trucks, and RV is 7.00 USD per vehicle and 9.00 USD per vehicle for out-of-state plated vehicles, seven days a week, including the holidays. The entrance fee is 2.00 USD per person for pedestrians, bicycles, buses, and passenger vans. If you are staying for the night, you have to pay the entrance fee. Keep the receipt for it is your in/out pass during the remainder of your stay. The in-state annual entrance permits cost 50.00 USD, while the yearly out-of-state entrance permits cost 70.00 USD. If you avail of the Golden Hoosier permit, it will cost you 25.00 USD.

Firewood Policy

The Department of Natural Resources of Indiana manages the conservation of natural and cultural resources of Indiana. They have set rules for handling and using firewood to protect the state forest and its natural resources. The department only allowed to bring firewood into the recreation ground if the firewood is:

  • Kiln-dried scrap lumber that has no bark
  • originated from your home or any location in Indiana and has no bark
  • Imprint with USDA compliance
  • Imprint with state compliance
  • Purchased from the retail store property or on-site firewood vendor

Leasing of the reservation is Prohibited.

You are not allowed to lease or sub-lease a facility or equipment managed by DNR properties. Your reservation will be canceled and not refunded if you have done so. Follow the rules and regulations so the management will not subject you to DNR law enforcement. If you ever find an individual trying to do so, report them immediately to the authorities or recreation ground management.

Do not go over Facility Maximum Capacities

Every facility in every site has its set maximum capacity limit on their tenting, recreation buildings, shades, cabins, and more. You should follow the limit because if they find out you exceed, they will ask you to vacate the property, and there will be no refund. The majority of the recreational ground has a limit of no more than six people per tent allowed.

Age Requirements

You must be 18 years of age or older for reservation purposes to rent a recreation building or shelter. Twenty-one years of age or older is the requirement for cabin rental reservations.

Pets Policy

Pets are not allowed inside cabins, restrooms, shower houses, or indoor facilities unless otherwise specified by the site or recreation ground management. Your pets are allowed at the campground, but you are required to have them on a leash not less than six feet and tended to all the time. Clean as you go. Pick up any litter that your pets made in any other areas of the property.

Quiet Hours at the State park

Most properties’ quiet hours are from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM. The time may vary according to the site. If you wonder about the operational hours and quiet hours in the recreation ground that you will go to, contact the management in advance.

Bonfire or any Recreational Fires

You may only build fires in fire rings that are in your recreational ground.

Smoking Policy

You cannot smoke in any indoor facilities such as inside cabins, restrooms, recreation buildings, shades, or in any area. If you violate this policy, the management will ask you to leave and assess excessive cleaning fees. Smoking is only allowed in open outdoor areas of the campground, including tenting sites. However, you are not allowed to smoke within eight feet of the building entrance.

Garbage Disposal Policy

The management encourages a “carry out” trash policy. You should bring your trash bags and secure all your trash. There also dumpsters available at the sites. Always be reminded not to leave any litter in your area or any other recreation ground facilities.

Vehicles Policy

You are only allowed to have one vehicle at each site. Some sites allow a specific number of cars. Be sure to stop at designated garage areas of the recreation ground to avoid inconvenience to other guests and RV owners.


Preparation Before the Trip

Preparation Before the Trip
(Credits to: TB)

Your trip and visit should be hassle-free and stress-free. We want you to relax and have fun without worrying about things around you or your equipment. If you are preparing for the recreation ground trip, you think about what to bring and include in your backpack. To save some of your time, we listed some RV, personal, kitchen, and tenting essentials you might need to bring during your trip.

RV Essentials

State parks offer areas for RVs and all kinds of motorhomes. Make sure you prepare the items you need before visiting the recreation ground. Here are some appliances and add-ons to your RV that will be helpful in your trip. If you already have these, maybe consider an upgrade for better performance.

RV GPSto save time during your trip, you need a reliable GPS to find your chosen destination or site. We encourage you to buy the best RV GPS you could find so it won’t malfunction during your trips.

RV Dehumidifier – weather can sometimes be humid; that is why you must have a dehumidifier inside your motor homes.

RV Toilet Paper – decide on what is the best toilet paper that suits your RV. You should pick the brand that you are also comfortable in using.

Rv Sofa Bed – a good sofa bed, saves space and gives you comfort. We suggest you get the best RV sofa Bed and mattress that is convenient for you.

RV Air conditioner – if you are traveling in the summer season, this is an essential part of your RV. Pick the most reliable air conditioner so that it will not fail to give you comfort.

RV LED Bulb – you should always have a spare so that you can immediately replace a defective bulb. Light is significant during the night.

Travel Camping essentials

Here is a list of items that you should consider bringing on your trip to the State parks. Remember that it is always better to avoid a hassle in your trip and activities at the recreation ground.

Personal Hygiene

Your Personal Care kit is a yes to the most important in maintaining your composure and comfort during your trip. We listed some of the items that should be inside your kit.

  • Towels
  • Shoes
  • Spare Clothes
  • SunGlasses
  • Hats
  • Insect Repellant
  • Umbrellas
  • Hair soap
  • Sanitizer
  • Face Mask
  • Medicines
  • First Aid Kit
  • Toothbrush

Kitchen Essentials

Cooking paraphernalia is essential for food preparation. Cooking is a bonding time, and eating is fun. Make sure you are ready for the number of people you are bringing. You must have utensils to prepare your food.

  • Foldable Tables and Chairs
  • Portable Grill or Stove
  • Lighter and Matches
  • Knives
  • Utensils
  • Dishwashing Liquid
  • Food Storage box
  • Cooler
  • Opener
  • Can goods

Camping Gear

Setting a tent is easy if you bring the right tools for setting up a tent. Make sure that you know what to bring. Here are some of the things you should bring.

  • Tent Repair Kit
  • Tent poles 
  • Mattress
  • Beddings
  • Pillows
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Light

Essential State Park Permits

Some State parks or regions require different permits and licenses for various activities. Make sure you prepare before going to enjoy the activities and amenities.

  • Valid ID
  • Equestrian Permit
  • Fishing Permit
  • Reservations
  • Recreation ground Passes
  • Extra Cash

Nearby Guesthouse

Cabins
(Credits to: VI)

If you happen not to be able to reserve in time or stay in the campground, worry not because there are nearby hostels and boarding houses for you to stay in with good reviews.

Here are some of the Hostels and boarding houses near the State recreation ground you can stay at.


Nearby Restaurants

If you love to explore the cuisine wonders around the State parks, we have listed the nearby restaurants from the recreation ground. We are sure that you will have a wonderful time trying out different cuisines and delicacies around the area recreation ground wonders.

Camp Rates and Fees

We have compiled the list of expected fees to help you budget for your trip to Pokagon. Having a budget plan will help you monitor and allocate your funds for different recreation ground activities.


Payment and Reservation

You can reserve your campsite or cabin online on the official site for reservations for the Indiana State parks department. You can also make dated reservations if you avail of State park’s Guesthouse, like Potawatomi, on the reservation site.

Inside the site, you will set your account at Indiana state parks.reserveamerica.com. Here you will create a free account so that you will be able to reserve an available date for your visit. Just click on the dates that you plan to go and the duration of your stay. The management will collect payment once you go to the recreation ground.

You may call the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at 1-866-622-6746 for additional date information on the State park’s reservation department.


Conclusion

According to reviews, the State Park is a great place to experience and be one with nature. It offers a lot of amenities that you can use. You will surely enjoy the activities that the recreation ground provides with your family.

The recreation ground is rich in natural assets, and we are sure that you will be left breathless with the panoramic views of the State parks and the lagoon in the area.

We hope that we were able to help with the information regarding Pokagon State Park. Ensure that you refer to these details and prepare for your trip to Indiana’s Pokagon State Park.

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