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Charlestown State Park

About Charlestown State Park

Charlestown State Parks 2,339 acres is located just southeast of Charlestown on Indiana 62 in Southern Indiana. The parks seven trails take you through diverse terrain including forests, fields, cliffs, wetlands, and Creeks. Elevation changes of over 200 feet make for challenging hikes. Trail 1, Trail 3 and Trail 4 pass near 14 Mile Creek, a popular fishing spot. Trail 6 follows a ridge above the Ohio river with several overlooks. Trail 7 is a loop trail around Rose Island that has interpretive signs explaining the history of Rose Island. There is currently no backcountry camping.

In 2005 the park added an additional 2,761 acres from the nearby decommissioned Indiana Ammunition Depot increasing the parks size to 5,100 acres. The expansion made Charlestown State Park the 3rd largest State park in Indiana.



Trail 1

After entering Park turn left on gravel road. Trail 1 is a 2.0 mile loop trail that begins at the gravel parking lot and loops around near 14 mile creek eventually returning to the parking lot.

0.00 Trail begins from parking area and heads South.

0.30 Gravel trail descends to the right.

0.44 Trail levels out heading North and begins to parallel a tributary.

0.61 Tributary crosses under trail.

0.63 Foot bridge over tributary.

0.84 To the right of the trail you can see 14 Mile Creek below.

0.92 Trail begins to descend toward 14 Mile Creek.

1.00 Trail passes through a set of boulders.

1.08 Trail crosses tributary that may have small waterfall during wet periods. There is a small bench to rest.

1.11 Foot bridge. Trail descends and levels out, trail marker located just past the bridge.

1.19 Supports for old railway bridge can be seen on both sides of 14 Mile Creek. Trail is wide and more like a logging road.

1.21 Trail starts heading away from 14 Mile Creek.

1.52 Trail turns left at trail maker and begins to ascend.

1.64 Sink hole with small hole in between the rocks that looks pretty deep.

2.00 Parking area.

Trail 3

The 1.65 trail begins at parking lot next to ammunition building. The trail is strenuous, and has a large elevation change. It descends to 14 Mile Creek and has a spur that leads to a fishing area. A unofficial path follows 14 Mile Creek down stream to the Ohio. Trail 3 follows 14 Mile Creek up stream eventually turn back toward the parking area. The steep climb back can be difficult for people that are not in the best of shape.

0.00 Trail 3 and 4 begin from the parking area. Follow Trail 3 marker to the right along the fence line.

0.19 Trail turns left and begins to descend an old road. This is the steepest part of the trail.

0.35 Trail reaches the bottom of the hill and turns left over a foot bridge. If you continue straight, the trail leads you to a fishing area along 14 Mile Creek. An unofficial trail from the fishing area follows 14 Mile Creek down stream to the Ohio river.

0.43 Steps that start down toward 14 Mile Creek.

0.50 Foot bridge over tributary. Spur trail leads to boulders that have a pass through. The spur trail parallels Trail 3 and then fades. Some have bushwhacked down the steep incline to Trial 3.

0.58 Foot bridge.

0.59 Trail levels and begins to move away from 14 Mile Creek.

0.85 Trail marker points Southwest.

0.90 Trail begins to ascend.

1.24 After steady climb trail begins to level out heading West.

1.65 Trails merger.

1.70 Parking area.

Trail 4

0.00 Trail head begins at parking area near maintenance building. Trail passes through a grove of rhodadendrums winding back can forth before passing through a stand of pines.

0.16 Fork in trail. (You can go either way because this is a loop) we continue left.

0.22 Trail begins to descend.

0.33 Trail continues to descend along dry creek bed.

0.40 Cross bridge.

0.53 Creek to left gains steep banks, trail moves away an to the right.

0.61 Cross bridge

0.76 Trail levels out winding back to the dry creek bed.

0.84 Trail leaves the creek and continues level.

0.94 Trail switches back paralleling the previous section of trail, moving towards the creek.

1.00 Trail continues around to the right. 14 mile creek comes into view on the left.

1.05 Trail begins to ascend then levels off as it moves high above the creek.

1.10 Spur trail to left leads to creek overlook.

1.40 Trail begins to climb again ascending some step then crosses small bridge.

1.49 Trail switches back and ascends more steps. This is the steepest section.

1.59 Trail opens up and levels off.

1.96 Loop ends continue left.

2.01 Return to parking area.

Trail 6

0.00 Trail Yellow blaze marks this trail which begins across from River Overlook parking area. From the parking area walk away from the river toward the park road.

0.07 Cross road into woods, trail is level for short distance before beginning to ascend.

0.13 Trail parallels park road wrapping around rock formations as you continue to ascend.

0.17 Trail continues to ascend before leveling off at the top of the ridge. Nice overlooks of Ohio River along the way.

0.47 cross under electrical lines as trail slowly ascends.

0.55 Trail to left leads to monitoring station, continue straight.

0.79 Trail passes open field with old structure and fence before beginning to slowly descend.

1.01 Cross bridge over waterfall with tributary to your right.

1.24 Reminents of former structure, limestone blocks with arch. Trail continues passed before switching back past the structure on the South side. Trail spur to left leads to river overlook.

1.28 Cross foot bridge over smaller waterfall.

1.58 Trail emerges from woods and begins to follow a paved path which shortly widens into a road. Some sort of pumping stations are fenced in to the left.

1.76 Charlestown Landing to your left.

2.00 Trail completes loop at trail head. Continue left to parking area.

Trail 7

0.00 Trail begins at parking lot next to maintenance building. Descend the steep paved path to the bottom of the hill. Access to Trails 4 and 3 along this path.

0.58 Trail Crosses Portsville Bridge

0.68 After crossing the bridge you come to the interpretive center. The .7 interpretive loop is the inside loop that takes you past remnants of a time gone by. Continue right and take the dirt trail to the right.

0.88 After descending along 14 mile creek you reach the confluence of the Ohio river and 14 mile creek.

1.18 Trail follows the Ohio River and leads you to the islands former main entrance that is marked by 3 stone pillars. Continure up and to the left.

1.64 The grand swimming pool which claims to be the first filtered water pool.

2.0 Trail loops back to interpretive center.


Campsites include: 131 Class A with 50 amp service and individual water and 61 Class AA with 50 amp service and individual water and sewer hookups. There are no primitive campsites. For reservations click here

Indiana Contacts

Charlestown State Park
12500 Indiana 62
Charlestown, IN 47111
(812) 256-5600

Map of park

Getting There

From I-65 take Indiana 62 east 8 miles to Charlestown. The entrance to the park is on the right.

More Charlestown State Park Links

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