Need to get out of the house? Combine being outdoors with a little bit of exercise – and surprise yourself with how great it makes you feel. On this webpage you will find an assortment of outdoor activities to enjoy and help you get moving at Indiana’s state parks and state-managed lakes.
Always assume you are on “thin ice”
With the recent temperature drops across the state, Indiana Conservation Officers are advising Hoosiers across the state of the potential hazards of being on frozen lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.
Every winter, thousands of Hoosiers safely enjoy fishing, skating, hiking, or just sliding around on frozen ponds and lakes. And every year, people drown after falling through ice.
Just like driving differently on snow versus on clear roads, it’s important to adjust your approach to safely have fun on ice.
The best rule of thumb is to put safety first. When you are thinking about getting on the ice, believe it is thin ice unless proven otherwise.
Winter Special – 2 nights for 1 at State Park Inns
It's not too late to take advantage of this offer, and winter is a great time to visit the beauty of the parks and enjoy savings at the Inns. We have lodge rooms and cabins, located in the most beautiful places in Indiana, and we can't wait to see you.
Turkey Run, Abe Martin Lodge (in Brown County State Park), and Potawatomi Inn (in Pokagon State Park) offer cabins as well as lodge rooms.
Stay two nights for the price of one, Sunday-Thursday only, now through Feb. 25, 2021.
Call to reserve at 1.877.LODGES1.
Least tern chicks
Donate to the Indiana Nongame Wildlife Fund on your state taxes
Tax season is approaching, and Indiana’s wildlife could use a gift from you. Consider donating a portion of your Indiana state tax refund to help at-risk species like Indiana bats and loggerhead shrikes.
Indiana played a significant role in the recovery of the interior least tern, North America’s smallest tern. Recently removed from the federal endangered species list, the least tern remains a species of greatest conservation need in Indiana.
Donations to the Indiana Nongame Wildlife Fund help DNR obtain additional federal funding through match if you make a $50 contribution, wildlife will receive $143. Find out how to donate on your Indiana state taxes by watching this video.
Best artistic image winner by Greg Sommer, Ridgeville
DHPA announces Preservation Month photo contest
Get out your cameras and find your favorite historic destination because DHPA’s annual Preservation Month photo contest has begun.
The annual contest, run by the DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA), has been held since 2005 to promote Indiana’s historic resources. All subjects of photos must be at least 50 years old, in Indiana, and must include man-made or designed elements. Photos of exclusively natural elements will not be accepted.
Spotlight on our partnership with the Duke Energy Foundation
Generous partners like the Duke Energy Foundation help the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF) to accomplish our mission – to celebrate and preserve Indiana’s natural legacy. The work we do together benefits wildlife as well as the people who visit parks, forests, and other public lands to explore and learn about nature firsthand.
Canada goose nesting season begins soon
February is when Canada geese begin scouting for nesting areas. If you want to keep geese off your property, now is the time to start preparing.
Canada geese prefer to nest near waterbodies surrounded by short, mowed grass and often return to where they have had previous nesting success.
Well-kept lawns provide geese with food and a clear line-of-sight to see predators. Using harassment techniques, installing fencing, and stopping supplemental feeding can help to prevent unwanted nesting on your property.
Efforts to deter Canada geese are not effective if supplemental foods such as bread or bird seed are provided.
Chris Peabody with winning brown trout
2020 Fish of the Year winners announced
DNR recently announced winners of the 2020 Fish of the Year contest. In all, 51 awards were given to 42 different anglers for their top catches. For a full listing of winners, visit the Fish of the Year Winners website.
For those of you looking to participate this year, some minor rule changes will be implemented for the 2021 contest onward. A picture clearly showing the measurement of the fish being entered is now required and a witness is no longer needed. This change allows anglers who fish alone to catch, measure, and release fish without the added hassle of finding a witness or extra stress on the fish of being unnecessarily transported.
Find a full summary of program rules, an online entry form, and listings of Fish of the Year Winners and state record fish on our website.
Outdoors in Your Mailbox
DNR Response to COVID-19
The DNR is committed to ensuring that our guests and staff continue to have safe and memorable outdoor experiences at our state parks, state forests, fish & wildlife areas, nature preserves and state recreation areas in light of the COVID-19. We are following the lead of the Indiana State Department of Health and many local county health departments as we monitor the virus and its potential impacts on DNR properties.
The Foundation celebrates and preserves Indiana’s natural legacy by raising funds to support the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and its programs.