Last month we took a trip to Prophetstown State Park, in West Lafayette. This is among the newer state parks in Indiana having been completed in 2004. There is an aquatic center that was added in 2013, and the park includes other amenities such as full hook-up and electric camp sites and a fully functioning 1920s Farmstead.
The park sits at the junction of the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers, and contains over nine miles of hiking trails, and five miles of paved and crushed gravel biking trails (that can also be used for walking).
If you like history, there is a lot associated with this park and the surrounding area. The Battle of Tippecanoe took place in the area in 1811, where 1200 troops led by William Henry Harrison (at the time, Indiana’s territorial Governor) battled the native people and burned Prophetstown to the ground after the native forces withdrew. Right outside the park is the Tippecanoe Battlefield and Museum commemorating the battle and within Prophetstown State Park is the Circle of Stones, which is dedicated to the Native American tribes that lived in the Prophetstown settlement. The Circle of Stones consists of fourteen stones commemorating the fourteen known tribes and a fifteenth stone to commemorate the unknown tribes who lived in Prophetstown.
We hiked a loop consisting of trails #1 and #2, which was about seven miles total, hugging the Harrison Creek for a good stretch as well as the Fishing Pond. The ground was very wet, and some parts of the trails were extremely muddy. Waterproof hiking boots were a must on this hike! Aside from the mud, the trails were easy terrain and provided nice views of the park.
After our hike we drove through the campground, and it looks like most sites have been recently renovated. There are 55 campsites with full hook ups and 55 that have just electric. We will definitely be back and maybe do a little early spring camping!
We did not get a chance to visit the Farmstead, but they are open on the weekends and have a farmers’ market in addition to a museum of farm life in the 1920s. If we make it back for a camping trip, that is where we can buy dinner!
- Parking: Ample
- Trails: Easy to moderate and watch for muddy areas through marshy regions
- Solitude Factor: Low. This is a large park with amenities like a water park and the Farmstead. There were a lot of visitors in the middle of January, so I imagine the park can be packed in the summer.