Camping and RVing are reaching an all-time high in popularity with our current uncertainty in traveling. However, camping was on my to-do-list well before the chaos of 2020. A Brown County State Park review is just an added bonus. Furthermore, we’ll be doing a lot more camping so keep an eye out for more reviews of the places we visit.
Brown County State Park Review
Brown County State Park is located between Nashville and Gnaw Bone, IN just a hop, skip, and jump from I-65. The park’s entrances are well marked and the north/main gate has a picturesque covered bridge.
At almost 16,000 acres, Brown County State Park is the state’s largest park. It has activities and amenities to fit any level of naturalist. If you are into the hotel vibe and an indoor water park BCSP has got your covered. And if you are into rustic tent camping with no electricity, again, you are covered.
However, if you don’t like hills you have a problem! This park is filled with rolling hills, almost reminding me of some of the hills and valleys of foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. These pretty hills posed a challenge for us since my daughter is just learning how to ride her bike so they were a bad mix with training wheels and pink & silver streamers.
Overall, this is a one-stop shopping trip for all your nature needs.
I cannot do a full Brown County State Park review since I cannot speak about the mountain bike trails but if they are a fraction of the quality of the hiking trails you are in good shape! There are abundant options to hike and most are a moderate level. There is close to 20 miles of marked trails onsite and those that are not in good repair are in that condition due to nature, not park negligence.
We went tent camping this time but definitely not rustic! One tent, one air mattress, and a fan. This mama doesn’t want to completely sweat her backside off! Since the weather forecast was iffy I opted to add the blue pop-up canopy of soccer-mom fame to add an extra level of protection from the potential rain. Click here to snag a similar set-up for your camping trip!
The size of the park allows for ample privacy while camping. Personally, I really don’t like watching that chaos that is me setting up a tent with a small child so less of an audience is a good thing. Ha! We also went during the week when things are slower paced.
I strongly recommend the backside of Taylor Ridge if you are into a quiet and low traffic area. If you are into the more social vibe go with the Buffalo Ridge area that is near the camping area entrance. A happy medium between social-butterfly and strange loner-type (yep, that is my style) then I would suggest sites along the road between Racoon Ridge and Taylor Ridge.
Since two of us went on the adventure, let’s peek at both our points of view! Obviously, I agree on the part about the s’mores. 😉
|The small human’s highlights||The Busy Llama highlights|
|Favorite things||Sleeping in the tent, hiking the Discovery Trail with the interpretive map, eating pop tarts & s’mores||Enjoyed the camping site’s quietness on the backside of Taylor’s Ridge, W’s independence|
|Coolest thing seen||The box turtle she saw and yelled “turtle!” surprising her mama, the tiny frogs along Ogle Lake||All the chipmunks!|
|Final thoughts||Liked having dishes this time||Need to buy a hiking backpack with hydration, I missed jogging, and I was impressed with how quickly I set up camp|
My only real frustration was that in order to hike a lot of the trails we had to get into the car and travel a way to get to the trail head. I can see where this can be an advantage though for a day-trip.
Would we go back?
Heck, yeah!! If my daughter had her way it would be the only place we would go camping. We only covered 9.3 miles of the hiking trails so we need to explore more of the park. I think it would look amazing in the fall, too, with all of the trees changing colors so even if we don’t make it back this year for camping we could easily do a day-trip.
Let’s hit the road!
Live the life you love, y’all, and do the things that make your heart happy. If you need some tips, tools, and strategies to make your ‘work-life’ easier check out The Busy Llama Business Toolbox so that you can spend the rest of your time traveling and enjoying life!
Have a recommendation for a place for us to go camping or maybe a tip or two? Drop me a line or comment below!
Source: Indiana Department of Natural Resources pamphlet (2020).