You would have thought after my internal dialog about camping near playgrounds during our second trip to McCormick’s Creek SP that I would not make that mistake/misstep at another place. As you will read in the Shakamak State Park Review, I loved the park but hated the people. In fact, I gave them a wildly inappropriate nickname. Send me an email if you want to find out what it is but in the meantime learn more about this gem of a park!
Shakamak State Park Review
Shakamak is near pretty much nothing. Yep, nothing. However, it is Indiana so you can get pretty much anywhere pretty darn quickly. It is southeast of Terra Haute and easily accessible from both I70 and I69. Depending on who your cell provider is though you may want to have the directions sketched down before hitting the road since service is a little spotty at points around the Jasonville area.
Jasonville and the surrounding communities have their historical ties to the boom time of coal mines and train tracks to ship it out of the region. The park is home to three lakes that exist for this reason. The creeks and tributaries around the area help to feed Lakes Shakamak, Kickapoo, and Lenape. All three of the lakes are fish-able and open to canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and small boats with electric motors. There is also a large amount of bird watching in the area, too.
For the most part, the trails are pretty flat or have gradual inclines. There are a few sets of stairs sprinkled in here and there but it isn’t too intense and easily traversed. If you opt to do them all there is about 12.75 miles of trail in the park.
If you opt to do all of Trail 1 around Lake Shakamak be sure to have plenty of water and be on the lookout for mud in some spots since it is literally the edge of the lake. We packed our lunch and had a picnic along the shores but if you wait until you reach the mid-point there is a nice bench in the shade where you can stop for a while and enjoy the scenery instead of worrying about your 5-year-old taking a header into the lake. Ha!
A Shakamak State Park review wouldn’t be complete without talking about our set up! I made a fortuitous purchase before this trip and I was THANKFUL! I bought a set of hammock straps so I could easily get around really big tree trunks and very far apart trees. I needed those bad boys for sure! I even got some envious stares about my hammock set-up.
As for the tent situation, we used our Semoo 3-person tent for another round. Honestly, it is a great introductory option but I don’t see it lasting for years. Drop a line or comment below if you have a tent you love! Click here to snag a similar set-up for your camping trip!
I learned the secret to keeping the small human from getting whiny (it only took until trip five and the Shakamak State park review to figure it out…) – – the promise of ice cream treats after the big hike of the day. But in all seriousness, my child is a trooper and the best travel buddy ever!
|The small human’s highlights||The Busy Llama highlights|
|Favorite things||The green moss around Lake Shakamak||Loved all the trails we hiked|
|Coolest thing seen||The blue heron, the turtles on the logs in the lake that plopped into the water when we came near||The orange mushrooms that looked like flowers that were everywhere|
|Final thoughts||Enjoyed riding her bike around the campsites, enjoyed the rowboat||Avoid campsites near the entrance and playground, there is a great playground near the family cabins|
Awful people! Oh, my GOD! Say it like Janice from Friends. The first night was great, my daughter played a bit at the playground while I got dinner ready. The second night, not so much. Some of the rudest humans I have ever had to camp near joined the community around dinner time.
They were loud, took over the common areas, allowed their children to run amok in the road and playground, and were up well past quiet time. I know we all parent differently but I am a big believer in respecting other people’s vacation and space. Them, not so much. I heard small children up past midnight. And we slept poorly for it. #RantOver
So that brings me back to the thing I mentioned in the introduction of this Shakamak State Park review, I need to stop booking spots near the playground. They seem to be pretty high traffic areas and that defeats my M.O. of avoiding humans. 🙂 My small person will just need to learn to ride her bike to the playground and be a bit more independent.
Would we go back again?
Yep! I loved the trails. We rented a row boat and had a blast (and a good work out!) exploring Lake Lenape.
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: Shakamak State Park Property Map