Camping. A chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the technology-driven world we live in, kick back, relax, and enjoy the peaceful quiet of nature. While there are many great state parks and other campgrounds here in the Hoosier state where you can "get off the grid" so to speak, they all charge you a per night fee. However, there are a few campsites tucked away around the state that let you enjoy the great outdoors for free.

When my family and I go camping, it's usually quite the undertaking. We pack pillows, blankets, a cooler full of drinks, a cooler with food, bicycles, and lawn chairs. Then it's a matter of hooking our popup to my truck, driving to the campground, and getting everything set up on the comfort of a gravel or concrete slab. The campsites listed below do not offer the convenience of gravel or concrete slabs like you find at your favorite state park or campground, and likely don't have room to pull a large camper into as they are "off the beaten path." These sites are best served for campers looking to simply pitch a tent and spend a few nights under the stars.

Springs Valley Recreation Area - Paoli, Indiana

The Springs Valley Recreation Area has primitive camping with vault toilets only. No drinking water is available. The six sites provided for picnicking can be used for camping as well.

Blackwell Horse Camp - Bloomington, Indiana

Blackwell Horsecamp has long been a popular destination/overnight camping area for equestrians. Other campers are also welcome although the facilities are geared to provide for horses. The camp is along Tower Ridge Road in the center of the Charles Deam Wilderness area, approximately one mile from Highway 446. The camp also is a trailhead for the Charles C. Deam Wilderness trail system.

Charles C Deam Wilderness - Bloomington, Indiana

The Charles C. Deam Wilderness area encompasses nearly 13,000 acres of the Hoosier National Forest. It is managed to preserve a natural condition and provide opportunities for solitude. Within the Wilderness are 37.3 miles of trails which are provided for hiking, backpacking, and horse riding. People are allowed to camp within the wilderness but there are several restrictions. Camping within 100 feet of ponds, Monroe Lake, trails, or streams is allowed only in designated sites. Campsites must be occupied the first night, and may not be left unattended for more than 24 hours without permission. Camping is limited to 14 days.

Maines Pond - Freetown, Indiana

Maines Pond is a watchable wildlife and a small pond where people fish and hunt. This is a remote place where you can pitch a tent and camp.

Happy camping!

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