The Whitewater Memorial State Park is the third largest state park in Indiana at 23,000 acres. Using land donated by four counties, the state of Indiana established the Whitewater Memorial State Park as a memorial to American soldiers killed in World War II. In order to honor all fallen soldiers, the park hosted the traveling Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall in 2008.
On the Water
The Whitewater Memorial State Park abuts the two hundred acre Whitewater Lake. The park also has access to the Brookville Reservoir. Two boat launches – one at Whitewater Lake and one at Brookville Lake – allow visitors to spend time on the water. Motorboats are permitted on Brookville Lake. Only electric trolling boats are permitted on Whitewater Lake. For visitors who prefer a more peaceful time on the lake, Whitewater Memorial State Park offers rentals for canoes, paddleboats, and rowboats.
The Whitewater Memorial State Park staff continually monitors the quality of Whitewater Lake. Park officials drained the lake in 2001 to remove gizzard shad and carp. Then they began a restocking program. Anglers can cast for bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and black crappie. Other plentiful species of fish include white sucker, striped shiner, common carp, green sunfish, and longear sunfish. Whitewater Lake’s rehabilitation not only removed aggressive predators; it cleaned the lake, allowing for the formation of a natural habitat for all fish. Panfish dart in and out of the weed beds on which they feed. The largemouth bass can then dart in and out of the weed beds to feed on the panfish.
The Whitewater Memorial State Park officials also monitor and maintain the 5,260-acre Brookville Lake. The Army Corps of Engineers constructed the Brookville Dam in response to the Flood Control Act of 1938. Today, Brookville Lake provides flood control, water supply, and some of the best fishing in Indiana. The Department of Natural Resources stocks the lake with walleye, striped bass, brown trout, striped trout, and muskie. Indigenous fish species include redear, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, rock bass, white bass, and catfish.
For visitors who want to experience the great outdoors to the fullest, the Whitewater Memorial State Park offers the Horsemen’s Campground. Thirty-seven primitive campsites comprise this area. It has toilets, but no showers. The Horsemen’s Campground is the only area in the park that permits horses. Forty-five additional non-electric sites are available throughout the camping area. Two hundred and thirty-six sites have electricity and are suitable for camping in recreational vehicles. Eight of the sites are even handicap accessible. All of these sites are located close to the general store. One area is reserved for youth camping, with five separate youth tent areas. Pit toilets, water access, comfort stations, showers, and dumping stations are located throughout the area. Horseshoe pits and a playground area provide hours of family-style entertainment.
For visitors who want to experience the great outdoors without giving up all of the comforts of home, the Whitewater Memorial State Park offers a limited number of cabins for rent. Of the twenty cabins, six are handicap accessible. The cabins are scattered throughout a section of the park located near Brookville Lake. The cabins are spaced far enough apart to allow for guest privacy, yet close enough together to encourage meeting one’s neighbors. The cabin area offers a playground for family entertainment. All of the cabins are two-story log structures. For sixteen of the cabins, the floor plan comfortably sleeps six in two bedrooms and a pullout couch in the living room. The screened back porch provides campers with a pleasant and protected outdoor dining space. The wood stove provides additional warmth during the winter months. The remaining six cabins have the same basic floor plan, but they do not have a wood stove.
The Whitewater Memorial State Park offers a range of activities, from swimming in the lakes, to exploring its many miles of trail on foot or horseback. Bird watchers will delight in the abundance of wading birds and songbirds. During hunting season, parts of the park are closed to campers so that hunters can thin deer and geese.
For additional information regarding the Whitewater Memorial State Park, visit the park’s website at http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2962.htm.