Things To Do At Spring Mill State Park

Spring Mill State Park abounds in endless opportunities for recreation!  Come explore all the fun things to do at Spring Mill State Park.

Things To Do at Spring Mill State Park- Hiking Trails

From easy to rugged, Spring Mill State Park offers seven different hiking trails throughout its 1,300 acres, plus one accessible trail.  PLEASE STAY ON MARKED TRAILS.

1. MODERATE (.375 mile) — A short loop from the Inn to the foot of the hill, along Donaldson branch and lake, returning up the hill to the Inn.

2. MODERATE (.5 mile) — This connects the Pioneer Village parking area to the CCC picnic area and Nature Center (Lakeview Activity Center).

3. RUGGED (2.5 miles) — A long loop trail.  Enter near the Donaldson parking lot, then the trail passes Donaldson Cave overlook, goes through dense woods, past sinkholes, then Bronson Cave, on to Twin Caves, through virgin timber of Donaldson Woods Nature Preserve, and returns to Donaldson picnic area.

4. RUGGED (2 miles) — This loop trail may be entered from Trail 4 at the CCC picnic area or at the junction of Trails 1 and 4 near the Inn.  It goes by Donaldson Cave and Hamer Cemetery to Pioneer Village.

5. MODERATE (1 mile) — The trail loops around lake, following the lower section of the lake from the bridge, then around to the boat docks.  Connect with Trail 2 at the lake parking area.

6. ACCESSIBLE (.25 mile) — This paved trail loops around the Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom Memorial.

7. EASY (1.75 miles) — This trail loops through and around the Oak Ridge picnic area, tying into Trail 4 between Hamer Cemetery and Pioneer Village.

Stagecoach Trail. RUGGED (.5 mile) — This trail follows old roadbed from Pioneer Village, up a hill, to Oak Ridge picnic area and playground.

Nature Center

Open daily from April thru October, 10 am – 5 pm.  Open Saturday thru Wednesday from November thru March, 9 am – 4 pm.

The Nature Center, also called Lakeview Activity Center, overlooks Spring Mill Lake and is filled with exhibits on the park’s natural and cultural history.  Displays feature animals, games and history.

The live animal displays feature six native snakes and an eastern box turtle.  A special children’s area includes a puppet stage, floor puzzles, and coloring area.  Visitors can also drop by the office of the park naturalist to ask questions.

The full-time naturalist conducts tours and activities for park visitors.  Events for schools and groups can also be arranged.

Picnic Areas & Shelter Houses

Picnic areas with tables, grills, toilet facilities, and playground equipment are located near Butternut Shelter (the CCC picnic area), Donaldson Shelter and the Red Cross Cabin Recreation Building.

Covered shelter houses, with grills and other amenities, are available for day use rental (from 9 am to 11 pm).  Shelters not reserved in advance are available first-come, first-served. Shelter rentals range $35-$55/day, and the Recreation Building rents for $75-$80/day.

A. Oak Ridge Shelter – Located at the west end of the park by the trailhead for the Stagecoach Trail.  This ADA accessible shelter offers full sun, seating for up to 45 people, pit toilets, and a playground.

B. Tulip Poplar Shelter – Located on a loop road at the west end of the park, in the Mitchell Karst Plains Nature Preserve.  This ADA accessible shelter offers afternoon sun, seating for up to 45 people, pit toilets, and access to Trail 7. 

C. Butternut Shelter – Located off Trail 4, near the Pioneer Village parking lot and the CCC picnic area.  This ADA accessible shelter offers full shade, a fireplace and seating for up to 70 people.  Nearby are ADA accessible toilets and a playground. 

D. Donaldson Shelter (closed until further notice due to tornado damage) – Located in the center of the park, this ADA accessible shelter offers full shade, a fireplace, seating for up to 70 people, ADA accessible toilets, and pit toilets. 

E. Red Cross Cabin Recreation Building – Located by the Spring Mill Lake parking lot, this fully enclosed, ADA accessible building with covered porch offers electric lighting, fresh water, seating for up to 65 people, and pit toilets.

F. Sycamore Shelter – Located at the east end of the Pioneer Village parking lot, this ADA accessible shelter offers afternoon sun and seating for up to 45 people. 

Swimming Pool

Spring Mill State Park is home to an Olympic-size swimming pool with wading pool and bathhouse.  Daily pool admission is $3 per person.

Open Memorial Day thru Labor Day weekends*:
Sunday-Tuesday 12 noon – 6 pm
closed Wednesday
Thursday-Friday 12 noon – 6pm
Saturday 12 noon – 8 pm

* Pool hours may change because of weather and staffing. Call the park office for exact times before your visit.

Game Room

Located in the Spring Mill Inn, the arcade features ping pong, video games, board games and more.  You’ll also find drink and snack machines here.

The game room is open to all visitors, not just guests of the Inn.

Nature Nook

During the winter months, part of the Game Room at the Spring Mill Inn becomes the Nature Nook.  It features a drop-in craft table, natural history hand-outs, and rotating activities.  The winter office for the park naturalist is located off the hallway next to the Nook.

Open daily from mid-November through February.
Staffed hours vary.

Ball Courts

Visitors to Spring Mill State Park can take advantage of various ball courts at no cost.  These courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Bring your own equipment as no rentals are available. 

The tennis courts, basketball courts and sand volleyball court are located near the outdoor swimming pool.

Mountain Biking

The new 2-mile mountain bike trail is perfect for beginners.  The trailhead is located near the Camp Store.  There is also a dirt jump near the visitor parking lot for the campground.

Bicycles are only permitted on the mountain bike trail or on paved roadways.

Hamer Cemetery

Hamer Cemetery started out as a matter of necessity when a traveler died near the location.  Mill owner Hugh Hamer had the man buried in his woods, then later deeded the grave and the area to serve as a cemetery.

Hamer Pioneer Cemetery represents the customs and beliefs of 1800s Hoosiers.  An informational placard provides more details on this.

Concession Stand

Wanting some quick refreshments?  Look no further than The Village Ordinary concession stand located outside the entrance to Pioneer Village.  Grab a drink and bite to eat and enjoy it in the nearby Butternut Shelter or CCC picnic area.

If you want a sit down restaurant then head over to Millstone Dining Room at Spring Mill Inn.