Hiking at Patoka Lake
Planning a summer getaway? Patoka Lake is close to French Lick West Baden and has it all! From lodging to water sports and everything in between, you’ve found a serene yet exciting place for your summer vacation! Voted Best in the Midwest for wildlife viewing by USA TODAY - it is a great place to get an amazing view of bald eagles, osprey, hawks, and other wildlife!
Patoka Lake is the second-largest reservoir in Indiana, after Lake Monroe, and is spread over three counties - Orange, Dubois, and Crawford. The 8,800-acre man-made lake is a joint venture between the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. It is one of eight lakes built to secure water supply and control flooding, but of course, it makes for a wonderful recreation area too! The lake was built on top of the Patoka River as well as the three towns of Elon, Newton-Stewart, and Ellsworth. Work to build the lake began in the early 1970s and was finished around 1980.
Where to Stay
With floating cabins, primitive and modern camping, cabins, and suites available at the nearby Patoka Lake Winery, you will find an array of areas to rest your head for the night. The floating cabins sit on the pristine shorelines of the lake close to the Patoka Lake Marina. Enjoy the views of the lake and fishing right outside your door! There are 444 electric campsites, making it the largest in the state. French Lick Cabins at Patoka Lake Village have modern 2-bedroom log cabins just 10 miles south of French Lick, nestled in a village-style setting surrounded by acres of trees. Wildcat Cove Lodge is a new three-bedroom lodge, fully furnished, with four TVs, and two large porches. Full kitchen, whirlpool tub with separate shower, 2-bath, set on 10 acres.
What to Do
Adventure awaits, so bring yourself or the entire family for an amazing time! How much or how little you do is all up to you! Hike or bike the numerous trails available. Enjoy swimming in one of the cleanest lakes in the Midwest! Speedboat, waterski, or rent a houseboat...spend a day or night on the water. While on the water, check out the many coves and islands throughout the state park. Visit the Nature Center to get up-close with their resident Birds of Prey: a bald eagle, owl, and a hawk! Picnic, grill out, or have a reunion at one of the many shelter houses available. Use the gorgeous scenery as a backdrop for your special day!
Opportunities for adventure at Patoka Lake are endless! Each Wednesday, from May through October from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, enjoy a 2-hour Scenic Nature Cruise! Don’t forget about the Sunset and Fall Foliage Wine Cruises available on select dates May through October! Come and celebrate freedom at Thunder Over Patoka…the annual 4th of July celebration!
Show us all of your awesome summer adventures by using the hashtag #MyFrenchLick! Whether you’re just staying the night or spending several weeks, Patoka Lake will fill your days with adventure and leave you with a peaceful setting every evening.
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