Hardin Ridge Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Hardin Ridge Camper

Hardin Ridge Recreation Area is located on Monroe Lake south of Bloomington, Indiana. This recreation area offers​ six campground loops, two picnic areas and three shelterhouses,​ two of which are available for reservation, a three​ lane boat launch, a swim beach with shelter and showerhouse,​ hiking trails, and two rental cabins on the lake. The​ campground loops offer modern restroom and shower​ facilities. This area is operated by a concessionaire under a​ special use permit issued by the Forest Service from mid-​April through mid to late October.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open for hiking and other activities year-round. 
  • Campsites available beginning April 15 until October 15. 
  • Campground quiet hours are from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am 
Reservations: Camping and Shelters
  • Reservations for cabins, picnic shelters, and some campsites sites may be made online or by calling 1-877-444-6777. 
  • Some sites are only non-reservabe and only available as first come, first served. 
  • A three day reservation window is required. All sites, cabins, and shelters may be available as a walkup site if not reserved within that time period. 
  • Cabins are reservable from May 15 until October 31 and first come, first served from April 15 to May 14. 
Fees Day Use Fees
  • Required from 4/15 - 10/31. 
  • $5/day for each vehicle 
  • Buses are $5 for the driver plus $1/person  (no passes accepted)
  • Annual passes available
  • Discounts available for access, senior, and military pass holders. 
Camping Fees
  • Walk-to and primitive sites - $20/night
  • Electric sites - $27/night
  • Electirc and water sites - $30/night
  • Double sites with electric - $43 night
  • Cabin rentals - $50 per night
  • Campsites are allowed one vehicle. $5/ night for extra vehicles
  • Discounts are available to access and senior pass holders for single sites only.
Shelter Rental 
  • $30/day from April 15 until October 15
  • Day use fee applies to each additional vehicle
Permit Info: Trail Permits
  • Hoosier National Forest trail permits are NOT required to ride bikes on the 2-mile long Hardin Ridge trail that runs parallel to the main campground road.
Fishing and Boating
  • Indiana state fishing permits are required for fishing. 
  • Indiana launch permit required for launching boats on Lake Monroe. 
  • Boaters are required to follow Indiana state boat operating and registration requirements.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Beach Rules
  • No glass containers allowed on the beach
  • No pets allowed on the beach
Firewood Restrictions 
  • Any firewood brought onto National Forest System land must meet ONE of the firewood requirements on Hoosier National Forest.
  • Use of on-site firewood must only be from dead, downed material. Standing trees, living or dead, may not be cut or defaced.
NO HUNTING IS ALLOWED IN THE RECREATION AREA. A complete list of rules and regulations are posted on bulletin boards in the campground and are provided upon check-in at the recreation area. 
Closest Towns: Bloomington, IN
Water: Centralized drinking water is available throughout the recreation area and at some campsites.
Restroom: Modern facilities and vault toilets available in day use and campground areas. Cabins are vault only
Passes: Day-Use and Annual Passes
  • Day-use or annual passes are required April 15 through October 31 and are available at the gatehouse, or instructions provided if gatehouse is not staffed.
  • Day-use and annual passes may be used at Hardin Ridge, Indian-Celina, and Tipsaw Lake Recreation Areas. 
  • Day-use and annual passes do not cover separate camping fees.
Interagency Passes
Operated By: FIND Outdoors

General Information

  • From Ind. 446 south of Bloomington, turn on Chapel Hill​ Road. Proceed to the entrance on the right.​
  • From Ind. 37 south of Bloomington, turn east on​ Guthrie Road. Turn right on Chapel Hill Rd and proceed​ to the entrance on the left.


6464 Hardin Ridge Road
Heltonville, IN  47436.

General Notes:

Additional Resources

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Beaches & Dunes

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Camping & Cabins

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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Water Activities

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