Hardin Ridge Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Hardin Ridge Camper

The 1,200 acre Hardin Ridge recreational complex is located on the shores of Indiana's largest lake, Monroe Lake. Located just southeast of Bloomington, the area offers camping, picnicking, boat launching, swimming, nature walks, and interpretive programs in a forested environment that is easily accessible from State Highway 446. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Beach closed for the 2019 season. 
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 
  • No hardwood firewood may be brought in to the recreation area unless it has been certified by the USDA.
  • Processed lumber is also acceptable except no pallets may be brought in to burn. 
  • Dead and downed wood may also be collected for fires. 
  • USDA certified firewood may be purchased at the campground for $5 per bundle.
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: Cradle of Forestry in American Interpretive Association (812) 837-9453

General Information


Hardin Ridge is just west of State Route 446 on the south side of Lake Monroe. The recreation area is southeast of Bloomington and can be accessed by taking State Road 46 to State Road 446 then south to Chapel Hill Road where signs will direct you in to the recreation site. From Bedford, take US 50 east to State Road 446, then north to Chapel Hill Road. 


6464 Hardin Ridge Road
Heltonville, IN  47436.

General Notes:

Additional Resources

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Beaches & Dunes

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Camping & Cabins

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Nature Viewing

Show detail SHOW

Outdoor Learning

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Water Activities

Show detail SHOW