Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
Camping at Celina Campground

Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area is located two miles south of Interstate 64 off Indiana 37. It offers​ opportunities for both overnight and day use, with two camping loops and two lakes that offer paddling,​ fishing and boating (electric motors only), and two​ trails for hiking. This area is operated by a​ concessionaire under a special use permit issued by​ the Forest Service from mid-April through late​ October.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Effective Oct. 23, 2023, at noon central time until To be Determined, 2024 - No day-use fee charged, free access to day-use of the boat ramps, trails, parking, and fishing pier.
Operational Hours: Open for hiking and other activities year-round. 
  • South Slope campsites are open April 15 through October 15, with limited services until the end of deer firearm season, at which time it closes.
  • North Face campsites are open all year with limited services October 16 through April 14.
  • Campground quiet hours are from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am 
Reservations: Camping
  • Reservations for 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. 
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 - April 15 through October 15
  • Walk-to and primitive sites - $21/night
  • Electric sites - $28/night
  • Electric and water sites - $31/night
  • Double sites with electric - $44/night
  • Campsites are allowed one vehicle. $5/ night for extra vehicles
  • Discounts are available to access and senior pass holders for single sites only.
Camping - October 16 – April 14
  • Primitive sites - $10/night
  • Electric sites - $15/night
  • Access or Senior Pass holders - Half-off primitive and electric sites
Permit Info: Fishing and Boating
  • Indiana state fishing permits are required for fishing. 
  • Boaters are required to follow Indiana state boat operating and registration requirements.
Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Medium
Restrictions: Trail Use
  • The Two Lakes Trail is hiking only. 
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.
A complete list of US Forest Service rules and regulations are posted on bulletin boards in the campground, as well as being provide upon check-in at the recreation area. 
Closest Towns: Tell City, IN
Water: Centralized drinking water is available throughout the recreation area.
Restroom: Modern flush restrooms available during camping season. Vault toilets available year-round.
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
Information Center: Hoosier National Forest Tell City Ranger District

General Information

General Notes:

Additional Resources

Swimming at Indian-Celina Recreation Area

There is no designated swimming beach provided at Indian or Celina Lakes.  Indiana state law mandates a person must not swim or allow a child or other person in their care to swim at a location other than a designated beach during designated hours.

State law does allow swimmers to swim from a watercraft between sunrise and sunset in an embayment on a reservoir property but not within 300 feet of a designated lauching ramp. Please use caution. 


Located 3 miles south of Interstate 64 off State Highway 37. Turn at the large entrance sign. A gatehouse sits just off State Road 37 at the entrance of the recreation area. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Road Cycling

This large recreation complex that includes two lakes offers several miles of paved roads with relatively light traffic. Rolling hills and great views offer the bicyclists an enjoyable place to spend the day with their friends and family.

Campground Camping

Indian-Celina includes 63 individual sites divided into two loops. Each loop contains centralized water, flush toilets, hot showers, and a recharge table for electric boat motors. A selection of single or double, electric or non-electric sites are available in this shady campground. Full campground services are available during the campround season from Apil 15th through October 15th. Rervations can be made online starting May 15th.

A maximum of 2 vehicles and 8 persons are allowed in single sites and 4 vehicles and 16 persons in double sites. Campsites must be occupied every night.

Areas for Campground Camping at Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area

RV Camping

Areas for RV Camping at Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area

Lake and Pond Fishing

This recreation complex includes Celina Lake (164 acres) and Indian Lake (152 acres) both of which have been touted as two of the best pan fishing lakes in southern Indiana. The lakes offer many miles of shoreline and tranquil coves for fishing.

Fish Species Variety of panfish and bass
Fishing Mode boats or shore
Fishing Platform An accessible fishing pier is available at Celina Lake
Cleaning Station none
Accessible Platform An accessible fishing pier is available at Celina Lake
Water Temperature Depends on season.
Fishing Method Fishing pole with bait or lures
Water/Flow Level Water fluctuates with rainfall and seasons.

Day Hiking

Areas for Day Hiking at Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area


Areas for Backpacking at Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area

Viewing Wildlife

This recreational complex has abundant wildlife, birds, amphibians and part of the fun of visiting is to see what you might find there. The area is a posted Watchable Wildlife site. This site is around two clear lakes nestled in the wooded hills of the Forest. Roads and trails through the native hardwood forest mixed with pine provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Woodland songbirds are common in this area. Winter viewing is especially good in the pine plantations. High probability of seeing deer along the roads and trails, and beside the lakes in early morning. Hawks and turkey vultures are often seen soaring above the lakes. Bald egles and osprey are seen occasionally perched in shoreline trees during winter. Hike the trails in April and May to see an abundance of spring wildflowers.

Species woodland songbirds, eagle, osprey, deer, and many more.

Viewing Plants

Viewing Scenery

The Indian-Celina Lake Recreation Area has some beautiful scenery in every season. The rolling hills and two spacious lakes offer scenic backdrops to a hiking or camping experience. The terrain offers several opportunities for panoramic vistas and in different seasons you can experience spring wildflowers with dogwood and redbud trees blooming, fall colors, or winter snow. The area is beautiful in every time of year.

Special Feature Two Lakes Loop Trail and vistas along the road to Indian Lake

Visitor Programs

Areas for Visitor Programs at Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area

Interpretive Areas

Areas for Interpretive Areas at Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area


The Indian-Celina Lake Recreation Area offers two day use areas. Picnic tables are provided near the boat ramp on the shore of Indian Lake. Additional picnic tables are provided at the Rickenbaugh House site which is on the bank of Celina Lake. Both picnic sites are available on a first-come basis and both offer picturesque views of the water while you eat.

No. of Sites 5 tables, 3 at Celina Lake and 2 at Indian Lake
Reservation Info Reservations for picnic shelters can be made by calling toll free the National Reservation System at 1-877-444-6777 (TTY is 1-877-833-6777.) Reservations are only made Memorial Day through Labor Day. The fee for making the reservation is $10. There is a minimum cancellation fee of $10.00. Reservation information is available at: If not previously reserved, occupancy is on a first come basis.
Fire Information grills are available with the sites at Indian but not the picnic sites at Celina Lake
No. of Accessible sites none

Boating - Motorized

Indian and Celina Lakes are two of four fishing lakes along State Highway 37. Celina Lake, (164 acres) and Indian Lake (152 acres) which is only two miles away, are equally beautiful. According to those who fish there, these lakes are some of the best fishing in Indiana. These lakes also offer many miles of shoreline and coves to fish for pan fish. Bring a pole and a pail of bait and spend an enjoyable afternoon.

Launch Ramps a launch ramp is available at each lake with a parking area.
Trailer Parking adequate parking
Size Restrictions electric motors only
Type of Craft Small boats.
Motor Type electric motors only
Fuel availability none
Corrals electric motors only
Water/Flow Level varies
Marina/Mooring none

Boating - Non-Motorized

Indian and Celina Lakes are two of four fishing lakes along State Highway 37. Celina Lake, (164 acres) and Indian Lake (152 acres) which is only two miles away, are equally beautiful. According to those who fish there, these lakes are some of the best fishing in Indiana. These lakes also offer many miles of shoreline and coves to fish for pan fish. Bring a pole and a pail of bait and spend an enjoyable afternoon.

Launch Ramps launch ramp available on both lakes open year round
Trailer Parking adequate trailer parking at both lakes
Type of Craft kayak, canoe, and sail boats are all used on the lake.
Size Restrictions none
Corrals none
Water/Flow Level Varies
Marina/Mooring none

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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