Tipsaw Lake Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Sundial at Tipsaw Beach

The Tipsaw Lake Recreation Area is located on the shores of the 131-acre Tipsaw Lake. It offers camping, picnicking, boat launching, swimming, hiking, biking, and some interpretive programs.

Tipsaw Lake Recration Area is punctuated by a beautiful swimming beach with playground equipment and modern bathhouse that are open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends. This beach offers a combination of sand and sun or shady grass-covered hillside. Overlooking the lake near the beach are 15 picnic sites and 2 shelter houses. Horse shoe pits and an open area for games are near the picnic shelter.

Tipsaw includes 35 individual sites divided into two shady campground loops. Two group camps are offered with capacities of up to 65 people. A 5.9-mile trail for hiking or mountain biking runs from the day use area around the lake. The trail includes scenic overlooks of the lake and valley, and traverses a variety of different forest types.

More Information and Maps for Tipsaw Recreation Area.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open for hiking and other activities 24 hours a day year-round. Campsites and picnic areas open beginning April 15th until October 15th. Quiet hours are from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am at camp sites during open camping season.   
Reservations: Campground reservations are required. Shelters may be reserved from 4/15 each year until Labor Day. They are otherwise available on a first-come basis.
Fees Entry fees are required for use from 4/15 - 10/15. The fees are:
  • $5 per vehicle per day fee for day use in the area, or  
  • Buses are $5 for the driver plus $1/person - no passes accepted.
Permit Info: A permit is required for the following activites within the recreation area. 
  • Mountain biking on the Tipsaw Trail requires a Hoosier National Forest trail permit.
  • Fishing requires an Indiana state fishing permit. 
  • Boats are required to follow Indiana state boat registration requirements. 
Other available recreation activities do not require a special recreation permit.
Open Season: April 15th - October 15th
Usage: Light
Restrictions: A complete list of US Forest Service rules and regulations are posted on bulletin boards in the campground.
  • No hardwood firewood may be brought in to the recreation area unless it has been certified by the USDA.
  • Campsites must be occupied first night and subsequent nights thereafter. 
Water: Drinking water is available.
Restroom: Vault and Flush Toilet available
Passes: ​Annual passes are available for $35. Annual passes are honored at Tipsaw Lake, Hardin Ridge, and Indian-Celina Recreation Areas.  America the Beautiful Access and Senior passes allow discounts for annual passes. For pass holders, annual passes and entry fees are $17.50 per year or $2.50 per day.
Operated By: Cradle of Forestry Concessionaires; phone 812-843-4890 (during recreation season only).

General Information


Located 6 miles south of Interstate 64 off State Highway 37. Turn at the large entrance sign. The recreation area is actually a couple miles down this road. Continue down the road to the gatehouse and the recreation complex. GPS Coordinates: Lat - 38o 11' 56.664"N, Long - 86o 35' 53.951"W

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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