Prophetstown State Park is located in West Lafayette, IN, about an hour northwest of Indianapolis. The park is named after a Shawnee village established by two brothers- The Prophet and Tecumseh- in 1808. The village was a meeting place for more than 14 Native American tribes hoping to prevent the advancement of European settlement in the area. You can learn more about the park’s history and diverse landscape as you explore the park’s 15 miles of hiking and biking trails. Below is a two-day itinerary to help you start exploring this beautiful park. Please reach out if you have any questions😊
Entrance Fee: $8 for Indiana residents, $10 for out-of-state residents
Lodging: There is one campground inside the park. The campground has 110 sites, 55 of which are fully electric sites. Reservations for the campground can be made here- Prophetstown Camping. If you prefer not to camp, the closest hotel options can be found in Lafayette, IN, about 7 miles south of the park.
Dining: There are several picnic areas throughout the park. Seasonally, there are concessions open in the Aquatic Center and vending machines near the Farm. For meals outside the park, Lafayette, IN has many options available.
Must Know Before You Go:
1. If you have them, bring your bikes! There are great biking trails throughout the park.
2. If you are visiting during the summer months, bring your suits! The Aquatic Center is awesome!
3. Bring sun protection- hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. Most of the park has very little shade.
4. Bring plenty of water with you. Water is not available for purchase inside the park when the Aquatic Center is closed.
Cell Service: We had decent cell service throughout the entire park, even on the trails😊
Two Day Itinerary
Visitor Center- The visitor center has staff available to answer any of your questions, informational exhibits about the land and wildlife that reside within the park, and restrooms available if needed. The path to the Native American Village begins right across the street, so your vehicle can be left in the visitor center lot.
Native American Village- A walking path will take you to the Native American Village. In the historic village you will find a Medicine Lodge, Council House, Granary, Wigwam, and Chief’s Cabin. You can explore the structures and learn some of the history of the people who built, cared for, and lived in them on the land that is now Prophetstown State Park.
Circle of Stones- Near the beginning of Trail 3, to the right of the parking lot, is the Circle of Stones. Before heading out on your hike, take a moment to visit the site. The Circle of Stones honor the 14 Native American tribes that lived in the area of Prophetstown State Park.
Trails 3 & 4- After the Circle of Stones, head back in the direction of the parking lot to pick up Trail 3 near the east end of the Fishing Pond. Take the paved path down into the prairie. At the first trail junction, take a right onto the unpaved path to head south. This split is not well labeled. There will be a short side trip to a wildlife viewing area, then the path continues to follow the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers.
Once you loop around to the observation deck, follow the river to continue Trail 4. Trail 4 is probably our favorite trail in the park, and even in the busy summer we had the place to ourselves. Through a gorgeous canopy of trees, the trail follows along the Tippecanoe River before making a short loop at the end.
After making your way back to the observation deck, take a right at the first trail junction to complete the second half of Trail 3. *The trail junction for 3 will be BEFORE the boardwalk. The rest of Trail 3 will continue through the beautiful forest until you reach the Fishing Pond once again. This entire combo trail is approximately 7 miles roundtrip and moderate in difficulty.
Aquatic Center- If you are visiting the park during the summer months, you will definitely want to check out the Aquatic Center after hiking all day. The center includes several waterslides, a lazy river, and a large pool area. The Aquatic Center is open daily from 11am-7pm and is an additional $5 per person over the age of 3. Those 3 and younger are free.
Trails 1 & 2- For this trail loop, I would plan on parking near the Bergamot (B) Shelter. It is near the large wooden playground that you can’t miss from the main park road. From there you can take the trail in either direction. Hiking clockwise, will start on Trail 1. Trail 1 has several side cuts. To complete this loop, stay on the outer Trail 1, as you follow along Harrison Creek to the Fishing Pond. On the east end of the Fishing Pond, several trails intersect. Cross the paved path and stay on the dirt path to continue straight on Trail 2. There will be a lovely overlook of the prairie and then Trail 2 will loop you back to the parking area. This easy trail is right around 3.5 miles.
Lunch at Playground- After your hike, plan on having lunch near the playground. It’s pretty impressive and our kiddos could have easily hung out there all day😊
The Farm at Prophetstown- After lunch, head to the Farm at Prophetstown. Currently the farm is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday- 9am to 4 pm- through March. Through a self-guided tour that begins at the Welcome Center, The Farm at Prophetstown will give you a glimpse into 1920s farm life. There are many structures on the 100-acre property to explore including two farmhouses, a barn, blacksmith shop, machine shed, and a corn crib. Entrance to the Farm is free with your park entrance.
Biking- Make the bike trails your last adventure of the day. The Bike Trail Parking lot is right across the park road from the main entrance to the Farm. If you stay on the main bike path and take it all the way to the observation deck above the Tippecanoe River, it is just over 8 miles roundtrip. The bike path is paved the entire way and is great for all ages! It is a wonderful way to end your visit at the park😊
Hope you have a wonderful adventure!