American history is frequently taught as if it didn’t even begin until Christopher Columbus set foot in the Bahamas in 1492. It’s an incredibly narrow viewpoint as there were significant civilizations and cultures that predate Columbus by thousands of years. One such group is the Mound Builders, who had settlements up and down the Mississippi and throughout the Great Lakes region.
Mounds State Park near Indianapolis preserves these people’s cultural heritage while also providing some great recreational opportunities in central Indiana. Mounds State Park is just over 200 acres and includes a section of the White River, a few of the famous mounds, and the historical Bronnerberg family home. Now let’s go exploring amidst the mysterious mounds of this beautiful state park.
Mounds State Park Facts
While many of Indiana’s state parks offer excellent hiking, cycling, and paddling opportunities, few can compare in terms of history. These are some of the more interesting Mounds State Park facts.
- The mounds are thought to be over two thousand years old, created by the indigenous Adena culture.
- It’s not entirely understood why these mounds were built, but it was likely for religious ceremonies.
- For about 30 years, at the turn of the 19th century, the area was home to an amusement park. Surprisingly, this development helped to preserve the archeological sites as it prevented agriculture and excavation.
- There are ten examples of indigenous earthworks in the park, with the three most impressive being Great Mound, Fiddle Back Mound, and Circle Mound.
- The White River flows along the western edge of the park and is a popular paddling destination for visitors.
Best Mounds State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
The easiest option for RV camping near Mounds State Park is to camp in the park itself. There are 58 sites, many with electrical hookups, along with showers and recreation facilities. However, these sites book up quickly during the summer, so it pays to have a few alternative options for RV parks near Mounds State Park.
Anderson/Muncie KOA Holiday
KOA’s are usually some of the best RV parks around, with reliable facilities, lots of activities, and a more communal feel than some of the other parks in the area. If you’re looking for family-friendly Mounds State Park RV sites minutes from the park, the Anderson/Muncie KOA Holiday is a solid bet.
Amenities: The park has a lake and two smaller ponds for swimming and fishing along with a dog park and bike rentals. Sites have 50 amp hookups and can accommodate 100 feet of RV rental.
Capacity: 86 RV sites
More Information: Anderson/Muncie KOA Holiday
Big Oak Campground
Another option for RV camping near Mounds State Park is the Big Oak Campground in Muncie. It’s about half an hour north of the park, but its location near Muncie makes it convenient for campers that want to do a little shopping in the city before heading out to the campsite.
Amenities: Sites offer 50 or 30 amp full hookups, with the latter receiving a significantly lower nightly rate. There are also flush toilets and showers available.
Capacity: 60 RV sites
More Information: Big Oak Campground
Walnut Ridge Campground
Half an hour to the southwest is one of the largest spots for RV camping near Mounds State Park. It’s also one of the more social RV parks with karaoke nights, corn hole tournaments, and golf course drag races. If you want to meet other travelers while staying in RV parks near Mounds State Park, you can’t do much better than Walnut Ridge.
Amenities: Sites at Walnut Ridge have 50 or 30 amp full hookups, along with Wi-Fi. There’s even a swimming pool, a mini-golf course, a playground, and an ice cream shop; it’s a child’s (and many adults’) dream vacation.
Capacity: 160 RV sites
More Information: Walnut Ridge Campground
White River Campground
Getting a bit further away, White River Campground sits on the northern edge of the Indianapolis suburbs and is a little over half an hour east of Mounds State Park. The park is owned by the county and offers a small discount for area residents. There’s a mix of developed and primitive sites and substantial recreational opportunities to enjoy.
Amenities: Sites can include electrical and water hookups, or none at all if that’s your style. A dump station inside the park boundaries can be used to empty your holding tank. There are laundry facilities, a playground, a boat launch of the White River, and numerous hiking trails to explore.
Capacity: 106 RV sites
More Information: White River Campground
Glowood is only 20 minutes to the southwest of Mounds State Park, conveniently located near the Interstate 69/Highway 13 interchange. This is one of the smallest Mounds State Park RV parks, which means it’s a little quieter most of the time, but also has fewer amenities.
Amenities: Sites offer full hookups with 50 amp electricity, and there’s also a swimming pool to cool off in.
Capacity: 45 RV sites
More Information: Glowood Campground
Best Time To Visit Mounds State Park for RV Camping
There isn’t really a best time to visit Mounds State Park, just better or worse times depending on what you want to do. Mounds State Park’s RV campground is open year-round, though the water gets turned off in November and doesn't come back until late March.
Central Indiana in the winter isn’t for everyone. Temperatures are regularly below freezing and snow blankets the ground, making the mounds less distinct. That being said, visitors prepared for winter can have a great time cross-country skiing through the park’s rolling hills. Crowds will be non-existent and you may have the place to yourself in the middle of a weekday.
The grass is turning green and the birds are singing again. It’s also a time of unpredictable weather and crowds. Be aware that the Indianapolis 500 race takes place towards the end of May, and camping gets booked up months in advance and hotel prices are sky-high. Memorial day weekend may not be the best time for RV camping at Mounds State Park.
If you’re getting an RV rental near Mounds State Park in the summer, be prepared for heat, humidity, and bigger crowds. That being said, it just might be the best time for RV camping in Mounds State Park with its loads of recreational opportunities. The campground is sure to have all its facilities open too.
It doesn’t get much better than RV camping at Mounds State Park in the fall. The leaves usually change color sometime in late November, and the park gets a fair number of leaf peepers. While it’s too cold for paddling, most of the park’s other activities can still be enjoyed.
Things To Do in Mounds State Park
Camping and hiking are the main things to do in Mounds State Park, but if you’re staying for more than one night there are several other activities to enjoy. Some of your best options when camping in an RV rental at Mounds State Park include:
- Hiking: Take a hike with one of the park’s naturalists to learn about the region’s history, plant life, and animals.
- Picnicking: Have a picnic, and ponder what life was like for the indigenous groups that made their home here a thousand or more years ago.
- Swimming: Go for a refreshing dip in the park’s pool on a hot summer day.
- Fishing: Try your hand at fishing in the White River (state fishing license required).
- Running: Go for a run on the five-mile pathway linking the mounds area to the campground.
Tips for Visiting Mounds State Park
- The park isn’t all that big, so it’s easy to walk from one end to the other (from the campgrounds to the main three mounds).
- Swimming at one of the beaches on the river is at your own risk. Currents are generally much faster during the spring runoff in May and early June.
- Kayaks and canoes can be rented in Indianapolis and launched into the White River from inside the park.
- A variety of birds make their home at Mounds State Park, you can learn how to identify them and their calls at the park’s nature center.
- Know your size –– roads inside the park are narrow and you’ll need to watch for overhanging branches.
RV Rental for Mounds State Park
Do the mysterious hills of Mounds State Park sound like your kind of adventure? If you’re ready to explore and need an RV rental, Cruise America has one of the best selections of vehicles in the country.
No matter your style of travel, Cruise America has an RV rental to suit your needs –– compact, standard-sized, all the way up to the luxurious and large. Unlike RV-share companies, Cruise America’s RVs are inspected after every rental and are guaranteed to be reliable.
Contact Cruise America to see how you start your RV rental adventure today!