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cheffy

campin in indiana

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OK group, our troop is looking at doing some caving in Indiana at a place called Marengo Caves. We are coming from SE Mich. the drive on a Friday night looks long. We are looking for a camp somewhere about an hour north of Indy. From our calculations this should make the trip to the cave about an hour and 20 min. If anybody knows different or has suggestions let me know. Thanks

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Cheffy - You should look into staying either in the Hoosier National Forest Area or, my favorite, in or near the most beautiful college campus in the USA, Indiana University (Bloomington) :> There is the Morgan Monroe State Park north of Bloomington on SR 37, probably a good place for the group but about 1.5 hours past your desired point. Unfortunately, the only thing north of Indianapolis is corn.

 

If you have a chance, go see Orangeville Rise, the Wesley Chapel Gulf (http://www.indianaoutfitters.com/Destinations/Hoosier_National/wesley.htm) or the other features associatged with the Lost River area, which is an excellent area for karst topography. I even got to see the Lost River reclaim its' banks as a student long ago - very cool.

 

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Sorry again on the double post - this mouse pad is dring me nuts!(This message has been edited by NIscouter)

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Has this trip been taken yet? I might be able to help as I live about an hour north of Indy. I've been to Marengo too..it's Nice!

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Been to Marengo a long time ago. Don't remember much about it. Like some others, I know of lots of camping options south of Indy, but can't think any places north of it. Let us know how it goes.

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There is camping at Marengo Caves: http://www.marengocave.com/groups/lodging.php

 

You might consider Brown County State Park or Spring Mill State Park. State Parks in IN charge admission and increased their camp fees a few years ago; hunting is not permitted. Yellowwood State Forest or Morgan-Monroe State Forest (as mentioned above) are some other choices south of Indy; camping may be less expensive and more primitive than at State Parks. Deam Wilderness in Hoosier National Forest is another possibility for backcountry camping. There are a couple of Scout camps (Ransburg and another one) south of Lake Monroe.

 

FYI, Bluesprings Cavern in S. IN has a program in which groups can sleep IN the cave: http://www.bluespringcaverns.com/Overnight.html

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My son's Troop went to Marengo this winter and had a good time! They stayed in a cabin, as it was too cold to get wet caving and then camp, but they have camped in past years. The people that run the program were very helpful and can include a variety of activities possible, including: Climbing Tower, Zipline, Team Courses, Cave Crawls.

http://www.marengocave.com/ (website for the cave itself)

http://www.adventureindiana.com/nag/ (website for the pre-paid activities)

 

Our Troop and my son's Cub Pack in the past have gone to Bluesprings Caverns and it was atrocious. There was an open sewer and some of the parent/doctors were literally concerned about disease! I think it's been about 3 years since they last went, so perhaps Bluesprings has cleaned up their act (it was a great winter option, since as the other Mom pointed out, they could camp in the cave).

 

Also, as she pointed out, Ransburg, our biggest camp is really pretty wonderful!

http://www.crossroadsbsa.org/camping/ransburg.htm

http://www.ransburgbsa.org/

 

Here is a good reference website http://www.peteandedbooks.com/inor.htm

 

Good luck!

Anita

Indianapolis

 

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Uh,oh! I didn't read your question well - I was so excited to tell you about Marengo Caves, I didn't realize you were asking for places to stay part way. Sorry.

Our local Council has a Webelos camp http://www.crossroadsbsa.org/camping/info/kikt.pdf that at times allows non-summer campers. It's a great camp, and is about 45 minutes north of Indy.

 

Our other Council camps are in the wrong place for your needs. Hope this helps a bit more!

 

Take Care,

Anita

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When I was a scout(back in the EVIL scouting era of the 70's. Troop 9, Old KY Home Council) we took a trip to Indiana that included exploring and camping in a cave overnight and next day tubing down a river. I can't remember where it was though but we started the float at the base of a "BIG" dam (well for a 13yo) and floated most of the day. It was one of the best trips I took as a Scout.

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I am sorry. I just reread the original post and realized that they want to camp an hour north of Indy. Since they wanted to be an hour and a half away from Marengo Cave, I assumed that they would want to be about an hour south of Indy, since it takes 2.5 - 3 hours to get to Marengo Cave from Indianapolis.

 

Assume you are coming down I-69, you might want to consider camping at Mounds State Park in Anderson, about 45 minutes from Indy.

 

BSA Camp Belzer is just off I-465 on the east side of Indy - I don't know whether it would be available for troop overnight use, though. It is mainly used as a Cub Day Camp. BSA Camp Red Wing is in the Muncie area, (about an hour+ NE of Indy) but I don't know anything else about it.

 

If you would rather drive farther on Friday and be an hour or less from Marengo Cave in the morning, you might consider Clark State Forest. It is on the way on I-65. Wyandotte Woods SRA is very close to Marengo Cave, and Wyandotte Caves SRA is even closer.

 

And it is not true that there is nothing north of Indy except corn...you can also see fields of wheat or soybeans. :) And there are some unique tourist attractions north of Indy, e.g. a park in Kokomo has a stupendous sycamore stump in a small building which also houses an equally stupendous stuffed steer.:)

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