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Indiana Celebrates 100 Years Of State Parks

Dave Emerson

Indiana State Parks kicked off their 100th birthday celebration at McCormick’s Creek State Park in Owen County today, the first of many events planned leading up to the official centennial next year.

McCormick’s Creek was established as Indiana’s first state park in 1916. A full year of events celebrating that anniversary started Wednesday, as dozens of people gathered at the park’s Canyon Inn for a traditional 1916-style breakfast followed by a hike.

Park Manager Dwight Brooks says McCormick’s Creek was actually a gift to the state for its centennial.

"We need to celebrate the fact that this park and many parks like it are out there for the people and the citizens of Indiana to come out here and relax and enjoy," he says.

Since the state park system was established, it’s grown to include 24 properties.  

State Parks Deputy Director for Stewardship Ginger Murphy says she hopes the centennial will get every Hoosier to visit at least one.

"We’re putting annual passes in every library in the state," she says, "So that if people haven’t ever visited a state park before they can go check out a pass at their library and make their first visit."

Each state park will host its own birthday celebration over the next year.

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