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Harmonie State Park
A Visit to Harmonie State Park
Harmonie State Park lies in the southwest corner of Indiana along the banks of the Wabash river. It's bordered by Illinois to the west and Kentucky lies a short distance to the south. It's a natural setting with hardwoods, pines, and a gently rolling landscape. There are a few small streams and ravines, but no lakes at Harmonie.
On this page I'll share just a few photos of the park and provide some information to help you plan your own trip there. My visit to Harmonie State Park took place on September 30, 2010. The end of summer in this area is often dry, but it was exceptionally so in 2010. The small streams were nothing but a trickle and trees were already beginning to shed their leaves.
About Harmonie State Park
Harmonie State Park covers an area of 3,465 acres. The park can easily be access off of interstate 64 and lies directly on Indiana State Road 269. It is situated just 4 miles south of the tiny, historic town of New Harmony, Indiana. The quaint town of New Harmony was the site of a couple of utopian communities and is an interesting stop for those exploring the area. You can learn more about New Harmony here. There is also a short video discussing the town below.
Harmonie State Park was established in 1966 and offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy but, more than anything, it provides a chance to relax and enjoy nature in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
Staying at Harmonie State Park
The park does not offer an inn for visitors. It has other accommodations however. The campground has 200 electrical sites but no individual water or sewage hookups. Advance reservations can be made here. There is also a Youth Tent Area and 11 family cabins with electric heat and air conditioning available. Reservations can also be made by calling 1-866-6campIN.
There is no restaurant available onsite. Certainly nearby New Harmony and the larger town of Evansville, Indiana (approximately 25 miles away) offer choices for dining and lodging if necessary. PIcnic areas, with grills, are available throughout the park for those who bring in food. All trash must be carried out except in the campground areas.
Activities at Harmonie State Park
While there is no saddle barn or horses for rent at Harmonie, there is a 4 mile horse trail for those who wish to bring their horses for day use. This rail lies at the southeast end of the park and begins near the Locust Knoll picnic area.
Fishing is allowed in the two wildlife ponds in the campground area in the center of the park. Fishermen can also fish on the Wabash River from the adjacent picnic area. There is a boat launch there as well.
There are a number of picnic grounds and covered picnic shelters as well. Grills, restrooms, and water fountains are generally located in these areas too. From Memorial Day to Labor Day (end of May to the first week of September) visitors can also enjoy swimming in the Olympic-size pool on the north east side of the park.
Hiking and mountain biking are also popular activiites at Harmonie.
Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails at Harmonie State Park
There are two trails designated for mountain biking at Harmonie, although hikers can enjoy them as well. Trail 1 is four miles long and is rated as a Beginners level trail. It lies at the southern tip of the park and can be picked up at the Sycamore Ridge Shelter parking lot. The intermediate level trail, trail 2, runs from the Sycamore Ridge Shelter to another parking area 1.5 miles to the west.
There are 6 trails designated for hiking only at Harmonie State Park. Trail 1 is one mile long. It can be picked up across the road from the Cherry Hill Shelter parking lot or in the Youth Tent Area. It is a basic loop trail that takes hikers through wooded terrain primarily. Hikers will pass a huge pecan tree along the way. The terrain is gently rolling and provides an easy to moderate hiking challenge.
Trail 6 is an easy .75 mile trail that provides level terrain in the woods surrounding the Cherry Hill Shelter/picnic area.
Trail 4 can also be picked up in this vicinity. It is a 2.5 mile loop, that again provides good footing and a rolling terrain for a moderate hiking challenge. Assuming that the season hasn't been characterized by drought, hikers will even get some nice view of winding streams that run among the small ravines which are common in the area.
For a quick easy stroll by the river, the River Walk is only .25 mile long and can be picked up at the boat launch. It runs up to the adjacent Wabash River Picnic area. Trail 2 can easily be taken near this picnic area parking lot and taken West over to, and through, the campground area, looping back to the Wabash River Picnic Area. It's another moderate hike and is 1.5 miles long.
Trail 5 is located in the campground/family cabin area itself. It's a leisurely .75 mile long walk that takes you past the wildlife pond.
Trail 3 can be found at the northern end of the park, not far from the park entrance. It runs through the Poplar Grove area and is 1 mile long.
A property map that shows all of the trails can be found here.
For those who want more walking or bicycling, a stroll around New Harmony, which is four miles away, can be a nice change of pace. The town also offers a bicycle path for getting a better look at the surrounding countryside.