Since the end of camping season is quickly approaching and the cooler air is coming in, we had our final camping trip of the year at Tipsaw Lake in Hoosier National Forest in St Croix, Indiana.  We stayed Friday through Sunday with three friends and our three dogs.  Since we sold our camper in hopes of upgrading and haven’t yet done so, Jason and I tent camped for the first time with all three dogs.  They did great!

We stayed in the Catbrier Loop of the Tipsaw Lake campground, one of five loops in the park and the only one with water hookups. (The other two loops are electric only). We stayed at site #005. When we arrived there were two other sites occupied and only one other site occupied by the time we left on Sunday morning so we almost had the entire loop to ourselves, which was surprising given the perfect weather.  We think this must be a hidden gem that a lot of people aren’t aware of.

The Catbrier loop was a short hike away from the public beach on the lake where there were also playgrounds, pavilions, bathhouses and a giant sun dial.  Since the beach generally has lifeguards on duty, they close down after Labor Day through Memorial Day for swimming, but you can still go down and walk on the beach and use the other facilities.

There is also a 6+ mile hiking trail that goes around the entire lake. The trails are cleared and provide beautiful views of the lake and the forest. I personally only hiked about 2 miles with a friend because we had two of the dogs with us and I didn’t think they would make it through 6+miles of hiking.  So we turned back and our other two friends went along and hiked the entire trail.

Tipsaw Lake Beach

The campground was very nice and peaceful. The sites are very large – we had a camper and two good sized tents plus two trucks and a dog pen set up with plenty of room to spare.  This is probably one of the largest campsites we’ve ever stayed on. The campground is very quiet – no playground, no traffic noise and no artificial lighting. By nighttime it really did feel like we were out in the middle of the forest!  The sites were level and had electric and water hookups.  There were restrooms located in our loop, however we had to go to a different loop to access a bathhouse.  The bathhouse was very clean and very spacious with large, concrete showers.   This was also the place to go to pick up ice and firewood as the loop host was parked beside the bathhouse and readily available for anything we needed.

I really can’t think of any negatives for this campground unless you require full hookups (sewer) or WIFI. We generally require WIFI, but since this campground is fairly close to the interstate we were able to pick up a decent 3G signal with our Verizon plan. However, our friend with AT&T didn’t get very good coverage at all.

This is a highly recommended campground, particularly if you are looking for a quiet get-away.

Have a look at all of our photos of our trip to Tipsaw Lake.