Picnic Areas & Shelter Houses

Picnic Areas

Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana is an ideal place for a day of picnicking, playing and relaxing. Throughout the park there are a total of twelve larger picnic areas with tables, grills and toilet facilities. There are many other picnic tables along the roadsides.

Some picnic areas are near playground equipment and/or playfields. Two picnic areas, one near Ogle Lake and one near Hesitation Point, have non-reservable shelterhouses containing electricity, picnic tables, grills, drinking water, and a fireplace. Wood is available from the Camp Store during summer months.

Ogle Lake picnic area and non-reservable shelter house

Reservable Shelter Houses

Brown County State Park has eight reservable shelterhouses that are open from 9 am to 11 pm. No overnight usage allowed. Shelters not reserved one day in advance will be open on a free, first come, first served basis. (See fees and reservation info below the shelter descriptions.)

Shelter houses are covered, non-enclosed buildings with electricity, picnic tables, grills and a parking spur (in general). However, each shelter is different. Some shelters include drinking water, modern restrooms, fireplaces and/or playgrounds.

Strahl Lake Shelter

C.C.C. Camp Shelter

There are open and semi wooded areas near the C.C.C. (Civilian Conservation Corps) Camp Shelter. Scenic overlooks are also nearby. This covered, open shelter seats about 50 people, and there are 20 parking spots available.

The C.C.C. Camp Shelter also has a vault toilet and large playground. Modern wheelchair accessible restrooms and drinking water are accessible at the Nature Center (0.6 miles away). The Camp Store is just 1 mile down the road.

CCC Camp Shelter

Hoosier's Nest Shelter

Hoosier's Nest Shelter resembles a small cabin. It has open windows and doors, a small second floor room, and front and back porches. This shelter accommodates up to 30 people, with many more picnic tables outdoors. There are about 10 parking spaces, with additional parking by the fire tower.

Hoosier's Nest Shelter is located near a very large open playing field, the Park Office and Fire Tower. It is in a very high traffic area. This shelter has a vault toilet and drinking water. Modern wheelchair accessible restrooms are nearby, and the Camp Store is just 1.1 miles down the road.

Hoosier's Nest Shelter

Lower Shelter

The Lower Shelter is the largest shelter house in Brown County State Park, accommodating up to 200 people. It is a 2-story building with 2 rooms in the upper level (measuring a total of 53' x 75') and one room in the lower level measuring 32' x 29'. Located near the north entrance to the Park, the Saddle Barn, tennis courts and a hiking trail are nearby.

The Lower Shelter offers fireplace grills, outdoor grills, drinking water, electricity, modern restrooms, a large grassy play area, and a playground. Wheelchair accessible restrooms are available at the nearby Abe Martin Lodge.

Lower Shelter

Recreation Building Shelter

The Recreation Building Shelter is an enclosed shelter that has 20 amp electrical service with 5 outlets. The building seats 100 people and has 28 parking spaces. There are 35 picnic tables. 8 parking spaces are close to the building, with 25 more possible, but campers also use these.

The Recreation Building Shelter also has drinking water, vault toilets and a playground. Modern wheelchair accessible restrooms are available nearby. The Camp Store is just across the road, and the Nature Center is just 0.6 miles away.

Recreation Building Shelter

Strahl Lake Shelter

The Strahl Lake Shelter is a partially enclosed shelter with a paved floor and 2 open fireplaces. Measuring 40' x 20' the building seats 75 people and has 30 parking spaces. There are swings and a large grassy area around the shelter, as well as a nearby hiking trail that goes around Strahl Lake and to the Nature Center.

The Strahl Lake Shelter also has drinking water, modern wheelchair accessible restrooms and vault toilets. The shelter is right by Strahl Lake, and a playground is just 0.6 miles away.

Strahl Lake Shelter

Tulip Tree Shelter

The Tulip Tree Shelter is an open shelter with a paved floor, a small grill and a group grill. It seats 50 people and has 15 parking spaces. The shelter also has vault toilets and a playground.

Located on the south side of the West Gate Road, the Tulip Tree Shelter sits in a private, semi-wooded area. Hiking Trail #8, leading to the West Lookout Tower or Ogle Lake, is nearby.

Tulip Tree Shelter

Upper Shelter

The Upper Shelter is a partially enclosed 59' x 30' building with a paved floor, as well as 20 amp electrical service with 4 outlets. It seats 100 people and has 55 parking spaces. The shelter also has 2 open fireplaces, drinking water, outdoor grills and picnic tables, modern wheelchair accessible restrooms, and a nice playground.

Across the road from the Upper Shelter is a large and popular picnic area.

Upper Shelter

Walnut Shelter

The Walnut Shelter is an open 31' x 17' building with a paved floor. The shelter seats 50 people and has 18 parking spaces. Located on the south side of the road to Ogle Lake, the Walnut Shelter offers a small grill, a group grill, a small playground, grassy play area, and vault toilets.

Walnut Shelter

Shelter House Fees

Shelter house fees may vary across dates. The displayed rates do not include any fees or taxes. You can find out specific rate information for your desired dates when reserving online or by phone.

C.C.C. Camp Shelter - $30/day ($35 on holidays)
Hoosier's Nest Shelter - $30/day ($35 on holidays)
Lower Shelter - $79.50/day ($84.50 on holidays)
Recreation Building Shelter - $40/day ($45 on holidays)
Strahl Lake Shelter - $40/day ($45 on holidays)
Tulip Tree Shelter - $30/day ($35 on holidays)
Upper Shelter - $45/day ($50 on holidays)
Walnut Shelter - $30/day ($35 on holidays)

Shelter House Reservations

Most of the eight reservable shelter houses may be reserved up to one year (to the day) in advance. 

To make reservations:

- Call toll free 1-866-6-CAMP-IN (1-866-622-6746) 

- Make online reservations

Reservation period is from 9 am to 11 pm daily. Shelters not reserved one day in advance will be open on a free, first come, first served basis.

NOTE: RVs & vehicles towing trailers must use the West Gate Entrance (off S.R. 46, west of Nashville).
The North Gate Covered Bridge is restricted to 9 foot height and 3 ton weight limits.
Horsemen's Campground users should use the entrance off 135 South.

Interested in other places to picnic or reserve shelter houses in Indiana?
Check out this great info on Indiana State Parks from IndianaOutfitters.com.

Note: This is not the official Park website. However, it is the most complete and easy-to-use site, with everything you need to plan a trip to Brown County State Park.

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