Indianapolis, IN: Whitewater Memorial Loop

Dip into Whitewater Lake and the wooded heart of Indiana's 3rd largest state park with this 2.6-mile loop an hour and a half from Indianapolis.
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Dip into Whitewater Lake and the wooded heart of Indiana's 3rd largest state park with this 2.6-mile loop an hour and a half from Indianapolis.

Whitewater Memorial State Park, Indiana's 3rd largest, was created in 1949 as a living memorial for Indiana's WWII soldiers. Although the Memorial Trail is accessible from many park locations, this mapped route starts from the fishing pier and boat launch area to create a 2.6-mile lollipop loop.
For the first 0.75-miles, the trail hugs Whitewater's shoreline, passing a sheltered picnic area before climbing a short, steep section leading inland. A playground, naturalist cabin and several covered picnic areas--as well as restroom facilities--may slow you down through this section, especially if you've got children in tow. Along the road, but staying south of the campground area, the route turns right at the Poplar Grove picnic shelter to rejoin the trail. The last mile heads south, dipping into a streambed and crossing the park road a final time before descending a small hill toward the trailhead and parking area.
To make a day of this trip, bring a few fishing rods for a post-hike crappie and bass bonanza, or drive toward the Lake's northeastern shore for a swim.
-Mapped by Swati Gunale

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.2

Waypoints

WWM001

Location: 39.6052831, -84.9682564

There is plenty of parking at this lot near the boar ramp and fishing pier.

WWM002

Location: 39.6055601, -84.9673605

This signed access point to the Memorial Loop Trail is on the north end of the parking area.

WWM003

Location: 39.6071926, -84.9661508

Continue straight @ 3-way junction to follow the loop clockwise, staying low on the lakeside trail.

WWM004

Location: 39.613679, -84.961712

After passing the playground, naturalist cabin, and beach road, continue to the Poplar Grove Shelter where the trail leads right to re-enter the woodlands.

WWM005

Location: 39.6095566, -84.9604511

The trail dips into a small stream and then climbs this small hill on its south side.

WWM006

Location: 39.6062833, -84.9611807

Go straight across the park road before descending for 0.25 mile to close the loop section of this route and backtrack to the parking area.

The Naturalist Cabin

Location: 39.6137058, -84.9615347

South Shelter Access

Location: 39.6067214, -84.9693024

There are several marked trailheads to this loop trail through the park's high-traffic areas. © Amanda Tikkanen

Whitewater Lake

Location: 39.6094822, -84.968487

An western view of Whitewater Lake from the shore-side trail. © Amanda Tikkanen

Trail

Location: 39.611937, -84.9638093

During winter,the trail is still accessible and easy to follow. © Amanda Tikkanen