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
- Distance: 4.2
Location: 39.6052831, -84.9682564
There is plenty of parking at this lot near the boar ramp and fishing pier.
Location: 39.6055601, -84.9673605
This signed access point to the Memorial Loop Trail is on the north end of the parking area.
Location: 39.6071926, -84.9661508
Continue straight @ 3-way junction to follow the loop clockwise, staying low on the lakeside trail.
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.
Location: 39.6095566, -84.9604511
The trail dips into a small stream and then climbs this small hill on its south side.
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
Location: 39.6094822, -84.968487
An western view of Whitewater Lake from the shore-side trail. © Amanda Tikkanen
Location: 39.611937, -84.9638093
During winter,the trail is still accessible and easy to follow. © Amanda Tikkanen