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“Great place”

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Prophetstown State Park Campground
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great place”
Reviewed June 3, 2014 via mobile

One of the best state parks in Indiana. Very quiet and very well maintained. The lake is very nasty over grown seaweed. Will definitely be returning. Camp in the front very private campsite. The back seemed very open not a lot trees.

Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Jen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lafayette, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2014

Does this place look boring at first glance? Yes. Is it? No - this place is fan-freaking-tastic for active people who want to bike, walk, and let the kids/dogs burn some energy. My husband and I bring our two year old and our dog in our camper. We exhaust those two, then have a few beers around the fire after they knock out for the night. It's relaxing for us - very respectful campers here and serene and clean setting. No high school partiers keeping our kid awake, just nice people laughing reasonably by their campfires (my 20 year old self would eye-roll at my 30 year old self, ha!).

The scenery is certainly different than Turkey Run or McCormick's Creek, so leave that expectation behind or you will be disappointed. It's such a shame to be disappointed at this place though! It looks like boring prairies, but take some walks on the hiking 'trails' and you will be sold. It is just breathtaking, and very relaxing.

Paved bike paths mean I can strap the kid in her bike trailer and take her for a long, smooth ride. Lots of grass for her to run in, and an awesome playground in the camping area (others throughout). In the summer, a water park with slides. Tons of open fields for playing.

The camp sites in the 100s have full hookups (electric, sewer, potable water) and most have basic cover with surrounding small pines. Some sites have more privacy than others, but on the reservation site you can view pictures of each site and get a pretty good idea. If you have a tent and it's supposed to be windy, you'd want to get a site with good tree cover. The wind does tunnel through! We have a hybrid camper with popout canvas beds, and we prefer to put the back towards some trees since that 's where our kid sleeps. It was a bit chilly for her this weekend with our spot that was more in the open (cold temperatures this weekend).

The sites in the 200s are out in the open, but with gorgeous views (of a field - might not be everyone's cup of tea). I'd imagine it would be too much for a tent on a windy day. They are $10 less per night than the 100s.

The park is very well maintained, and the people (including DNR folks) are unbelievably friendly. If you read the terms for camping here, there are some rules - # of cars in spots, parking lot for extra cars, rules to preserve the plants and surroundings for all of the other people who will visit in coming years. It's pretty standard amongst all state parks. I'm sorry for the poor experience someone above had - some of it seemed like a true misunderstanding (# of cars), but there is a special parking lot for extra cars (nearby) and really, you pulled the car under a shelter? Whaa? ......... So they told you to pull it out, what's the big deal? Your dissertation on why it was easier to pull your wet gear out with you car pulled in to the shelter was really irrelevant, and they didn't owe you the listening time. Give me a break. They are trying to keep the park nice for everyone else.

Anyway, great park. If you like being outdoors and being active, it's different and you will have a great time.

Room Tip: Sites in the 100s are better than the 200s
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank PooperScooperTrooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lowell, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 25, 2014

Whoever wrote the "better than a toothache" review hit it spot on. We also ventured to the Cracker Barrel near by. If you're looking for a quiet stay that caters to your Camper, this is your place. Otherwise, nope!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarahsays16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2013

All told, this park benefits from its lack of use. Being relatively new and certainly off the beaten path (an award should be given to those who can actually find it), Prophetstown is in good condition. Bathrooms and such are in great shape (they better be since they're never used) and the campsites are spacious enough. The problem is the location. It's incredibly dull. There is nothing of interest to see except tall grass and hints that something historic happened here once. I recommend plenty of alchohol if you camp here. You'll need it to pass the time.

The exposed wind-blown part of the campground is, well, really windy. Good luck in setting up your tent. Being required to peg your tent down on the not-ground-down-enough gravel is a bit like attending a vicious parochial school with a headmistress hovering over you ready to slam your knuckles if you flinch the wrong way. It's just that at this campsite they whack you even if you don't flinch, via the uncomfortable ground. It was agony sleeping on this stuff. I recommned bringing a portable waterbed, or perhaps a four-feet-thick stack of blankets. Frankly I'd rather sleep in the tall grass with the chiggers. I think a good nights sleep in exchange for a half pint of blood isn't too bad a deal compared with Ranger Nurse Ratchet forbidding me from camping anywhere but on a pile of sharp rocks. Sheesh!

The night passed quickly as thoughts of leaving this campground danced in my head. My wife and children slept, well, not-at-all, and my kids repeatedly apologized for everything they've ever done wrong after sleeping on the aforementioned pile of sharp rocks.

We attempted breakfast at the campsite, but the wind won, blowing everything a half mile to the east. Did I mention it's windy? Word to the wise: There is a very nice Cracker Barrel a couple exists down from the park. Coffee and biscuits never tasted so good.

All in all, it was better than a toothache, as bad as a bee-sting and much worse than a charlie horse. Next time I'm up for some self-imposed penance, I'll know where to pitch my tent!

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank eldrad2mustlive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marion, Indiana
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2013

Our in-laws trailer to wherever we've lived across this great country, and the rv/trailer experience at Prophet's Town has by far been the best. Great location, quiet, many well maintained paths to walk, playgrounds and other things for the kids to do outside. We highly recomend!

Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank Sarxist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2012

I met up with two old friends for a little reunion, hoping for a fun weekend of relaxation at this park. Unfortunately, the staff had other plans. We were treated rudely by several of the staff over the course of two days. In addition, our trip was cut short because our entire campsite was flooded after a 1.25" rain storm. I will discuss a few of the instances that have caused me to leave the title of this review. For anyone reading this, keep in mind- two of the three of us are avid campers and all three of us are respectful individuals (both of nature and of others around us). We are professionals (medical researcher, nurse, and rabbi) and are not loud or disruptive to our fellow campers.

Since the three of us were traveling from 3 different states, we each arrived in a separate compact car. At the gate into the camp, I asked specifically about the three cars. The person at the front office assured me that it wouldn't be a problem for the three cars to park, and she provided us with three car parking passes for the two days we were camping. Not 30 minutes after we arrived and began to set up our tents and campsite, a DNR employe drove up and scolded us (not in a nice tone of voice) saying that we couldn't have three cars in our campsite. While the restriction seemed arbitrary to us, we politely explained to the employee that we were setting up camp and planned to use the cars to store our food in overnight along with some of our gear. We moved one car to a parking lot on the far side of our site loop.

Twenty minutes later, the same DNR employee drove by yelling from his car that we were not allowed to tie a rope between two trees. No further explanation was given, and he didn't get out of his truck. Just yelled "not allowed" from his vehicle and waited until we understood what he was yelling at us about and we took the rope down.

Later that evening (we are still in the first night of this trip) the beloved DNR truck rolled around: this time he got out, and said we needed to move our second car now and that we couldn't park the third car where we did because we needed to leave that lot open for people to use the bathroom. Two campsites down there was an 40-50' RV with a car parked in a campsite. We pointed to that example (one of many RVs in the area that also had cars on site) and asked how we were any different than the people nearby. The DNR employee just shook his head, and treating us like we were children misbehaving, told us to move the car.

A warning to anyone who goes tent camping as we did: If it rains, your campsite can flood. I have camped in a tent countless nights and have been through many rain storms. I have never seen a campground that had graveled, designated campsites that floods as readily as this place! After a 20-40 minute rain storm (we were piled in my car to avoid being zapped by lightning) we came out to find both of our tents in 4 inches of standing water. This water stayed in our campsite for at least an hour. I say at least because I don't know when it drained. We left, defeated by the park and the campsite, to sleep in a dry hotel.

You also have to pay an RV rate per night because there are no tent-only camp sites in the park.

The next encounter with the rude park staff came the next morning when we came back to clean up our tents and to dry out our soaked gear for the trip home. We were almost alone in the park the morning of our checkout--the continued rain from the night before drove away most people from the park. We decided to take our stuff to a large unused picnic shelter to spread out our bags, tent, clothes etc. to let some of our stuff dry a bit. I drove my small car under the shelter to unload stuff while out of the rain. It was only a few minutes until a DNR truck drove up, telling us to "get the car out of his shelter." We understood it was unorthodox to use the picnic shelter for a carport, and we tried to explain what we were doing, but once again the camp staff was unreceptive to our situation and treated us with no respect as people who were doing NO DAMAGE to the park or to any other person.

We obeyed these rules, and it really isn't that they are good or bad or ridiculous rules. I understand that if you have a policy you enforce it. The issue is the way we were treated. The various staff we encountered (the camp host, 2 different DNR employees making rounds, and a manager--we did go and discuss our experience with the ranking employee before leaving for the weekend) treated us poorly. We were paying customers at the park, and we were treated like we were trespassing or in some way destroying the campground.

The positives to the camping weekend can be summed up in a short list. My two best friends are as wonderful and unshakable as ever, and the bathrooms are really clean and nice. The negatives: not a tent friendly camping ground, and deplorable staff. Taken in total, my friends and I will have camping adventures for many years to come, but none of us will ever go back to Prophetstown State Park.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Kelley D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marion, Indiana
Level Contributor
53 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2012

Very pleasant prairie experience. I suggest visiting if you're in the area. The working farm and Native American areas are both educational and interesting. Great place to bike. I really hope the State adds outdoor swimming!!!

Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank GoBlue3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Prophetstown State Park Campground

Property: Prophetstown State Park Campground
Address: 4112 State Road 225 E, P.O. Box 327, West Lafayette, IN 47906-9772
Location: United States > Indiana > West Lafayette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in West Lafayette
Number of rooms: 110

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