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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

State Parks & Reservoirs > Parks & Reservoirs > Prophetstown State Park Prophetstown State Park

Prophetstown State Park

Mailing Address:
4112 E. State Road 225
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(765) 567-4919

Mapping Address:
5545 Swisher Road
West Lafayette, IN 47906

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DESCRIPTION

Indiana’s newest state park, Prophetstown is located where the Tippecanoe River meets the Wabash near the town of Battle Ground. The park's landscape has been shaped by ice from glaciers, moving water, fire and human hands that helped maintain the vast tall prairie grass. Native American people hunted and lived along the two rivers for thousands of years. French trappers and traders found the land teeming with wildlife, and European farmers discovered that the rich, deep prairie soils grew healthy corn and wheat.

The park is named for a Native American village located between the rivers established by Tecumseh, who was Shawnee, and his brother Tenskwatawa (The Prophet) in 1808. Tecumseh led his band there from Ohio, where pressure from white settlers had forced him to leave. Tecumseh believed the only way to repel the advance of European settlement was to form an alliance with other tribes. He traveled widely persuading tribes to join his coalition. More than 14 tribes set aside centuries-old disputes to stop their common enemy. They met at Prophetstown, and heard The Prophet speak. Tecumseh anticipated their sheer numbers would be enough to stop the westward settlement.

William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, was alarmed by the numbers at Prophetstown, and moved 1,200 troops to the site while Tecumseh was south gathering additional support. Wanting to avoid a fight, yet fearing an attack, The Prophet decided to strike first in the early morning hours of Nov. 7, 1811. The battle lasted two hours. As darkness faded, the villagers withdrew through the marsh back to Prophetstown, then fled to Wildcat Creek. Harrison's men burned Prophetstown to the ground.

Through our unique partnership with The Farm at Prophetstown, visitors can discover 1920s farm lifestyles and take a stroll through 900 acres of restored prairie. We are restoring native habitats at Prophetstown, such as wetlands, wet slopes called fens, prairie and open woodlands. We are creating places for you to enjoy the outdoors, with camping, hiking, birding and biking. When the restoration is complete, a visitor will be able to step back into time and observe a restored landscape similar to what Native American people experienced.

Driving Directions

Take I-65 to exit number 178 which is SR 43 go south on SR 43 (away from the park---trust me this is correct) for a very short distance and then turn left onto Burnett Rd. Burnett Road will "T" into 9th St. Go right on 9th St. to Swisher Road which will be a hard left immediately after the Veterinary Office. Once on Swisher Road you will cross back over the Interstate and find the Park Gatehouse directly ahead.

Prophetstown Gate Fee

$6 - noncommercial vehicles with Indiana license plates, every day including holidays. Includes combined entrance into the park and The Farm at Prophetstown.
$8 - noncommercial vehicles with out-of-state license plates, every day including holidays. Includes combined entrance into the park and Historic Prophetstown.

ACTIVITIES

Camping - See campground maps under MAPS tab

  • Full Hook-up: 55 sites
  • Electric: 55 sites
  • Dumping Station

INFORMATION

Nearby Places

DESCRIPTION OF HIKING TRAILS

Note: For trail locations, view the property map under the MAPS tab.

1. EASY (2.25 miles)—Starts at the Meadow View family picnic parking lot and winds through a former Christmas tree plantation of Douglas Fir and then snakes its way through tallgrass prairie, adjacent to the Prairie View group picnic area, with big bluestem, Indian grass, little bluestem, side oats grama, and black-eyed Susan. The trail continues into a fen and meanders through this marshy area, where you may get your feet wet, before entering a field being invaded by osage orange, wild cherry, mulberry, and multiflora rose. The trail ends at the Meadow View family picnic area parking lot.

2. MODERATE (1.9 miles)—Begins on Trail 1, north of the Blazingstar picnic shelter in the Prairie View group picnic area. The trail meanders through the tallgrass prairie before entering a shaded path along scenic Harrison Creek. Spring and summer wildflowers treat hikers to a stunning display of color as the trail winds through a mixed deciduous forest, past a pond formed by Harrison Creek, and into the fen. The trail continues through a mature sycamore grove before merging with Trail 1 at the fen boardwalk north of the campground.

3. MODERATE (3.5 miles) – Begins off of trail 2 near the east end of the pond and follows a gravel road eventually leading to the confluence of the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers where the trail becomes a dirt path. Before reaching the rivers while walking through a large, floodplain prairie, a visitor will observe large wetland restoration projects, a large bottomland forest replacement tree planting, and a river bank stabilization project along the Wabash River that were a joint effort between the DNR and INDOT. The trail will then lead along the Tippecanoe River, cross a bottomland prairie and will lead hikers to a contour trail providing stunning overlooks of perched fens formed by many hillside seeps. The trail will end near the starting point of the trail just uphill from the north end of the pond. Note, this trail will be closed during flood events.

4. EASY (2.1 miles) – Begins at trail 3 near the Tippecanoe River and meanders through a heavily shaded floodplain forest following the river until entering into a floodplain prairie. The trail will lead hikers to the furthest northern boundary of the park where it will return upon the same path back to the trail 3. Note, this trail will be closed during flood events.

BIKE / HIKING TRAIL (3.5 miles)—EASY: This initial paved section starts near the park gatehouse and connects all the current facilities at the state park. The trailhead parking lot can accommodate 20 vehicles. The Meadow View family picnic parking lot serves as another trailhead, providing a modern restroom, water and picnic shelter.

PLEASE STAY ON MARKED TRAILS.

GALLERY