Puddle Jumping: 10 Indiana Lakes to Enjoy Now

They may not be the big fish, but these are also a catch.

Editor’s Note: For more Lakes coverage, click here.

Brookville Lake
Fed by the Whitewater River in eastern Indiana, this 5,260-acre lake offers a glut of affordable cabins (average home price is about $150,000). Fossil deposits, Indian mounds, and camping grounds encourage exploration at the Mounds and Quakertown state recreation areas.

Cataract Lake
A restored covered bridge and Cataract Falls (an 86-foot drop, the largest waterfall in the state) are nearby highlights of Indiana’s first flood-control reservoir. Some home prices check in under $200,000.

Eagle Creek Reservoir
With easy access to 1,350 acres of water, one of the nation’s largest municipal parks, and a thriving nature preserve, the condos and waterfront properties on the south (inhabited) end of Eagle Creek appeal to active, sporty types. Houses start at $150,000 and run into the millions.

Geist Reservoir
Pacers, Colts, executives, and other notable residents give Geist a reputation for excess. The summer lake scene gets raucous at times, but you can’t beat the commute. Listings start at $400,000.

Lake Gage
Vera Bradley cofounder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard owns a house on this body of water near Angola, if that tells you anything about the kind of company you’ll be keeping here. High-speed boating is allowed on the 327-acre glacial lake, and the Fawn River State Fish Hatchery keeps it well-stocked for anglers. Don’t expect to find many houses under $250,000.

Lake Lemon
Ten miles northeast of Bloomington, Lake Lemon is a quieter alternative to Lake Monroe. And while waterfront properties can run $500,000 and beyond, cabins farther inland are less expensive.

Lake Maxinkuckee
Known for the Indian mounds built on its banks, Maxinkuckee (meaning “big stone country”) is the second-largest natural lake in the state. The real estate around this 1,800-acre waterway can get pricey, with sprawling million-dollar lake houses.

Lake Shafer/Lake Freeman
Indiana’s “twin lakes” near Monticello are famous for fishing and their proximity to Indiana Beach amusement park. Shafer is the more commercial of the two, with several resorts. More residential, Freeman offers homes from $200,000 to $400,000.

Name Your Own
Kosciusko County abounds with lakes, none more private than this 30-foot-deep, as-yet-unnamed one on 158 acres priced at $2.8 million. Start making a list of clever monikers.

Winona Lake  
Perhaps best known for its Cerulean connection—chef Caleb France opened his original location here several years ago—Winona is fed by natural springs and features a charming historical district. Homes start at $100,000.


Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the July 2013 issue.