Rules & Regulations


PropertyCamping Restrictions | Camping Manners | Pets | Firewood

Rules for all DNR properties can be found in Article 8 of the Indiana Administrative Code.

State Park & Reservoirs rules

Visitors shall observe the following rules, which are designed to fulfill the purpose for which state parks were established, namely, to preserve a primitive landscape in its natural condition for the public’s use and enjoyment.

  • Do not injure or damage any structure, rock, tree, flower, bird or wild animal. Do NOT gather limbs, brush or trees (either dead or alive) for firewood because they rebuild the natural humus.
  • Any firearm (except validly licensed handguns) BB gun, air gun, CO2 gun, bow and arrow, or spear gun in possession in a state park must be unloaded or un-nocked and stored in a case or locked within a vehicle, except when the owner is participating in an activity authorized by written permit.
  • Dogs and cats must be attended at all times and kept on a leash no longer than six feet. More pet rules.
  • Vending or advertising without permission of the Department of Natural Resources is prohibited.
  • Camping is permitted only in the campground. Youth groups must be under adult supervision.
  • Please comply with the Carry In/Carry Out trash policy in all day-use areas. Overnight guests must put waste in receptacles provided for that purpose.
  • Motorists shall observe posted speed limits, and park only in designated areas.
  • Swimming is limited to places and times set by the DNR.
  • Drinking water should be taken only from pumps, hydrants or fountains provided for that purpose. This water is tested regularly for purity.
  • Report lost or found articles to the park office.
  • All motorized vehicles shall remain on paved roadway. Snowmobiles are prohibited.
  • Bicycles must be used only on roadways and are not allowed on hiking trails.


  • Lifeguards are on duty at all swimming pools.
  • Depending on lifeguard availability, many swimming pools reduce hours of operation in the early and late parts of the season. Contact the property directly for specific hours of operation.
  • A Swim at Your Own Risk policy is in effect at all beaches except at Indiana Dunes State Park.
  • Swimming pools and the beaches may close toward the end of the summer season when lifeguards are unavailable.
  • Pool hours may vary by property.
  • For any up-to-the minute changes, contact the property you plan to visit. Property phone numbers can be found in the Indiana Recreation Guide.
  • For pool operations, all infants, toddlers or small children who are not "potty trained" shall be required to wear an elasticized swim diaper before entering the pool area.
  • Fecal incidents may result in closure of the pool. These closures can last from several hours to 24 hours.
  • For children age 12 and under to enter a beach or pool area they must be supervised by someone age 16 or older.

Other rules

  • How to be a good camper.
  • Camping restrictions on stays, ages, visitors.
  • Help your dog be a good guest.
  • Buy your firewood from a vendor.
  • Geocache placement permitted with approval.
  • Gold prospecting not permitted in state parks and reservoirs.
  • Commercial filming and photography allowed with permit. Instructions. Agreement.
  • Motor Driven Airborne Devices: Motor-driven airborne devices (RC airplanes) should be operated in designated areas only or with clearance from property management. Drones are not currently permitted on DNR properties.
  • Use of DNR Property by Private Organizations: Special Events Permit/License. If an individual, business or  other group wishes to host an event such as a public meeting, parade, contest, competition, sporting activity or other special event or activity on a DNR property, that individual or organization must obtain a Special Events Permit/License as required by 312 IAC 8-2-15. The application for a license/permit can be obtained by contacting the property manager at the location where the event is proposed. The application should be completed and submitted for review at least 30 days prior to the event, and must be approved prior to any publicity for the event. An application fee of $25 is required, and additional fees may apply depending on the nature of the event.