Harmonie State Park
Harmonie State Park sits on the eastern bank of the Wabash River in extreme southwestern Indiana. It is a relatively new park, dating from 1966, and there are signs throughout of displaced civilization. You won’t have to look hard to find (or smell) old roads and operational oil wells. It’s not my favorite park, but it does have its own redeeming characteristics.
Like other natural areas in the corners and along the edges of the state, Harmonie is home to many plants and animals that are rare or non-existent elsewhere in Indiana. For example, cypress trees are common here. This southern species favors very wet or even submerged soils; their buttressed trunks flare into the dark water, often surrounded by emergent “knees”.
There are a half dozen trails, but many follow old roads and few are more than about a mile long. None are very challenging. At two-and-a-half miles, Trail 4 is the longest, and gets my vote as the best. Though it has its share of road walking, it also follows a nice little creek for a while, incorporates a bit of climbing, and passes a number of large trees.
Another point in Harmonie’s favor: perhaps because of its rather remote location, it doesn’t seem to get a lot of use. I’ve noted sparse crowds even on a gorgeous June weekend, with numerous sites available at the campground. Many of the facilities appeared to be waiting for someone to show up and use them.
If you're in the area, I suggest a visit to the nearby town of New Harmony. Lutheran communalists arrived in 1814, but packed up and sold their holdings to Robert Owen’s utopian community in 1825. Both groups are long gone, but much of the town they built remains, and it is rich with history.
Posey County. From the intersection of IN 69 and IN 269, west 0.9 miles on IN 269 to the park entrance.
North 38 05.390 West 87 56.515
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Campground; nature center; cabins; water
Nearby Natural Areas
Bloom: Hiking Indiana; Page 165
Goll: Indiana State Parks; Page 97
Habeck: Wild Indiana; Page 97
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
McPherson: Indiana Best Hikes; Page 471
McPherson: Nature Walks in Southern Indiana; Page 502