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trail sign for Ballard Lake Nature trail at Indian Mountain State Park

trail sign for Ballard Lake Nature trail at Indian Mountain State Park. Photo: Brian Stansberry, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Famed for its campgrounds, Indian Mountain State Park is a multi-use park in Campbell County near Tennessee’s northern border, in Jellico. Imagine a mountain valley with a beautiful lake where you can swim, fish, hike, or set up a picnic. Indian Mountain is one of the most beautiful places to go for a weekend getaway. Although it goes by the name “Indian Mountain”, the state park is actually located at the base of Indian Mountain.

The 213-acre Tennessee state park was a strip mine and serves as one of the most successful cases of reclamation. The park resides in the middle of the floodplain of Elk Creek and it includes a small lake and several large ponds that fill the park’s central area.

Indian Mountain State Park offers you the best outdoor experience you could ask for. The park location looks like it came straight out of a movie. The park resides at the base of an imposing mount coated by beautiful trees. The park itself is made of a small lake and other ponds with large areas of beautiful grass perfect for picnicking. The breeze from the lake will cool you down on a hot day.

Camping in this park has raving reviews mainly due to the park’s facilities and breathtaking sites. There are 49 fully equipped campsites at the park. The campgrounds have some nice concrete pads, plenty of shade, and full electrical hookups for RVs. The campgrounds are also very well maintained.

You should also picnic here when you visit one of the three picnic pavilions. There are three walking trails in the park for exploration and you could spot wildlife during your walks. There are plenty of fish in the lake and many ponds all over the park. Paddling can also be done at Indian Mountain Lake. You can bring your own boat or rent a pedal boat at the lake.

Activities

The setting of Indian Mountain State Park presents a wide range of activities that can be enjoyed by all ages. The lake offers swimming, fishing, and paddling for lovers of water activities. There are two walking trails for hikers to explore and one paved loop as well. Camping is the most popular activity in this park.

Camping

Camping is pretty popular in Indian Mountain State Park with very good reviews from campers who have visited the park. The campground is open year-round and has 47 sites. The sites have paved pads that serve both tent and RV campers. The sites have been equipped with sewer, water, and 20-, 30-, and 50-amp hookups.

All sites are fitted with picnic tables and grills. At the center, there is a modern bathhouse containing restrooms and hot showers. A dump station is also available. Firewood is sold at the camp store which is open seasonally. The campground is winterized which means that all water including the bathhouse is turned off from November 1-March 31.

Paddling

The park allows personal canoes and kayaks on the lake. The daily watercraft permit is $6. You can also rent kayaks, pedal boats, and paddle boats during the summer months.

Below are the rates;

  • Kayak: $8 – $11 hourly
  • Paddleboard: $8 hourly
  • Pedal Boat: $6 – $12 hourly

Hiking

The park has two official walking trails that wind through the park on both sides of Elk Creek. The Indian Mountain Lake Trail is a 1-mile paved trail that loops around the east bank of Indian Mountain Lake. It’s perfect for walking and offers phenomenal lake views. The Ballard Lake Nature Trail loops along the forested banks of Ballard Lake. Another half-mile trail runs around the pong at the southeastern part of the park.

Here are the main trails in Indian Mountain State Park;

  • Ballard Lake Trail: 0.75 miles, natural surface, easy
  • Indian Mountain Lake Trail: 1.0 miles, paved surface, easy
  • Airplane Pond Trail: 0.75 miles, natural surface, moderate
  • Elk Creek Trail: 0.5 miles, natural surface, moderate
  • Boy Scout Trail: 0.5 miles, natural surface, easy

Fishing

With the lake and the small ponds planking the center of the lake, there’s no shortage of fish in Indian Mountain State Park. Personal canoes, kayaks, and electric motors are allowed on the lake. Remember to get a fishing license before visiting the park. You can rent a row boat and pedal boat seasonally.

The 21-acre Indian Mountain “B” Lake is full of bass, Bluegill, and catfish. The park has provisions that Black bass must be a minimum of 15 inches. Row boat rentals go for $4 per hour.

Birding

There are nest boxes of Bluebirds and tree swallows around the main lake. You can spot waterfowl in the flooded pits, along the stream and lakeshore. You can check out more birding locations when you visit the park.

Park Location

Indian Mountain State Park
143 State Park Circle
Jellico, TN 37762
Phone: 423.566.5870

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Indian Mountain State Park: