Lafayette, IN – Prophetstown State Park Review
Website: Prophetstown State Park
Getting There: The route to get here after exiting I-65 was rather convoluted but presented no real problems. Don’t use the official campground address, those are the administrative offices, instead for your GPS use 5545 Swisher Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906. The Swisher Road address will bring you to the Main Gate entrance (which is where you want to be). From I-65, take exit 178 (State Road 43), south on State Road 43 to Burnett Road to 9th Street Road (1/2 mile), right on 9th Street Road to Swisher Road (3/4 mile), left on Swisher Road to park entrance (1-1/2 miles).
Date(s) of Stay: April 16, 2017 arrival, April 19, 2017 departure.
Named for a Native American village located between the rivers established by Tecumseh, who was Shawnee, and his brother Tenskwatawa (The Prophet) in 1808, this park is located where the Tippecanoe River meets the Wabash near the town of Battle Ground northeast of Lafayette. It is Indiana’s newest big rig friendly park offering not only 110 beautiful sites (55 are full hookup, 55 are electric only) but a seasonal aquatic center ($5 per person), a visitor center and numerous hiking/biking trails. Nearby there is an opportunity to explore a 1920’s farmstead which is a working training farm highlighting sustainable agriculture, homesteading, heirloom gardening, and farm to table cooking. During the peak summer months, there are a lot of activities at the farm as well as the State Park.
A map of the campground can be found here. A map of the entire State Park can be found here. Note that the checkin/checkout time Mon-Sat is 2PM, however checkin/checkout time on Sundays is an unusual 5PM. We arrived around 4PM on a Sunday and were surprised at all the traffic still leaving the park.
For our online reservation we paid $76.68 including $7.68 in taxes and a $5 reservation fee. When we arrived at the gate we paid an additional $10 entrance fee (good for the length of stay) bringing our average nightly rate to $43.34/night all inclusive. Rates vary by day of the week, currently $32 (Sun-Wed), $42 (Thu-Sat) and $46 for holiday weekends plus taxes. In addition, IN residents pay a one time $8 entrance fee and non-residents pay $10 at the gate. Plus there is a $5 reservation fee when reserving online. If only staying a night or two, the entrance fee and reservation fee can skew the effective nightly rate considerably. While we feel the campground is worth the high effective rates, try to plan your stay early in the week and stay as long as you can to minimize the daily average. Current rate info can be found on Reserve America.
Overall Impression – 4.0/5
What a lovely campground! Initially, after checking in at the gate, we were a little alarmed when we saw the stone bridge ahead of us (no height was posted) but it was plenty high enough for our 13′ tall big rig and is fine even for taller rigs.
There are two loops in the campground – the Spruce Loop where the full hookup sites are located and the Savanna Loop which has sites with electric only. The Spruce loop (FHU) has some very private sites, especially some of the pull thrus. The Savanna (electric only) loop is wide open with no privacy but the sites are for the most part comfortably spaced. A couple of tight turns, but mostly wide paved roads and large spacious gravel campsites, each with a picnic table and grill. Our site #106 was located in the Spruce Loop – this site and the others nearby had plenty of trees (low enough not to interfere with satellite) and bushes offering almost complete privacy between sites.
The aquatic center was closed during our stay but we did spend a few hours at the Farmstead (admission is included). It was fun exploring the farm house filled with furniture, clothing, etc. from the 1920’s. Since it is a working farm, chickens, turkeys, ducks were wandering around outside. The chickens seemed pretty friendly, following us around. There were also cows, horses and pigs enclosed in corrals, and rabbits in cages inside one of the barns. Great place to bring the kids!
We met the Director of the farm who explained exactly what they did there, answered our questions and even gave us two fresh turkey eggs which were huge. Meats and eggs are offered for sale.
Size – 4/5
Our pull thru site was 95 feet long and quite spacious with plenty of room for both the coach and the toad. Most sites have excellent separation and length.
Privacy – 4/5
this varies between sites and is most dramatic between the two loops. In the Spruce Loop, sites were a good distance from each other and well vegetated in between. Our pull thru site had almost complete privacy. The Savanna loop is wide open with no vegetation between sites and no privacy but the site spacing is adequate.
Amenities – 4/5
Amenities are listed on their website. Each campsite has a picnic table and a grill.
Convenience – 3/5
The State Park is located about 20 minutes from Lafayette, IN where there are the usual retail offerings (including a Walmart), grocery stores, restaurants, etc.
Physical Surroundings – 5/5
Lovely surroundings with a mix of habitats including tall grass and wildflower prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and rivers.
Maneuverability and Roads – 4/5
Roads are paved and wide enough for big rigs although there are some tight turns, but nothing we couldn’t manage in our 45 foot rig. We almost missed the turn into our site and had to back up a few feet but that was driver error.
Peace & Quiet – 4/5
Very peaceful surroundings but in the busy months it may be quite a bit different.
- Sewer – Good location, no threaded cap.
- Satellite – No problem picking up the DISH Western Arc (110/119/129). There may be one or two sites in the Spruce loop where a tree may block satellite reception.
- WiFi – none
- Cellular signal – Adequate AT&T and Verizon Service
- Over-the-Air (OTA) TV – Poor, we could only lock in on 5 stations.
- Power – Excellent 119 volts on both legs, no problems.
- Water Pressure/Quality – Excellent pressure, no notable off tastes or turbidity.
What We Liked
– Clean, well maintained park
– Spacious sites, some very private
– Trees and shrubs provide privacy between some sites without interfering with satellite reception
– Pave Biking/Hiking path
– Lots more to do
What We Didn’t Like
– Can be pricey due to add on entrance fee and reservation fee.
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