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Patoka Lake


Posted on 4/29/2019 by Visit French Lick West Baden


Planning a summer getaway? Patoka Lake close to #MyFrenchLick has it all! From lodging to water sports and everything in between you’ve found a serene yet exciting place for your summer expedition! Voted Best in the Midwest for wildlife viewing by USA TODAY; It’s a great place to get a good view of bald eagles, osprey, hawks and other wildlife!

Patoka Lake is the second-largest reservoir in Indiana…after Lake Monroe, and is spread over three counties; Orange, Dubois, and Crawford. The 26,000-acre man-made lake is a joint venture between the US Army Corps of Engineers and Indiana Department of Natural Resources, it is one of eight lakes built to secure water supply and control flooding, of course it makes for a wonderful recreation area too! The lake is around 8,800 acres of water and built on top of the Patoka River as well as the three towns of Elon, Newton-Stewart, and Ellsworth. Work to build the lake began in the early 1970’s and was finished around 1980.

Where to Stay


With floating cabins, campsites, cabins and suites available at the nearby Patoka Lake Winery, you will find an array of areas to rest your head for the night. The floating cabins sit on the pristine shorelines of Patoka Lake close to the Patoka Lake Marina. Enjoy the views of the lake and fishing right outside your door! There are 444 electric campsites, making it the largest in the state. French Lick Cabins at Patoka Lake Village has modern 2-bedroom log cabins just 10 miles south of French Lick nestled in a village-style setting surrounded by acres of pine trees. Wildcat Cove Lodge, a new three-bedroom lodge, fully furnished, four TV’s two large porches. Full kitchen, whirlpool tub with separate shower, 2-bath on 10 acres.

What to Do


Adventure awaits, bring yourself or the entire family for an amazing time! How much or how little you do is all up to you! Hike or the numerous trails available. Enjoy swimming in one of the cleanest lakes in the Midwest; Speedboat, waterski or rent a houseboat and spend a day or night on the water. While on the water checkout the many coves and islands throughout the state park. Visit the Nature Center to get up-close with their resident Birds of Prey: a bald eagle, owl and a hawk! Picnic, grill out or have a reunion at one of the many shelter houses available. Use the gorgeous scenery as a backdrop for your special day! Opportunities for adventure at Patoka Lake are endless! Each Wednesday May through October from 10:00 am to Noon enjoy a 2-hour Scenic Nature Cruise! Don’t forget about the Sunset and Fall Foliage Wine Cruises available on select dates May through October! Come and celebrate freedom at Thunder over Patoka…the annual 4th of July celebration!


Show us all of your awesome summer adventures in #MyFrenchLick! Whether you’re just staying the night or several weeks Patoka Lake will fill your days with adventure and leave you with a peace surrounding every evening.