One of the waterfalls at Lieber State Park.
As the school semester begins, families may find it difficult to spend time together with busy schedules. Nearby Richard Lieber State Park is an option for families who want to get out of the everyday routine and relax without spending a paycheck on gas.
Taking exit 37 (S.R. 243) off of I-70 and going south leads visitors right to the park. Indiana registered, non-commercial vehicles pay $4 for entrance into the park while out-of-state registered, non-commercial vehicles pay $5.
Recently, Clyde Kersey, state representative from Terre Haute, his wife, Susie, and Vern Tincher, state representative from Riley, attended a tour given by Steve Lemen, southern regional superintendent for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Mike Clingerman, assistant property manager at Lieber, David Schopmeyer, employee at Lieber and Warren Rawlings, volunteer campground host at Lieber.
The state park is located in Putnam and Owen counties and has been making changes and doing renovations to some areas. For instance, there are 120 electric sites (Poplar Grove), 70 of those sites now have paved driveways. Each electric site is available for $21 a night. There are also 96 non-electric sites (Sunny Acres), which are available for $14 a night. Brush has been cleared away and grass seed has been planted. Each campsite has two picnic tables and a fire ring. A camp store and visitor's center are nearby.
Lieber State Park includes Cagles Mill Reservoir. Fishing, swimming on the beach and boating are allowed. Lieber is the only Indiana state park with a reservoir that also has a pool, according to Mike Clingerman. The pool, Lieber State Recreation Area Aquatic Center, was completed in 2000 and has only been open for six seasons. The pool has a zero depth entrance, water slide, diving board, water basketball, playground, volleyball court, lounging furniture, lockers, showers and concession stand. During the summer the pool is open during the week until school starts and then is only open on weekends until it closes Labor Day.
Part of the Lieber State Park is the Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County, home of the Cataract Falls on Mill Creek, the largest waterfall in Indiana, according to the Access Indiana website. On one end of the park, visitors can view the Upper Falls and at the other end the Lower Falls can be found. The Cataract Falls Bridge, which has recently underwent structural renovations, is located near the Upper Falls over Mill Creek. There is also newer playground equipment for children and a picnic area nearby. Fishing is permitted on Mill Creek and there are some wild stories about "the fish that got away" stemming from that area.
The state park has too many features to mention, but the site is a great place to hunt, hike on trails, fish, boat, site-see, swim, camp, picnic and play.
More information can be found at www.IN.gov/dnr/parklake/ and camping or shelter reservations can be made by calling 1-866-622-6746.