My friends have been talking about it for years and we finally visited the Abe Martin Lodge and Aquatic Center at Brown County State Park. If you have an Indiana State Park pass, or entrance permit, Brown County State Park is on your list! Nestled in the heart of the rolling hills of southern Indiana, the Abe Martin Lodge in Brown County is a hidden gem that offers families a unique blend of natural beauty, rustic charm, and modern amenities. The lodge, named after the beloved cartoon character created by Hoosier artist Kin Hubbard, has been a favorite destination for Hoosiers and out-of-state visitors for decades.
I’m really into the thrill of Indiana waterparks, and thanks to our swim lessons, our kids have really embraced the whole waterpark thing. We love Great Wolf Lodge, the waterpark at Kings Island, the waterpark at Hershey Park, and Sesame Place…if there’s a swimming pool, we’re in. If there’s a waterslide, even better!
Abe Martin Lodge at Brown County State Park
We rented this adorable Brown County Family Cabin that sleeps up to eight. With our accommodations, we received eight wristbands for the Abe Martin Aquatic Center. The cabin had two bedrooms (one queen bed, one king bed) upstairs and two sofa sleepers downstairs. There was one bathroom with a shower and towels were provided. You can often find great deals on Indiana State Park Inns, sometimes they have a buy one night, get one free deal! One of our favorite Indiana State Park lodges is at Pokagon State Park, the one with the toboggan track!
Brown County Cabins
For those looking for a more secluded retreat, the Abe Martin Lodge also offers several private cabins nestled in the woods. These cozy cabins feature wood-burning fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens, and outdoor hot tubs, making them the perfect place to unwind and relax after a day of exploring the park.
The kitchen has dishes for eight and your basic cooking pots and pans. There was a tiny bit of dish soap and two dish clothes and one dish towel. A table for eight sits in the kitchen area. A television with a DVD player is available in one bedroom and in the living room. Air conditioning and heating are a part of this cabin and a wood stove in the center of the living room area provides even more heat. Outdoor seating is a must in the spring and summer months and the deck looking into the woods is the perfect place for that.
While linens are provided, I would recommend bringing your own. Our bed linens were not in the best condition and when I took them to the lodge and asked for clean ones, I was told that they didn’t have anymore that evening. I also recommend bringing a scrub brush or sponge for cleaning dishes in the kitchen and your own towels.
If you’re looking for a full-service meal, one of the highlights of any visit to the Abe Martin Lodge is the food. The lodge’s dining room serves up hearty Hoosier fare, including classics such as fried chicken, country ham, and mashed potatoes, as well as more modern dishes like grilled salmon and vegetarian lasagna. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable, making the dining room a popular spot for both lodge guests and day visitors to the park.
Brown County Waterpark
The aquatic center at the Abe Martin Lodge is much more than just a swimming pool but not quite an indoor waterpark. It features a variety of amenities and attractions that make it a destination in its own right. The main pool is a 120,000-gallon indoor facility that is heated year-round, making it the perfect place to swim no matter the weather. The pool is kept at a comfortable temperature of around 84 degrees and has multiple lanes for lap swimming as well as areas for leisurely swimming and play.
It rained during our stay, so we spent most of our hours in the aquatic center for three days. The Aquatic Center has a swimming pool with a volleyball net and basketball hoop, a whirlpool that my kids circled at least 700 times per day, a zero-depth entry kiddie play area, and a giant water slide. There’s also a hot tub that is restricted to ages 18 and up.
Things to do in Brown County
There are many things to do in Brown County and specifically at the State Park. Hiking trails abound, and there are free programs ranging from activities about fungus, talks about turtles, and leaf scavenger hunts. The Abe Martin Lodge has game rooms, a great room with a fireplace, and a restaurant. There’s an outdoor pool in the park that is open during the summer.
The little town of Nashville is just right outside of the State Park and it’s a fun place to shop and eat. There’s a grocery store nearby in case you need to stock the kitchen in your cabin. Nashville has a little vehicle tram that looks like a train and takes you on a tour through the streets.
What are your favorite things to do in Brown County?
Find even more cabins near Indianapolis on Indy with Kids.
1405 S.R. 46 W.