Hands-down, we have found our new Summer tradition. It is a spring-fed lake with blue-green water and adventures for everyone in our family, from those who are perfectly content simply floating on the lake to our hardcore thrill seekers. We are talking cliff diving, zip lines, and a rope swing that would make any tiny Tarzan happy! Even better, the hidden gem of White Rock Park is located only 45 minutes from the heart of downtown Indy, in the small town of St. Paul, Indiana.
Getting to White Rock Park
My first, very important piece of advice: Once you get to St. Paul and see signs for White Rock Park, follow those signs, no matter what your GPS tells you to do. Ignoring the directional signs and listening to your GPS will get you to a hand painted sign that reads: TURN AROUND. NOT!! THE WAY TO WHITE ROCK PARK. If you find yourself here (like we did), don’t worry. It only takes about two minutes to turn off your GPS and backtrack to the nearest directional White Rock sign.
Admission to White Rock Park
Upon arrival at the park, you will be met by a staff member and directed to park temporarily. The staffer will ask if you have brought any alcohol and ask to look in any coolers you may have brought. Alcohol is not allowed in the park. After this, you will be directed to one of the two waiver stations. Waivers must be signed for everyone in your party, and can be printed and filled out in-advance to save time, or copies are available to be completed at the park. You will also need to show your state issued identification for everyone 18+ and pay admission at this station.
Everyone ages 12 and under must wear a life jacket. You are welcome to bring your own, or the park offers all sizes for rent. To rent a life jacket, you will need to pay $3 and leave your driver’s license at the station. An attendant will help fit your child with the proper size. Any one else ages 13 and up, must have a flotation device in order to go into the water. These can be anything from a pool noodle to a giant inflatable, but you are allotted only one float per person. (If you make a day of it at the park, and your float starts to wilt, there is a free air station located near the waiver station.)
Once you have your waivers signed and life jackets fitted, you will move your vehicle from temporary parking to the main gravel parking area, and haul all your floaties and towels down to the quarry. We had worn swimwear under our clothes to maximize water time, but there are real restrooms, changing areas, and additional port-a-lets located near the main lake.
Zip Lines, Cliff Diving, & Swimming at White Rock Park
There are three stationed docks for walking out onto the water, six floating docks throughout (each with at least one ladder to climb up), two zip lines running the width of the quarry, a rope swing, and four ledges for cliff diving, measuring 10’, 15’, 25’, and 30’. There are no height or age requirements for any of these. If you and your child are confident in their ability, they are welcome to give it a go! My youngest watched from the water for all of five minutes before she was pointing to the people cliff diving and hauling me over to give it a try.
You are going to want to make it an all-day adventure, and in doing so, you will need some food! You are welcome to pack a cooler, or visit the on-site vendor. If you need a break from the water after eating, there is a volleyball pit and basketball goal nearby.
I highly recommend wearing some sort of foot covering around the park. There are lots of rock and gravel walking to the different features, so swim shoes, boat shoes, Crocs, a hiking sandal, or even tennis shoes you don’t mind squishing about, will do you well here. Don’t forget sunscreen, and be sure to reapply often!
The park is open seven days a week, daily from 11 am-6 pm. Admission for Children 5 and under is always free, youth 6-9 are $12, and ages 10- adult are $15 Monday through Friday, and $20 on weekends and holidays.
More Fun at White Rock Park
Scuba Diving is available via Aquatic Dreams Diving on-site, for ages 12 and up. There is a sunken school bus and boat for scuba divers to explore here. There are options to “Try Scuba”, a one-on-one scuba dive experience with a certified instructor, and the course opportunity to become open water scuba certified. Both of these require registering at least a week in-advance. For certified scuba divers with their own gear, they are welcome to dive on-site with regular park admission.
Camping is also available at the park, and there are two separate lakes for fishing.