Southeast Indiana Birding Opportunities - Charlestown State Park

Indiana’s third largest state park at over 5,000 acres, Charlestown State Park was originally part of a 15,000 acre Indiana Army Ammunition Plant established during WWII that closed in the early 1990s.

Charlestown State Park on Indiana Birding Trail

It contains diverse habitats, from the riparian Ohio River shoreline and Fourteenmile Creek and their floodplains to steep bluffs capping a limestone plateau with woods, meadows, and rare glades. Seven trails allow visitors to explore much of these habitats.

Birds may be seen throughout the park. The edges around the Class A Campground are an excellent place to see Eastern Bluebirds, Brown Thrashers, Prairie Warblers and White-eyed Vireos in summer months. Trail 1 is known for its songbirds and raptors. Trail 3 brings you down to Fourteenmile Creek where kingfishers and species of herons may be seen. Bald Eagles and Osprey may be seen along the Ohio River.

Woodland edges are great places to see Summer Tanagers and Indigo Buntings, especially near the Oak Shelter. Many species of warblers breed in the park in different habitats that can be seen or heard from hiking trails.

eBird Hotspot Link:

Total Birding Time:
2-4 hours

Best Times to Bird: 
Birding is great year round; spring and fall is great for migratory birds. Spring exploration will not only reveal a wide-variety of migrating warblers and other species, but swaths of wildflowers in valleys and along hillsides. At night, especially in early winter months, you will hear our breeding owls calling: Barred Owl, Eastern-screech Owl and Great Horned Owl. The Winter Wren is a target of cold-season birders.


12500 State Road 62
Charlestown, IN 47111
Charlestown State Park is on Highway 62 just east of Charlestown and 14 miles upriver from the Falls of the Ohio. Take Highway 265 east from I-65 to Hwy 62 and head east.

Hours: Regular park hours are 7am-11pm.
Ownership: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks
Admission: $7/vehicle with Indiana license plate, $9/vehicle out-of-state. Free admission with annual entrance permit and in many days through the winter.
Restrictions: Please obey all rules and regulations. A summary of property rules can be found at
Parking: Ample parking is available at trailheads, the office, picnic areas, and the river.
Nearby Amenities: The campground has electric and full hookup sites. Restaurants are located in Charlestown. Lodging is available in Sellersburg and Jeffersonville. Vault toilets are located in the park.
Accessibility: Trail 2 is the most accessible. Birding may be done from parking lots, shelters, picnic areas, and along the Riverside Overlook.
Phone Number: (812) 256-5600

Written By: Alan Goldestein
Photo by: Brian Lowry