- Indiana can be split into four regions: the northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast. Indianapolis lies at the center of these regions as the state capital and most populated city. Northwestern Indiana contains 50 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. This fifty miles contains the highly industrialized areas of Gary and East Chicago in the west. The eastern lake shore's natural beauty is preserved as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. South of the lake you'll find the landscape dotted with farms and state parks. The Wabash River cuts diagonally through this region on its way to meet the Ohio River and form the state's western border.
Copyright: National Park Service
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Northeastern Indiana is best known for supporting a large Old Order Amish community. The area contains over 100 small lakes and the headwaters of the Wabash River. Interstate 69 leads through the region from north to south, connecting Fort Wayne to Indianapolis. South Bend lies in the western reaches of this region harboring the University of Notre Dame.
The southeastern region of the state was the first to be settled by europeans. It contains a significant amount of historical sites usually open during the summer season. The Ohio River forms the southeastern border of the state separating it from western Kentucky. Several small natural areas pervade this region including: Harrison Crawford State Forest, Clark State Forest, Starve Hollow State Beach and Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, among others.
Southwestern Indiana caters to the outdoor enthusiast. This region has the most public lands of any in the state. The area is a land of rolling hills dissected by the White River and contained by the Ohio and Wabash Rivers. Hoosier National Forest comprises 185,000 acres in the eastern portion of the area. Small state parks and forests complete the landscape.
Recreation - Anglers and water sport enthusiasts will enjoy the many lakes, rivers and streams that pervade the Indiana countryside. Other attractions include facilities for hiking, biking and camping.
Climate - Visitors to this state can expect hot and humid summer days that often reach 90 degrees F in July and August. Summer nights bring little relief with an average temperature of 70. Winter can be extremely cold in this Midwestern state with a yearly average of 40 inches of snow and low temperatures dipping to negative 15 degrees F. Winter daytime highs average close to 40 degrees. Spring and fall are excellent times to visit Indiana spring brings blooming wildflowers and daytime highs of 65 degrees F. With falls mild temperatures the leaves in the forested southern regions of the state change to brilliant hues.