Indiana State Parks: Cagels Mill Lake, Lieber State Recreation Area, and Cataract Falls

Even though I have lived in Terre Haute my entire life, I have no recollection of ever visiting Indiana’s largest waterfall, Cataract Falls! The craziest part is, these beautiful falls are less than an hour from Terre Haute!

Cataract Falls in Indiana

But with the warm weather we had this weekend, our family wanted a little adventure. We asked our friends on the Haute Happenings facebook page for advice and decided that Cagels Mill Lake (also commonly called Cataract Falls and Lieber State Park) was the place to go.

We started at the entrance to the Lieber State Recreation Area and soon found ourselves walking along the short, gravel path called the “Covered Bridge Trail.”

Lieber State Recreation Area

Lieber State Recreation Area in Indiana

This trail was the right length for little legs and not far from the playground and the outdoor Aquatic Center.

Lieber State Recreation Area in Indiana

Please note: Pools in Indiana State Parks are Closed in 2020 Due to Covid-19

How did I miss the fact that Lieber State has a pool? According to the DNA website, here’s what we need to know about the pool before we check the pool or beach out this summer:

The state of the art Aquatic Center is open during the Memorial Day to Labor Day recreation season. The Aquatic Center has a zero entrance pool, water bubblers and a tornado water slide. There are also shelters, a volleyball court and a playground. Other family fun opportunities include hiking trails, boat access to Cagles Mill Lake and a campground. The 115 Class A and 94 Class B campsites make this a lovely place to visit. Plan a picnic in the activities field, where you will find horseshoe pits, basketball courts, and plenty of play areas for the kids. For additional information and for Aquatic Center hours, please contact the property office at (765) 795-4576.

Cagles Mill Lake and Beach

Although we didn’t make it to the beach on this particular day, Cagles Mill Beach is open. Swimming is permitted Memorial Day through Labor Day.

After our hike, we were hungry for lunch and anxious to see the famous waterfall. Even though I often think of Lieber State and Cataract Falls as being essentially the same place, they weren’t exactly within walking distance of each other. We loaded the kids into the car and drove for about 15 minutes to get the falls.

Cataract Falls in Indiana

{On Instagram, SWIPE for the video. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, and the upper falls were truly impressive!}

Was the short drive worth it? Yes. Absolutely yes. But don’t make the rookie mistake we did and assume these places are one in the same.

Cataract Falls in Indiana

We had lunch by the covered bridge, played in the grass, went for another short hike, and headed home. All in all, it was a great few hours of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise!

Helpful links to visit before you go:

Cataract Falls in Indiana.

This year, I gifted my husband a state park pass (which can be purchased online) for his January birthday, which means the entire family gets to enjoy a year’s worth of outdoor nature dates! Follow along with our #indianastateparksbucketlist to see the fun we’re having this year in our Indiana state parks!