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Deam Lake is forest property designed for recreational activities. Under the multiple use concept, a variety of compatible activities are available. These include fishing, boating, swimming, camping, picnicking, hiking and hunting in designated areas. The 194-acre lake was constructed in 1965 and was named in honor of Charles Deam, Indiana's first state forester. Deam is best known for his book, Trees of Indiana, a comprehensive study of trees throughout the state. He was also instrumental in getting land set aside for what is now the Department of Natural Resources.
Deam's books Trees of Indiana and Shrubs of Indiana are available from the Historic Hoosier Hills RC & D. Books are $16 plus $3 shipping. To order, contact:
Historic Hoosier Hills Woodland Committee
P.O. Box 407
Versailles, IN 47042
SPECIAL NOTICE--Several volunteers are needed for a variety of events at Deam Lake SRA. For details or to sign up as a volunteer, please contact the Deam Lake office at (812) 246-5421 or email at DeamLakeSRA@dnr.IN.gov.
Deam Lake has 116 class "A" campsites and an additional 68 class "A" sites in the horsemen's campground. The horsemen's campground has two short lead-outs to connect to the 80 miles of horse trails in Clark State Forest. Class "A" facilities include electrical hookup, modern restrooms/showers (at least one shower station wheelchair accessible), picnic table, fire ring and parking spur. Drinking water and a dump station are also available in the area.
Class A campsites will be available for reservation up to six months in advance by simply calling a toll-free telephone number or logging onto the Internet. Campers will be able to make reservations by calling, toll free, 1-866-6CAMPIN (1-866-622-6746) Monday through Thursday from Noon to 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon E.S.T. They may also log onto the Internet 24 hours a day at http://www.camp.in.gov/
Deam Lake State Forest Recreation Area has 12 rent-a-camp cabins, available seasonally (call property office for dates), including three in the horsemen’s campground. Each cabin has a front porch with a swing, outside electric outlet and front porch light. Inside, there are two small rooms each providing a ceiling fan with light, a heating/cooling unit and electrical outlets. The front room offers a small table with bench seats, corner shelf, chair, rocking chair, and a loft. The back room offers a bunk bed (single) and a double bed (NO LINENS or MATTRESS PROVIDED). Air mattress recommended. Reserve cabins online at Camp.IN.gov. (NOTE: On-site sales only during off season/winter months, contact property for details). No pets, smoking or cooking permitted in cabins.
194-acre lake; a valid Indiana fishing license is required. Boat launch ramp; boat motors are limited to electric trolling motors only. Rowboat rental is available from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The swimming beach is available from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Restrooms, dressing facilities, showers and food concessions are available to visitors. A wheelchair ramp allows access to beach area. Rowboat rental is available.
Whitetail deer, ruffed grouse, turkey, squirrel, fox and raccoon. A valid hunting license is required.
There are picnic areas and a picnic shelterhouse available for day use. Picnic tables and grills are located at the picnic sites. There is a playground area near the beach.
Forest Education Center
The Forest Education Center at Deam Lake is managed by a full-time naturalist who provides a variety of forestry-related programs throughout the year, as well as several special events, field days, and other field trip opportunities. Prior registration is required for groups of 10 or more, and all programs and field trips are free of charge with admission to Deam Lake. The Forest Education Center is wheelchair accessible, and is open beginning Memorial Day weekend from 8:30 am-3pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from 11 am to 5 pm on Friday through Sunday. Times, dates and topics of interpretive programs and events vary from week to week. Please visit the Forest Education Center, Office, Gatehouse or campground kiosk for detailed information. For more information, please call (812) 246-5421 during regular operating hours.
There are several volunteer opportunities at Deam Lake, spanning a broad range of knowledge, experience and skill sets.
To apply or inquire about any of the volunteer opportunities listed above, please call (812) 246-5421.
Deam Lake SRA is home to five hiking trails, which range from easy to rugged. All trails are marked with white paint blazes. At certain points on Trails 3 and 4, you may encounter trees with two white paint blazes. Two blazes means that there is a split in the trail (horse trails and rogue trails often confuse hikers), and that you should locate the next white paint blaze before continuing. Descriptions of each trail can be found below. Hikers are advised to wear hunter orange or other bright clothing while on trails during hunting season. Should you have any further questions regarding difficulty, trail updates, or problems, please call (812) 246-5421 during regular operating hours. In addition to Deam Lake's hiking trails, a trailhead to the Knobstone Trail is also located on the property.
A Note to all hikers
You are welcome to report to the office or Forest Education Center before and after your hike if you feel it may be safer. None of the trails are extremely difficult, but changing weather scenarios can make traversing some areas a challenge. Be sure to pack plenty of water before any extended hike. Additional supplies such as a compass are suggested, but not necessary as all trails have been marked. If any horse riders are encountered on any trail except for Trail 3, please report their presence to the office, Forest Education Center, or our Naturalist. We also ask that you carry out all supplies and trash that you carry into the trails, as we are not staffed adequately to do regular trail cleanup.
Mountain Bike Trails
Deam Lake S.R.A./Clark S.F. offers 5 miles of mountain bike trails. Mountain bikes are only permitted on those designated trails. View our publications page for further details and a trail map.