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Abe Martin Lodge water park

Lodge Water Park
coming in the Spring

by Barney Quick

Brown County is usually thought of as a place steeped in tradition and “old-timey” ways, but its state park is about to make a trend-setting move. The Abe Martin Lodge, the inn located in the heart of the Brown County State Park, will be the first such facility in the nation to build and operate a water park. Many other state parks will be following on its heels, according to lodge general manager Shannon Byrne. “There are trade conventions for people in the water-park industry now, and state parks are very interested,” she notes. “It’s a huge trend.”

The water park at Abe Martin Lodge is designed to fit in with Brown County notions of enclosed space. The wood interior will boast natural colors, and the outside walls are made of Brown County stone. Adjacent to the building is a landscaped, tiered area and a patio designed to look like a creek bed. The patio floor will feature leaf imprints: poplar, which is the Indiana state tree, as well as maple and oak. The entire project will occupy 12,000 square feet.

The water park itself will be a seemingly endless world of fun. There will be a zero-depth area with geysers for those who like to wade. For fans of languid downstream floating, there is a lazy river, known in the business as a current channel. The plunge area boasts a water slide twenty feet tall and sixty feet long. Athletically minded visitors can swim laps in the fifty-foot pool, or play volleyball or water basketball. Afterward, everyone can relax in the Jacuzzi.

In typical Brown County fashion, nature is never far away. The far end of the water park is bounded by a huge window overlooking a thickly wooded valley. Lodge guests can access the water park by an interior hallway.

The water park was designed by Schmidt Associates and Indy Water Technology, Inc. Construction is being performed by Graves Construction and its various contractors.

The water park is slated to open in mid-to-late spring. Byrne says that next summer’s bookings for weekday business—a time that hasn’t customarily filled as readily as weekends—are already way up. “We’re already getting a lot of calls,” she says. “There’s a lot of interest.”

For more information call

(812) 988-4418 or visit



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