Hardy Lake, Indiana, USA

Also known as:  Quick Creek Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Hardy Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Hardy Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Hardy Lake

Lake Locations: USA - US Midwest Region - Indiana - South Indiana -

Hardy Lake is located in south eastern Indian known as the southern plains and lowlands region. Wetlands, ponds, mudflats, deciduous woodlands and grasslands make up the diverse habitat surrounding the lake. Wildlife is abundant making Hardy Lake a naturalist paradise. Also know as Quick Creek Reservoir, Hardy Lake lies within Scott and Jefferson counties and was created to solve water supply problems for the surrounding counties. Now Hardy Lake is a recreational delight and offers opportunities for fishing, hunting, boating, camping and hiking.

Hardy Lake is owned and operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) which keeps the pool elevation maintained throughout the year. The dam was built on Quick’s Creek in 1970 creating the Hardy Reservoir, which now is a vacation destination for any outdoor enthusiast. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources provides numerous camping areas for all camping types. There are full hook-up, electric, non electric and primitive campgrounds. The IDNR also provides a swimming beach with a bathhouse, playgrounds, volleyball courts, archery range and dumping station. The campgrounds can be rented by individual families or by large groups. There is even an area designated for youth group tent camping. Since all the land surrounding Hardy Lake is owned by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources there is no residential development around the lake. Other than camping lake visitors can find vacation rentals, hotel, and bread and breakfast accommodations in nearby Scottsburg and Madison.

With over half of Hardy Lake zoned for idle speed, anglers will enjoy the calm waters as they reel in the prize catch of the day. There are several boat ramps located around the lake with a couple situated in the Hardy Lake State Recreation Area for anglers to put in their boats. Once in the water fishermen can cast in their line for largemouth bass, bluegill, red ear sunfish and black crappie. Other fish that have been stocked in Hardy Lake by the Division of Fish and Wildlife (SWF) include walleye, northern pike and tiger muskie. In the winter months when the lake freezes over anglers bundle up, cut a hole in the ice, and cast in their line for some ice fishing. There is a marina located near the State Recreation Area that provides seasonal mooring, gasoline and rowboat rental.

Hunting and trapping are also two popular pastimes around Hardy Lake. Trapping opportunities are available through sealed bidding process while duck hunting is permitted with the purchase of a federal duck stamp. All hunters must register and sign in and out to hunt. The presence of white-tailed deer, bobwhite quail, rabbit, wild turkey, waterfowl, squirrel and mourning doves make hunting enjoyable and exciting.

Trails meander their way through the diverse landscape around the lake providing opportunities for hiking as well as nature viewing and bird watching. Bird watching is very popular among lake visitors. When the leaves turn golden yellow, fiery red and brilliant orange ducks, grebes, coots, gulls and sparrow can be seen migration. The again the same birds can be seen with the leaves are just budding on the trees. Mute Swan, Mallards, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Song Sparrow many been seen nesting. Occasionally, Osprey and Bald Eagles may be spotted by a watchful eye.

Hardy Lake sightseers may want to take a short drive to visit a couple places of interest. The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge is located nearby on Highway 50. The Refuge, with its mix forest, wetlands and grasslands provides natural habitat for wildlife and fish. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy wildlife viewing opportunities and with over 280 species of birds have been seen, bird watchers will greatly enjoy their visit. The refuge has been included on the National Register of Historic Places due to archeological sites located within the refuge. Another place of interest is the Hoosier National Forest which interest visitors with unique features including the Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest that has 200 year old walnut and oak trees and the Hemlock Cliffs, which is a forested canyon that has a waterfall and a large rock shelter. The rural setting of Hoosier National Forest offers Indiana’s only Wilderness called the Charles C. Deam Wilderness. The Wilderness provides a trail network that provides more remote hiking experiences. Visitors of Hoosier National Forest may enjoy camping, hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, boating, hunting, swimming, picnicking and fishing.

Once back at Hardy Lake visitors can enjoy the crackling sound of the campfire while toasting marshmallows. In the evening campers can listen to the hum of nearby campers as they enjoy some family time. Then at night when all is quiet and the only sounds that can be heard are natured made, rest will come to the sleepy campers. Hardy Lake offers a peaceful setting that can be enjoyed time and time again.

Things to Do at Hardy Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge
  • National Forest
  • Playground

Fish Species Found at Hardy Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Sunfish
  • Tiger Muskellunge
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Hardy Lake

If you’re considering a Hardy Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Hardy Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Hardy Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Hardy Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources

Surface Area: 741 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 568 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 605 feet

Maximum Depth: 38 feet

Water Volume: 12,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1970

Drainage Area: 12 sq. miles

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