Iron Horse Festival

34rd Annual Iron Horse Festival

October 14, 2023

Potato Creek State Park | North Liberty, IN


Cub Fun Area
Pumpkin Bowling
Obstacle Activities
American Indian Games


Meet the Chief
HAM Radio
Day Hikes
Golden Spike Cafe



Registration/Check-in - Only one (1) leader from your group will be asked to bring your event registration form and payment to registration/check-in.  Campers will be asked to stay back at the campsite (or away from registration/check-in) while their leader checks in.  Non-campers will be asked to congregate in areas away from registration/check-in while their leader checks in.


The registration fee is $5 per person*.  This includes the Iron Horse Hike, all of the activities (activities are held between 10 am-2 pm Eastern Time), and the official Iron Horse Festival Patch (patches are "first-come/first-serve" availability - online registrations with payment will receive first priority.)

There are two ways to register for Iron Horse. Online Registration is now available and encouraged for all units/persons!  Units may also still register using the paper registration form and pay at registration Saturday morning.

Online Registration: Fill out the form at the bottom of this page

Online Registration will close Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 11:59 PM EST

  1. Click the Online Registration link, fill in the information, and submit & pay**.
  2. Print your confirmation email; it will act as your event registration form.
  3. Bring your event registration form (email confirmation).
  4. Update and pay for any newly added participants
  5. Collect your group's patches and go have fun!

Paper Form Registration:

  1. Download and print the Iron Horse Registration Form at the bottom of this page.
  2. Bring your registration form and payment to registration.
  3. Wait in line.
  4. Submit your registration.
  5. Make payment** & receive receipt.
  6. Collect your group's patches and go have fun!

"Registration" and "Check-in" will be at the same location near the Potato Creek Beach House from 9 am-Noon Eastern Time on Saturday morning. 

"Check-in" will be the line for those groups who have registered online. 

"Registration" will be the line for those groups with paper registration forms.

Those arriving after Noon Eastern Time can still register/check in at the OA Trading post located in the midway.

Campers will have the opportunity to register/check in on Friday night from 7 pm-9 pm Eastern Time at the campsites.  See a Sakima Lodge Iron Horse Staff on Friday night for details.

* The registration fee does not include the park entry fee, camping fees, or food. The entry fee to Indiana state parks is $7 per in-state car and $9 per out-of-state car. Please pass this information on to others in your unit attending. Car-pooling will help reduce a Troop or Pack’s expense of getting Scouts, family, and friends to the Iron Horse. Parents, if just dropping off your Scout(s), the park has a reduced entry fee of $2.  Be sure to let them know you are just dropping off to receive this fee.

** Park entrance fees and camping fees are paid to the park and cannot be combined with your hike registration fees.




Option 1 - Family Campground - Circle E

  • Exclusively for Cub Scout and Boy Scout units in tents and not for individual Scout families or camping trailers.
  • 4-8 tents may be set up on a site
  • Cost: $32.10 per site per night.  The park accepts cash through credit/debit cards are preferred.
  • Make a Reservation: Booking a site in Circle E can only be done in person, Friday, October 14, 2022, at the Potato Creek Family Campground Office. The Campground office opens at 7:00 am Eastern Time. Sites are available on a first-come, first-pick basis.

Option 2 - Youth Tent Area

  • Cost: $2.14 per person
  • Make a Reservation: To make advanced camping reservations in these areas, go to the Indiana DNR Camping Reservation Website or call the Indiana DNR at 866-622-6746.  Please do not call LaSalle Council or Potato Creek State Park. Camping Reservations for all state properties are handled exclusively by the Indiana DNR.

Option 3 - Family Campground - Circles A, B, C, D1, and D2

  • Cost: $32.10 per site per night. 
  • Make a Reservation: To make advanced camping reservations in these areas, go to the Indiana DNR Camping Reservation Website or call the Indiana DNR at 866-622-6746.  Please do not call LaSalle Council or Potato Creek State Park. Camping Reservations for all state properties are handled exclusively by the Indiana DNR.

Option 4 - Family Cabins

  • Cost: TBD
  • To make advanced camping reservations in this area, go to the Indiana DNR Camping Reservation Website or call the Indiana DNR at 866-622-6746.

The Iron Horse Hike is hosted by the Sakima Lodge Order of the Arrow. The Order of the Arrow is the Scout's BSA national honor society.

The Hike began in 1990 as an opportunity for Scouts to come together for a day and hike a trail. Since then, it has grown from a small outing of a few hundred hikers to the largest single-day Scouting event in the state of Indiana. The Iron Horse Hike is not just for Scouts but also family and friends. All are invited. Bring a friend! Bring your family!



Hike the Iron Horse
This is what started it all!  Hike either the 1-mile with Trivia, the 2-mile, or the 10-mile trails.

Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)
JOTA is held at the same time as the Iron Horse Hike. JOTA? That stands for Jamboree on the Air. Ham radio operators and Scouts from across the globe will be talking to each other. We will have several ham radio operators on hand so Scouts at the Iron Horse can talk to Scouts across the world! Wow! Patches for JOTA will be available at the official Iron Horse Tradin' Post. If you are a "Ham" bring your HT and find us at K2BSA9 on 146.56.

Bike the Iron Horse
Need a challenge? How about cycling the Iron Horse? Bike with your patrol or den on the Potato Creek Bike Trails. So bring your bikes to the park and CYCLE!!!

Cub Fun Area
The Cub Fun Area begins its 19th year at the Horse. Arts & Crafts, Pumpkin Bowling, Marshmellow Roasting, and other activities are planned. Come, See It and have Fun at Orchard Shelter East!

Iron Horse Patches, Iron Horse T-shirts, and other Memorabilia at the Trading Post

The Iron Horse Trading Post will once again be open with special patches and "stuff". The official Iron Horse Patch is always about trains. The full train includes the engine, three cars, and a caboose which are part of a special jacket patch that is available in limited quantities. Sakima Lodge accepts cash or checks for memorabilia. No Credit Cards. No Debit Cards. Memorabilia is only available during the Festival. It is not available before or after the event.

We also have Iron Horse Festival hiking staff medallions @ $6 and Iron Horse Festival t-shirts, youth and adult sizes, $8+ (Images below)

Golden Spike Cafe - FOOD at the Iron Horse
Great Food is available at the Iron Horse for very reasonable prices at the Golden Spike Café at Orchard Shelter West. Why gather and lug all that cooking equipment and food to the park? Relax and enjoy the park. Let us do the cooking for you. Sakima Lodge accepts CASH or CHECKS at the diner. (No Credit Cards. No Debit Cards) Members of Sakima Lodge will be serving the following menu:

Please note that this is a preliminary menu, we are still working on the offerings and the prices!   



 Hot Dog






 Soft Drinks
 Bottled Water
 Hot Chocolate
 Hot Coffee and Tea


 Hamburger Value Meal with Chips and a Drink


 2 Hot Dog Value Meal With Chips and a Drink
















First Aid at the Iron Horse

Aid should be rendered and documented within the Pack or Troop. If additional First Aid is required, you should call Potato Creek State Park on your cell phone at 574-656-8186 –OR–  find a Park Employee. They will have radios to call for help. If you can not reach the park - The Iron Horse committee will also have a First Aid Officer at the Beach House from 8 am to noon, and then at the Orchard Shores area from noon to 4 pm. Be Safe at the Horse!!!

Lost and Found
Any Scout-related items found at the park should be brought to the Trading Post in the parking lot of the Orchard Shelters. Items can be claimed there. Any items left over will be sent to the LaSalle Council Service Center. Call (574) 289-0337.


File Name Description
Iron Horse Unit Registration Form PDF Iron Horse registration form in PDF format - can be used to fill out prior to arrival at the park Download
Potato Creek Electric Map Potato Creek State Park camp site s map Download
Potato Creek Trail Map Potato Creek State Park trail map Download
Potato Creek Youth Campground Map Potato Creek State Park youth campground map Download
Position Name Telephone
VP of District Operations Kevin Davis (574) 360-8228 Email
Sakima Lodge Adviser Patrick Monaghan Email
Sakima Lodge Chief Sammy S Email
DEI Director Jeff Smith (219) 380-9805 Email