Trip Idea: Great Outdoors
The landscape of south-central Indiana provides excellent opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Lakes and hills and forests- oh my! Named as one of the top 50 adventure towns in the country by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, the opportunities are practically endless in Bloomington.
With three distinct lakes, every water sports enthusiast will find an activity they enjoy in the right setting. Lake Monroe is the state's largest lake and quite a popular spot for boating and fishing, with a beautiful shoreline surrounded by forests. Lake Lemon is also a great boating lake, with lakeside cottages lining the shore. Griffy Lake allows only non-motorized or trolling boats, so it's the perfect place for a peaceful fishing excursion. All three lakes have parks and natural areas for exploring as well.
Hoosier National Forest
This massive forest covers almost 78,000 acres in Monroe County, providing miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. The forest is dense and beautiful, and 13,000 acres are a designated wilderness area with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the serene, natural environment. Of special interest is the Hickory Ridge firetower, which provides an amazing view of the forest.
Leonard Springs Nature Preserve
A little closer to the city limits lays the Leonard Springs Nature Preserve. The preserve was created to maintain the natural beauty of the area and showcase a historical site. The area showcases a variety of geographical features, including two springs which were used as a water source for the city.
Biking is an integral part of Bloomington's culture, as many students and residents use bikes as their main form of transportation. Add to that two major bicycling events - the Little 500 and the Hilly Hundred Tour- and you've got yourself a two-wheeled community! Most city streets have bicycle lanes, and there are plenty of trails for leisure rides, including Wapehani Park. Country roads make for scenic and challenging courses as well.
Gear & Guides
If you've forgotten any of your outdoor equipment, head to JL Waters, a local supplier of quality outdoor apparel and equipment. Visitors can also use the services of IU Outdoor Adventures, including gear rental and guided tours of all kinds.
After a long day enjoying the outdoors, it's nice to kick back at the pub and get some hearty grub. Crazy Horse is just that type of place, with over 70 beers available and a tasty selection of food too. Yogi's Bar & Grill is another local favorite, with an extensive menu, and an extensive drink selection too.
Stay right on the shores of Lake Monroe at Fourwinds Resort, a hotel resort with a private beach and boat rental. Or try Eagle Pointe Golf Resort, which offers condominiums, swimming pools and a golf course, of course.
To make your trip planning even easier, here's your go-to checklist for everything mentioned in the trip idea above.