Earth Science Week

  • Monroe Lake
  • October 8, 2023 - October 14, 2023
  • Recurring daily
  • Monroe Lake
  • 4850 S. State Road 446, Bloomington, IN 47401
  • (812) 837-9967
  • Property Entrance Fee is $7 per vehicle with Indiana license plate, or $9 per vehicle with out-of-state license plate.

Monroe Lake will celebrate Earth Science Week from October 8 to 14 with a variety of activities for both kids and adults. There will be two guided geology tours, a celebration of a partial solar eclipse, and additional activities covering a range of earth science topics.

Full details on Earth Science Week are at

The week will kick off with a full day geology driving tour on Monday, Oct. 9 at 9 a.m. The tour is an in-depth exploration of local geological history, focusing on the region around Monroe Lake, and includes several opportunities for collecting rocks and fossils. The tour is limited to 12 people with a $30 per person fee. Advance registration is required by Oct. 5 at

There will be a 2-mile round-trip hike to the crinoid fossil bed at Allens Creek SRA on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. No collecting is permitted at this location. The hike is free but limited to 20 people and advance registration is required by Oct. 10 at

On Saturday, Oct. 14, our area will experience a partial eclipse that will cover about 45% of the Sun. From 9 to 11 a.m. that morning, you can drop by the Campground Playground at Paynetown SRA to decorate and assemble your own eclipse viewer using a special solar filter paper. A donation of $1 is appreciated to cover material costs and supplies will be limited.

There will be an eclipse viewing party on the swimming beach at Paynetown SRA from 12 to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 14, with the eclipse peaking at 1:02 p.m. Eclipse glasses will be available ($1 donation requested) and the park will have an activity table where you can experiment with different ways of viewing the eclipse.

Additional programs at Paynetown SRA, free with park admission
- Sunday, Oct. 8 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Campground Playground, “Know Moh,” drop by to test rocks using Moh’s Hardness Scale
- Sunday, Oct. 8 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Activity Center, “Phases of the Moon,” drop by to make a diagram model of our moon’s phases
- Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Campground Playground, “Rising Waters,” drop by to see a demo of how water can defy gravity
- Thursday, Oct. 12 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Overflow Parking Area, “Digging for Fossils,” drop by to search for real fossils and learn about ancient ocean life
- Thursday, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. at Activity Center, “Inside the Earth,” construct a model of the Earth’s interior as you learn about the layers of our planet
- Friday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. at Activity Center, “Chocolate Rock Cycle,” demo using chocolate to show how igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks are created
- Friday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. at Activity Center, “Cookie Excavation,” practice basic excavation skills used in paleontology on different types of cookies
- Friday, Oct. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Campground Playground, “DIY Weathervanes,” drop by to construct your own mini weathervane

The Daily Entrance Fee at Paynetown SRA is $7 per vehicle with Indiana license plate ($9 per vehicle with out-of-state plates). Indiana State Park Annual Entrance Permits are also accepted.

Questions should be directed to the Paynetown Activity Center at 812-837-9967 or email Jill Vance at

Earth Science Week
  • to
  • Monroe Lake
  • Property Entrance Fee is $7 per vehicle with Indiana license plate, or $9 per vehicle with out-of-state license plate.
  • Recurring daily