From forests and lakes to wetlands and marshes, Bloomington is home to several nature preserves and Hoosier National Forest. At the nature preserves, the flora and fauna are protected but available for gentle observation and exploration to those in the area. They are perfect for enjoying a birding expeditionscenic hike, and more. Hoosier National Forest, Indiana's only national forest, is just 30 minutes from downtown Bloomington and the Indiana University campus. It is comprised of over 200,000 acres and tens-of-thousands are found in Monroe County.