Getting Outdoors around Bloomington
You’ll find the lake just for you, whether you’re up for quiet times with a fishing pole or trying to knock someone off a tube. Bring your clubs for a round at IU’s Pfau Course and pack your hiking shoes for the great nature parks.
About This Road Trip
Boating, Fishing and Swimming
The Bloomington area is known for water fun. Monroe Lake is the largest one situated in Indiana, giving you plenty of room to find a quiet fishing cove or to make tons of waves. There’s a swimming beach on the west side of Monroe Lake at Fairfax State Recreation Area, also home to Fourwinds Lakeside Inn & Marina. Lake Lemon features 25 miles of shoreline and is one of Indiana’s most popular and productive fishing spots — check out the Little Africa Wildlife Viewing Area while you’re there. You can rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboard at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, where there are hiking trails winding through the wooded ridges and ravines around the lake.
Non-Water Outdoor Rec, Too
There are all kinds of reasons to get outdoors around Bloomington. Hoosier National Forest, covering 203,000 acres of land spreading across nine counties, is prime for camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding and birding in the lush forest. Tackle five miles of rolling single-track trails at Wapehani Mountain Bike Park. Leonard Springs Nature Preserve has caves, steep forested slopes and a wetlands area, great for bird watching. If greens and fairways are your idea of a day in nature, book a tee time at IU’s Pfau Course, designed by Steve Smyers and two-time major winner and Hoosier native Fuzzy Zoeller.
Lift Your Spirits (Or Wine)
Cap off a day of outdoor fun by tasting the local wines and spirits. Indiana’s winery roots are at Oliver Winery, where they offer daily tasting of their fruit-forward wines, free weekend tours, picnic grounds and a gift shop. There’s even live music throughout the summer. Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery, cocktail bar and kitchen rolled into one. Learn how they craft whiskey, vodka and gin during a tour and try their seasonal, shareable food made with local ingredients.
Eat Like a Local
College towns have the best eats, right? Nick’s English Hut has been a go-to for over 80 years, offering market-driven American eats in their bi-level bar and restaurant. Try a Reuben, muffaletta or a grilled sub at Bloomington Sandwich Co. IU alums and everyone else have loved Mother Bear’s Pizza since it opened in 1973. No wonder it’s on everyone’s list of must-go places in Bloomington.
Map Out Your Road Trip
See the road trip stops on the map below. To customize and save your itinerary, click the list button. Remember: you should contact the destinations for updates.