Explore the most popular forest trails near Bloomington with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
5 days ago

Lost of horse poop. Decent camping spots once you hit the lake.

Very awesome hike with neat views. I took my puppy and ended up going 6 miles for 3 hours total. Two other people had dogs and both were off leash, so that was annoying. One was well trained but the other was obnoxious and got my dog too excited. Also passed by lots of backpackers and runners. Ended up with 4 ticks at the end, so watch out.

My brother and I hiked this trail a few different times. Easy hiking and beautiful landscape. The campsites along the lake near the end of the peninsula are absolutely flawless with phenomenal views!

Really good trail. You can alter the distance how you would like. I did the full outer loop. It took me and the dog 2.5 hours. Good scenery.

backpacking
18 days ago

First time on the Peninsula Trail and we loved it. It was crowded but the weather was perfect and we got one of the last spots on the west side of the peninsula. One of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen. The trail was a little damp but not too bad. Can’t wait to go back when the water is warmer so we can swim!

camping
19 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Not a bad hike, but definitely a very easy hike. I'm not sure why it's rated as moderate. Nice for an afternoon/evening hike.

Nice trail when it’s not busy. Go on a weekday if you can. Parking can get tricky on nice days.

Great trail!

hiking
1 month ago

*we found an E-collar at the beach section of this trail today. Pertainer brand with a black colllar. I put it on the bulletin board in the flyer box.*
Great hiking spot. Gets muddy and slippery on parts of the trails from the hose back riding.

Nice views of the reservoir, especially from the Weir Trail across the street from the small IU parking lot. The spur that goes down to the water is particularly pretty.

Worth a visit, but not quite as scenic as other trails in the area.

Great trail for novice backpackers. We only saw a handful of people while we were on the trail, but the camp sites by the lake get full as the day goes on. Very dog friendly.

backpacking
2 months ago

This isn't a terribly challenging trail, plan on 2 hours or so to get from trailhead to camp. Great trail for a beginner or if you are taking someone backpacking for the first time. You get a little challenge and a pretty good payoff of lake views. Several easy to find campsites make for a comfortable stay with beautiful lake views. Enjoy!

Great hike! Took about 2 hours and 15 mins to do this loop at a pretty quick pace with minimal stops. Beautiful scenic loop passing by Lake Monroe. Hillier than expected, but nonetheless an afternoon well spent. Clean, obvious trails.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun, scenic trail! Great workout too, as there are a lot of very steep hills to climb. Someone scratched in "you are here" markings on the metal signs along the way, which proved to be helpful! We started north, passing the White Tail Trailhead, intending to do the entire outer loop. we missed our first turn to the right and ended up coming back south onto the trail that runs through the middle. But we did continue to head west and did the remainder of the outer loop coming back over the part of trail that we started on. With all the rain we've had, the water was very high and we had difficulty finding a place where we could cross the creek without getting our feet soaked. Otherwise, pretty smooth sailing! I will say the mileage on this map entry is way off. The map the trail provides states the entire loop in 7.7miles, and with the little section we missed, and only retracing one small part of the trail coming back to the entrance, we finished at 6.8miles.

5 months ago

Trail was great, pitched a tent for the night at the only spot by the lake with my 11 year old. Though a spotting the place was hard, it was off trail. This was the only spot with flat ground as the terrain is mostly hilly. Thanks to someone who had made a stone fireplace.
Some rookie mistakes I made :-).
Was overconfident on starting a fire and did not carry a fire starter. Rain had made wood soggy and I ended up loosing my propane tank cooking burner trying to make fire. We succeed after an hour of trying.
I broke my 2.2 lb axe as it caught in a wood splitting position with a dead wood.
Found out I had pitched the tent, by a giant dead wood tree) not that there were many, flat locations away from path of expected rain). Made a makeshift dead wood A-frame to avert being crushed to death. However, my son woke me up at 2:45am scared for his life and asked if we could move the tent (He had actually heard rain water dumping from the rain fly). I had to look for any other options and assure myself things will be fine and fixed the rain fly that took 45 minuets in the biting cold.
Took off for evening walk till the creek but lost our way on the way back as I had forgotten to mark to spot to our site, did catch it quickly and found it in about 10 minuets. My son was terrified.
We heard shot gun shots all day long - we had our hunter orange on and obviously did not get shot :)
There were some friendly trail runners with dogs (off leash). Temperatures were 55F first day to 30F the following morning.
Woke up to a freezing morning with flurries and ice slush. Fire was all out for the rain for last night were out for propane to make oatmeal or warm coco. Packing up to leave in the cold took over an hour. Hiking back was good after about half way, we did not want to take chances and headed the way back we came from. Thanks to someone in the comments here we took the path to climb up (right) and reach the lake view in about 2.5 miles. Overall ours spirits are not broken and survived our first winter hike...
thank you and all the best...

One of the best trails around. Lots of hills and scenic spots.

backpacking
5 months ago

Awesome one nighter on Dec 2 weekend. Beautiful views. Didn't see much wildlife, although we did see an eagle cruising over Lake Monroe. Last weekend of hunting season, we did hear numerous gun shots in the evening and morning. Encountered one hunter who was processing his deer on the trail. I'll do this trail again, but not during hunting season.

hiking
6 months ago

An excellent hike with a good layout and multiple distance options. The views of the ridge lines and lake were great this fall. Thanks to whomever was kind enough to scratch in the “you are here” marks on the sign posts.

backpacking
6 months ago

backpacking
7 months ago

The trail was beautiful! Well marked. It is also well maintained. We chose a camp site out by the beach. A great weekend!

Great trail. Copperhead are pretty prominent in the area though. Our dog did get bit and the vet said he usually gets loads of bite wounds from the Griffy area. Snakes are always a possibility so be careful.

Hiked in for the weekend and found a great campsite. They're not all easy to find- just look for the fire rings. Wonderful fall weather and great views. The hike in was pretty moderate but felt like it went quickly.

Great hike, good elevation but good trail pattern to ease the climb. Somewhat a low gap trail ‘little brother’. Fairly low traffic and great scenery. Perfect Sunday morning excursion.

backpacking
7 months ago

Great hike! Took my 8 year old son and spent the day fishing at our awesome campsite. The hike itself wasn’t difficult and the change leaves made for a pleasant time. I really enjoyed the old forest pine trees. We caught several bluegill and a bass from the shore.

backpacking
7 months ago

The hike was enjoyable, albeit a bit arduous at times. There are some great places to rest near the lake. Be wary going off trail, most of everything you see belongs to giant spooky spiders who know how tall you are, and primarily make webs at that height.

on Boat House Trails

hiking
8 months ago

Well-maintained and well-marked. Griffy Creek Trail (C), and Lanam Trail (L) continue beyond the nature preserve's boundaries. Griffy Creek Trail parallels a dry stream bed that offers geodes, fossils, and a chance to meet some turtles.

This was a very nice and quiet trail when I hiked it at 8:30am on a Saturday in September. I would suggest stopping a little before halfway when you get near the lake. Hop off the trail to take a peek. The downside is that the trail was covered with spider webs. I literally walked into 50 of them.

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