Explore the most popular lake 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.

Moderate well marked and not busy. , but mid July @ 94 degrees may not be the best time to try it.

backpacking
4 days ago

I've hiked the trail a few time aover the years. My last trip was July 7-8 with the family. The trail is relatively easy. Both my non- hiking wife and just turned 7 year old got through it without any major complaints. The trail was busy but not crowded and there are lots of decent campsites. The trail have some very nice scenery thanks to the lake views and pine forests. That said, I would argue that the woods are always better in the fall. There were a few spots that we're muddy but, there were always walk-arounds. Most surprisingly, the trail and campsites were clean and nearly devoid of trash. I've seen the area around the lakeside campsites completely trashed before. I suspect there had been a recent clean up effort or, people have finally quit being slobs. lol

Was on this trail yesterday and got lost when I got to the Creek… Not very well marked on the other side. Literally spent four hours yelling for help. Luckily I remembered honeycomb rock when I saw it and was able to find the path again. One of the scariest days of my life.

It’s a decent trail with low traffic. Not hard but not a moderate run either.

hiking
18 days ago

There is about 6 miles in of gravel road to get to trail head. The trail is used for horses and is not really very scenic until you get to the pine forest part - it improves at that point. Although we enjoyed this trail it is not one we would do again.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful scenery with the lake. The trail needs work. As we approached the top corner of the lake the trail basically disappeared, so we made our way back having got a total of 1.4 miles from start to finish.

Good and relaxed. The lake is amazing. Bring floating gear to chill in the lake. Your shoes will take a beating from all the horse shit. It's a horse/walk trail. But had fun.... Cheers

backpacking
1 month ago

Super muddy in certain areas but there is walk-around paths to avoid it. Very beautiful. Some areas were just breathtaking. My 5 year old cane along and loved every minute of it!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Not too many people on a Saturday morning. Not a "hard" trail as stated, closer to a moderate.

backpacking
1 month ago

This was a great warm up backpacking trip for the season. The views from the peninsula are breathtaking! They made the somewhat muddy trail totally worth it!

backpacking
1 month ago

Great camping with beautiful sunsets over Lake Monroe. The swimming was great to get all the mud and dirt off. One of our only complaints were about the trail, it is heavily trafficked by horses so it was very muddy for a large portion of the hike. Our doberman loved the hike and the camping.

hiking
1 month ago

A good choice for us. Good shade from the heat, good variety of up and downhills. Very pretty, but lacking in scenic lookouts since there's no large peaks around. I'm 45 in fair shape and would consider the full loop moderate. Don't let the 'hard' label worry you too much. We spotted several toads, a few turtles, a snake, and some very active fish once we reached the lake.

hiking
1 month 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
2 months 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
2 months ago

hiking
2 months 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
3 months 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
3 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
4 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.

6 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...

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