Griffy Lake and Nature Preserve – Bloomington Parks and Rec.

Originally posted April 2007.

Many students probably graduate from Indiana University never realizing that this jewel is just a stone’s throw from campus.

Located just a few miles north-east of the football stadium, Griffy Lake and Nature Preserve is a special place.To me it exudes Bloomington. It has rolling hills, placid water and the scent of patchouli emanating from the boat rental building. Ah, college.

At 109 acres, the lake is small and the surrounding hiking trails aren’t very long. The largest is 1.6 miles. Certainly no big expeditions here, but by combining multiple trails, you can while away a couple of hours in an area rich with flora and fauna.

I am always amazed by the variety of wildlife I find here. Over the years I’ve seen countless geese, ducks, owls, crane, deer, pileated woodpecker, muskrat, turtle, fish and tons and tons of baby frogs, just to name a few.

Among the activities you can enjoy are fishing, hiking, canoe/kayak rental and there is a fair amount of bicycle riding across the causeway. This is Bloomington after all, home of the Little 500 bike race.

As I said, the trails are short, so I like to combine them. Usually I start out with the Hiking Trail and then as I come back down the hill I hook up with the Griffy Creek Trail and the Wetlands trail.

To get to the trails, drive across the causeway and turn right into the parking lot. Step out of you car, take a deep breath and be on your way. The beginning and ending of the Hiking Trail are somewhat steep, but the majority of the trail is pretty flat and a very pleasant hike. As you ascend the trail you have some nice views of the lake. About half way up you will come across a small bench. On the day that I last hiked this trail there was a college student sitting on the bench reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She motioned me over and pointed towards some undergrowth. There, nearly hidden in the trees was a young fawn lying on the ground not 10 feet from us. I don’t where mama was, but it made for a pretty idyllic scene.

So, the next time you’re in Bloomington head north on Headley Road and explore this wonderful little jewel.

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