Nature preserve offers stress relief

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Apr. 5, 2004 


With her nine-month-old son strapped on her back and her husband and dog at her side, Bloomington resident Tania Jarosewich set out for a Sunday morning hike at Griffy Lake. The sun was glistening off the water, and the cool breeze made for comfortable hiking conditions.

"We are hikers," said Andrew Jarosewich, Tania's husband. "We used to hike every day, but since the baby was born, it's been more like two times a week."

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve is a 109-acre lake surrounded by 1,179 acres of nature preserve. Only five minutes away from downtown Bloomington, Griffy offers activities ranging from canoeing to walking the rugged trails surrounding the water. Or, if you are a college student who has had a late night out, a lazy day at Griffy Lake may be just the remedy.

Saturday marked the opening of the season for Griffy's boat house, which will remain open on weekends only until the beginning of May, when the boat house will be open daily.

"Saturday was a great day," said sophomore Rudi Romaine, a Griffy Lake leader. "We had at least 20 boat rentals, and the parking lot was full."

Boat rentals are $4 an hour, and if you have your own boat, Griffy Lake sells permits for boat launching for $3.50.

For the students who are looking for somewhere to go other than the College Mall and Kirkwood Avenue on weekends, Griffy Lake is it, said Julie Ramey, Bloomington Parks and Recreations Community Relations Manager.

"Griffy Lake is a great weekend alternative for students at IU," said Ramey. "Experiencing the wildlife and walking the trails is all free, which is something all college kids can appreciate."

The four hiking trails at Griffy range from one-half mile to two miles, and each has its own unique path. Griffy Lake also has picnic tables and basketball courts as a part of its amenities.

Joseph Nichols, a 16-year-old Bloomington resident, wants to be a professional fisherman and has had good luck fishing at Griffy.

"This morning, I have already caught three big catfish," said Nichols. "That's better luck than I have had at other lakes in Bloomington."

A change of pace is what Griffy Lake has to offer. The end of the semester is a stressful time for students, and sophomore Ali Terry appreciates the ease at Griffy Lake.

"It's so relaxing to just lay out and have the wilderness surround you," said Terry. "Last year, I brought my books to the lake and studied for finals. It was a nice change of pace."

Ramey said she feels Griffy offers just that, a change of pace.

"The fresh air and beautiful scenery at Griffy Lake calms people of the stresses of everyday life," said Ramey. "A break from the asphalt rejuvenates people, and with finals around the corner for students, Griffy Lake is a great place to be for some relaxation."

-- Contact staff writer Monica Dix at


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