Beautiful Bloomington


Bloomington is full of beautiful places, great for a weekend visit. Here are three of those places, but there are many others.

Cascade Park Waterfall

Cascade Park is right in the middle of northern Bloomington. But once you’re in the park, it doesn’t seem like you’re in the middle of a city. The park has two shelters, a playground and softball fields. Close by to the north is a dog park for those outdoorsy canines. It’s a popular destination for families with children, but the park offers something for everyone. A network of trails leads hikers through tranquil, serene woods to a small waterfall.

How to get there:
Heading north on Walnut Avenue, turn left onto Old State Road 37, just north of Miller Showers Park. Continue north on 37 for about a mile until you come to the parking lot near the Waterfall Shelter. A trail behind that shelter leads to the waterfall.

Jackson Creek Trail
The Jackson Creek Trail is a 12-foot wide asphalt surface perfect for biking, walking or running. The completed first phase of the trail only runs for 0.6 miles, but in that strech it leads past scenic views of the city-owned “Goat Farm,” beautiful woods and, of course, Jackson Creek. The trail leads to Sherwood Oaks Park near the middle and Olcott Park at the end.

How to get there:
A trailhead marking the northern edge of the trail is located just south of the roundabout at Winslow Road, High Street and Rodgers Street. Parking is not permitted at the northern trailhead, but it is a manageable bike ride from campus. If you are driving, you can find parking at Olcott Park or Sherwood Oaks Park and take the trail north.

Hickory Ridge Fire Tower
The Hickory Ridge Fire Tower is located in the heart of Hoosier National Forest wilderness. But once you get past the winding gravel road and the tower’s 133 steps, the views from the top are stunning. Built in 1936, the tower was once used to locate forest fires and was one of eight similar towers throughout the forest. It was used until the 1970s, but now is the only tower that remains of the original eight.

How to get there:
The tower is about a 35-minute drive from Bloomington. To get there, take Third Street east and turn right onto State Route 446. Continue south across the Lake Monroe causeway, and turn left on Tower Ridge Road. The road is gravel and is marked by a sign for the Charles C. Deam Wilderness area. The tower is about five miles down Tower Ridge Road on the left.

City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation
U.S. Forest Service

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.


Comments powered by Disqus