Indiana Daily Student

Local organizations encourage Bloomington residents to boat, hike and camp

<p>Then Sophomore Jillian Tomes kayaks on the Campus River on April 15 behind Franklin Hall. People who want to canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard on a lake can rent boats at Griffy Lake.</p>

Then Sophomore Jillian Tomes kayaks on the Campus River on April 15 behind Franklin Hall. People who want to canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard on a lake can rent boats at Griffy Lake.

There is a wide range of outdoor activities for IU students and Bloomington residents this summer. 

Boat rentals are available at many lakes in Bloomington. Lake Monroe Boat Rental Inc rents out various boats and water accessories including pontoons, jet skis and canoes according to their website

Individuals must be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license to rent, Sunny Straw, manager at Lake Monroe Boat Rental Inc, said. 

“Renting jet skis during the weekday, when it's less busy, is a good option,” Straw said. “The water temperature is great right now.” 

People who want to canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard on a smaller lake can rent boats at Griffy Lake. The Griffy Lake boathouse rents all watercraft for $8 per hour, according to their website. 

IU Outdoor Adventures, located in Eigenmann Hall, also offers canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals. All gear rentals are 50% off until June 19, Assistant Coordinator Tyler Kivland said. 

“It’s so good for people who are getting back into normal life after COVID-19 to try something new,” Kivland said. 

Kivland said they also offer inflatable stand-up paddleboards that can easily fit in the back of a car trunk for people who might not have a way to transport other watercraft. 

Camping gear such as tents, mountain bikes and sleeping bags are also 50% off. Equipment can be rented through a gear rent request form and is also open to people unaffiliated with IU, Kivland said. 

Many of the forests and parks in Bloomington offer campsites, such as on Lake Monroe in the Paynetown Campground. 

“You should reserve a campsite as soon as possible because the campsites fill up quickly,” Philip Wilson, Reservoir Specialist, said. 

Paynetown has a total of 305 campsites that can be booked up to six months in advance, Wilson said. 

Other campsites near Bloomington include Brown County State Park, McCormicks Creek State Park, and Yellowwood State Forest, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

IUOA is open Monday 3-6 p.m., Wednesday by appointment and Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Bloomington also has many hiking trails in Hoosier National Forest, Morgan-Monroe State Forest and Brown-County State Park. A few popular trails include Cascades Trail, Griffy Lake Nature Preserve Loop and the Leonard Spring Nature Park Loop, according to AllTrails

People who enjoy being outdoors and want to learn about nature can attend educational events hosted at Lake Monroe nearly every day of the week. This Friday at 7:00 p.m., there is a leaf art workshop that also discusses how to identify trees using leaf shapes, according to their website. 

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