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April 11, 2018

A focus of this year’s bicentennial is “Trees and Trails”, and this theme has sparked interest in the development of a loop trail around Griffy Lake.

Members of the public have approached the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, which manages the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, Griffy Lake itself, and the surrounding natural areas and recreational facilities, with interest in developing longer loop trails at the park.

Users often inquire about the possibility of hiking all the way around the lake. There are existing trails on the north shore of the lake and a plan has been developed for a boardwalk on the west side of the causeway. The boardwalk will connect the parking lot to the North Shore Trail, making trail access safer for users.

While there are trails around much of the lake, there are missing links. A loop trail would need to connect the north shore to the south shore on the dam side of the lake. The existing trail includes a staircase down from the north shore to the Dunn Street parking area. The creek crossing here is sometimes flooded and on the south end of the dam, the fence runs close to the road. This narrow passage is also steep and will present challenges in the trail design.

Once on the south shore, the existing trail sections can be connected. Some areas where trail links are missing will be difficult to connect due to terrain. There are some steep slopes and ravines that will need to be addressed, possibly with bridges or other structures. To the east, it may be possible to connect with Indiana University Research and Teaching Preserve trails to create a loop that crosses Headley Road and goes east around the wetland area.

It is not yet decided if the proposed loop trail route should continue around the wetland or if it should run along the causeway. Bloomington Parks and Recreation is interested in feedback on the idea of the trail, opinions on where the trail should go, thoughts on balance between disturbance and accessibility, and perceived effects of trail structures on the natural character of the property.