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City of Bloomington, Indiana

Mayor John Hamilton


Camping, ground fires, and overnight parking are not permitted at Griffy Lake.


Griffy Lake Nature Preserve is a protected area. Please protect the highly erosive soils at Griffy Lake, and prevent injuries to your dog, wildlife, and other people by keeping your dog on a leash at all times. Ferguson Dog Park, an off-leash dog park managed by the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, is located nearby. Learn more about the Ferguson Dog Park.

Eco Outpost at Griffy Lake

Looking for a fun, new way to interact with the great outdoors? Visit the Eco Outpost, a hands-on place to explore nature. Check out our display of natural objects like fossils, pine cones, and seashells, and learn how you can earn Eco Bucks that can be traded for any of the objects in the Outpost's collection. Borrow an Explorer Backpack and take a fun-filled trek through the woods or your own backyard. The Eco Outpost is open during boathouse hours.


Griffy Lake was drained to facilitate repairs to the dam and spillway in 2011-12. Largemouth bass, redear sunfish, bluegill and channel catfish were reintroduced to Griffy Lake in spring 2014. All Department of Natural Resources rules and regulations regarding the taking of fish, including size limits and daily bag limits, are in effect at Griffy Lake. Learn more about Indiana Fishing Regulations here.

Adults are required to have a valid Indiana fishing license to fish at Griffy Lake. Fishing licenses are NOT available for purchase at Griffy Lake.


For more information about geocaching at Griffy Lake, contact the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department at (812) 349-3700 or


A large gravel parking lot (approx. 65 spaces) is located at the boathouse on Headley Road. Additional parking is available at the dam on North Dunn Street. For the safety of Griffy Lake users and motorists, parking along Headley Road and Dunn Street is not permitted.


Accessible vault toilets are available next to the boathouse, and are typically open during boathouse operating hours.

Picnic Area

Picnic tables are located around the boathouse. Grills are not provided. Grilling is permitted, but ground fires are prohibited. Separate trash and recycling receptacles are located around the boathouse.


There are several hiking trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to rugged, at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. Please respect the fragile environment of Griffy Lake Nature Preserve by remaining on marked trails. Dogs and other pets must remain on a leash at all times while in the park. Mountain biking, horseback riding, and off-road vehicles are strictly prohibited.

Use the link at the bottom of this page to view and download the Griffy Lake trail map.

  • Nature Trail (.4 mile) - This self-guided trail begins across the parking lot from the restroom. It is an easy loop trail with moderate slopes.
  • Hiking Trail (1.6 miles) - This trail starts and ends iwth steep slopes; however, most of the trail is on a relatively flat ridgetop. Views along the trail include valleys, upland forest, and occasional glimpses of the lake. The trail starts across the road from the boathouse and ends at the east end of the boathouse parking lot.
  • Griffy Creek Trail (1.5 miles) - This non-looping trail begins at the east end of the boathouse parking lot and follows the north branch of Griffy Creek. Views along the walk include the creek and forested valley.
  • Lanam Trail (1.1 miles) - This linear trail begins at the Griffy Creek Trail trailhead and extends to Lanam Road. The trail provides views of the forest, and parallels sections of the north and middle forks of Griffy Creek.
  • Cascades Park Trail - This paved, accessible, linear trail connects Lower Cascades Park to the intersection of Stone Mill Road and North Old State Road 37.
  • Wetland Trail (.5 mile) - The Wetland Trail is an easy, non-looping trail, but it is seasonally wet. Please respect the fragile nature of this area by staying on the trail. The Wetland Trail begins at the Griffy Creek trailhead.
  • North Shore Trail (1.5 miles) - This trail begins along North Headley Road, north of the boathouse. Please use care when walking on the road to reach the trailhead. Steep slopes, narrow pathways, and rock outcrops make the North Shore Trail the most Rugged trail at Griffy Lake. Please stay on the trail when hiking in the area.
  • North Shore Loop Spur (1 mile) - This looping trail begins and ends at Griffy Lake dam. At the top of the dam the trail splits off to the left from the main North Shore Trail. Sections of the trail explore upland forest habitat before dipping down into a creek bottom to rejoin the North Shore Trail.
  • South Shore Trails (3.7 miles) - A collection of trails explore Griffy Lake's state dedicated nature preserve area. A couple of the trails connect to the IU Research and Teaching Preserve trail system.