Top Outdoor Activities in Bloomington, IN – visitbloomington.com
For those looking to get active while in Bloomington, there are plenty of activities available to get your blood pumping. With an assortment of outdoor attractions, urban trails, and specialty recreation, there’s an option for every level of fitness, from those who want to fit in a simple walk to those who desire an intense sweat session. Ditch the hotel gym and opt for one of these fun activities instead!
Golf at The Pfau Course
Ranked in the Top 100 golf courses in North America by GOLF.com, The Pfau Course at Indiana University is a unique way to experience Bloomington while working up a sweat. The 18-hole, Par-71 course was designed to be accessible to players of all skill levels from the championship golfer to the casual golfer, with six tee options and a practice & training area that includes a driving range, practice bunkers, a short-game practice area, a putting green, and more.
Ice Skate at Frank Southern Ice Arena
From October through March, you can rent a pair of ice skates and glide across the rink at the Frank Southern Ice Arena. It’s a great way to get your body moving during the colder months while also having a ton of fun!
Rock-Climb at Hoosier Heights
Another unique way to fit some exercise in during your trip is to go rock-climbing at Hoosier Heights, Bloomington’s premier indoor rock-climbing facility. There are climbing experiences available for all skill levels — enjoy free climbing, classes, and clinics for new climbers.
Skateboard at the Switchyard Skate Park
Bring your board to B-Town so you can check out the skatepark at Switchyard Park. The concrete park features several bowls and banks, a grind box, a hubba, a flat rail and handrail, a pyramid, and more. If you’re staying downtown, you can even ride from your hotel to the park by cruising down the B-Line Trail on your skateboard.
Jump Around at Urban Air Adventure Park
Looking to get the entire family’s blood pumping? Spend a few hours jumping around at Urban Air Adventure Park! The indoor trampoline park features tons of trampolines, a Ninja Warrior course & Wipeout course, climbing walls, a slam dunk zone, and more.
Indoor Skate at Western Skateland
Another great family-friendly exercise option is roller-skating at Western Skateland. Lace up a pair of roller skates and cruise around the floor while jamming along to some great music — the nostalgia factor is unbeatable for the adults, and the kids will have a blast rolling around under the neon lights as well.
Walk the Indiana University Campus
Walking the grounds of the Indiana University campus is both a great form of exercise and a breathtaking architectural & educational tour. While there’s a vast expanse of sidewalks and paths carving routes through & around campus, there are also four dedicated walking trails: the Woodlawn Loop Trail, the Cox Arboretum Art Trail, the Shaded Wilderness Trail, and the Red Brick Trail. Each trail is approximately one mile in length, and all four trails connect with one another, so it’s easy to extend your route to include more mileage.
Bike the Trails at Wapehani Mountain Bike Park
Wapehani Mountain Bike Park was Indiana’s first mountain bike park, and it remains a unique offering in B-Town. The park features five miles of mostly single-track trails across 46 acres of wooded and grassy land, offering challenges and reprieves for every experience level — although most of the trails are geared toward intermediate experience. Get your blood pumping as you explore one of Bloomington’s best outdoor attractions on two wheels!
Swim at the IU Outdoor Pool
Have a passion for exercising in the water? Head to IU’s outdoor pool. The Olympic-size swimming pool offers 10 lanes and a diving well. Fitness options include lap swimming and a variety of instructor-led adult group exercise sessions for all fitness levels.
Run the B-Line Trail
The B-Line Trail is a 3.1-mile paved trail that runs through the heart of downtown Bloomington. For those staying in the area, there’s no better way to start your day than with a run on the trail. Not only is it a smooth and spacious path, it’s also an interesting route, as it winds by several shops, restaurants, and other attractions. You’ll have plenty to look at as you trek the trail, which will hopefully take your mind off the physical exertion!
Hike the Hoosier National Forest
Hiking enthusiasts should visit the Hoosier National Forest, home to over 200 miles of hiking trails. With 27 different trail systems with lengths ranging from 0.8 miles to nearly 49 miles, there’s a hike in the national forest for every experience level. One local favorite trail is the Sycamore Trail, a 4.9-mile trek that’s widely loved due to the 110-foot Hickory Ridge Fire Tower at the trailhead — climb all 133 steps for a view of Monroe County like no other.
Cycle the Clear Creek Trail
The Clear Creek Trail is a 2.4-mile paved trail that stretches across 20.8 acres of wooded land and open grassy spaces. The trail is one of the quieter, less-trafficked paved paths in town, so cyclists may enjoy this trail more than others as there are fewer people on foot to keep an eye out for. Clear Creek Trail also connects to the Bloomington Rail Trail at its north end and the Limestone Greenway at its south end, offering an additional 3.7 miles of trail to bike for those wanting a longer-distance ride.
Kayak at Griffy Lake
Photo by Erika Rogers
Love to go kayaking? A trip to Griffy Lake Nature Preserve is a must. The peaceful lake is open to non-motorized boats only, so it’s ideal for those who want to kayak while in town. Bring your own watercraft to Bloomington, or rent one from the lake’s boathouse. If you’re looking for more exercise once you’re done kayaking, consider renting a paddleboard if you’d like to stay on the water, or explore the many trails that run through the nature preserve if you’d rather be on land.
Roller-Skate on the Karst Farm Greenway
The Karst Farm Greenway offers 4.5 miles of paved trail through the west side of Bloomington towards Ellettsville — why not switch it up from walking and biking to try roller-skating instead? Much like the B-Line Trail, the smooth and spacious nature of the greenway is ideal for roller-skating. For those new to the hobby, be sure to don elbow and knee pads to prevent potential injuries in the event of a fall.
Practice Yoga in Dunn Meadow
Yoga lovers, we didn’t forget about you! Enjoy a peaceful, grounding practice outdoors at IU’s Dunn Meadow. The open, grassy area in front of the Indiana Memorial Union is the perfect space to stretch your body and find your zen. If you’re craving a little more fitness after your practice, take that walk around our gorgeous Hoosier campus.