Bloomington, IN: Big Oak Trail at Fairfax State Recreation Area (Lake Monroe)


After our kind of failed hike at Cedar Bluffs (we wound up going about a third of a mile), we needed a real hike in the woods to feel like we got something more out of the day. Fairfax State Recreation Area wasn't too far away (about 15-20 minutes), so we headed there.


There are two trails at Fairfax SRA, the Big Oak Trail (which is DNR-run) and another short trail behind Fourwinds Resort. We did the Big Oak Trail -- the map says 1.75 miles, but we followed the signs from the north trailhead next to the Big Oak Shelter (and did not do the Evergreen Loop) and it was closer to 1.35 miles. The DNR calls it moderate, since there are a couple of elevation gains and water crossings (if you have short legs like me, you'll have to jump a few; if you are tall like Eric, you can basically walk across).


The main attraction is the big oak tree, about 175 years old, that is at the beginning of the trail near the Big Oak Shelter. (PS. There are also bathrooms and a decently-sized parking lot next to this shelter.)



The hike was very green.and very muddy in places. If you are staying at Lake Monroe and need a walk around, it would be a good choice. (There aren't a ton of hikes around the lake, unfortunately.)




PSA: As soon as you finish hikes, check yourself for ticks. They are everywhere, especially in woods like these, even if you stay thoroughly on the trail, and you need to get them off you right away. Eric had three on him. Three! We do tick checks on ourselves and each other after every hike. Good thing we did.
Bloomington, IN: Big Oak Trail at Fairfax State Recreation Area (Lake Monroe) Bloomington, IN: Big Oak Trail at Fairfax State Recreation Area (Lake Monroe) Reviewed by Maria on 3:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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