Bloomington, IN: Lake Monroe, frozen but melting at Paynetown SRA


Today was a beautiful blue-skied 60 degrees. It's my last day of break (aside from this weekend), so I went down to the lake to enjoy the warmth and sunshine.


Lake Monroe has a few different state-run entrances, and the quickest one to get to from Bloomington is Paynetown. Since it's winter, there is no entrance fee (and there won't be one until nearly April), but if you come in the summer it's pay-per-car $7 for in-state license plates and $9 for out of state. Paynetown has a beach, boat launch, boat slips and docks, a nature center, campgrounds, playground, summer boat rentals, and hiking trails. I pop down here pretty often when it's nice out because it's only 10-15 minutes from Target and Kroger on the east side.


We've had a cold winter. This is the largest lake in Indiana at nearly 11,000 acres of water surface, and I didn't expect it to still be frozen. It's still pretty icy although I wouldn't go out on it now that it's been over 50 for two days in a row; you can see the melting happening in all these photos.





The ice by the shore is broken up and made for some neat photos.




Along with the water, I watched some wildlife - there were several woodpeckers and squirrels (and a ton of flying birds). This tree was just getting demolished by a woodpecker.











People at some point had a lot of fun throwing giant rocks onto the ice. This is past some of the farthest-inland docks and these rocks are probably 50 feet out from shore.



In the boat slip areas there were several people ice fishing. The ice in the hole above looked like it was somewhere around 8 inches, and I overheard one of the ice-fisherman say he had just drilled a hole 7 inches elsewhere. Still pretty thick right next to the slips!

I really love Lake Monroe and visit as much as I can, especially when the weather is nice. It's pretty cool to see it frozen over. If you get a chance, it's worth checking out. This weekend, too, is a big event at the lake - Eagles Over Monroe, where you can learn all about the birds and other raptors and do crafts and hikes. We haven't been (it's always been miserable weather) but it looks fun!
Bloomington, IN: Lake Monroe, frozen but melting at Paynetown SRA Bloomington, IN: Lake Monroe, frozen but melting at Paynetown SRA Reviewed by Maria on 7:02:00 PM Rating: 5

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