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Monroe Lake

Enjoy a great outdoor escape and thrill to year-round adventures amid the scenic surroundings of this expansive freshwater lake in south-central Indiana.

Breathe in the fresh air and get some exercise as you participate in a variety of outdoor activities at Monroe Lake. This vast man-made body of freshwater is Indiana’s largest inland lake and is surrounded by thousands of acres of forests and fields.

You’ll find lots of ways to experience the lake. Canoe or kayak through the water, head out on a sailing boat or zip across it on a pair of water skis. Go swimming off one of the lake’s two beaches. Both are equipped with showers, restrooms, changing facilities and food concessions. 

If you are part of a large group, rent a pontoon boat that can carry between 8 and 35 passengers. Some feature waterslides and barbecue grills. Boat and equipment rental companies are located on the lake's shores. 

Fish for bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie, among other species. During the winter, try ice fishing. Pick up the required state fishing license from the lake office.

When you are back on dry land, hike along any of the marked trails, which are rated easy to moderate. The shortest is 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) and the longest are 1.8 miles (2.8 kilometers). These include the forest-and-field Bluebird Trail and the Big Oak Trail, which leads to a large oak tree thought to be about 175 years old. 

Other popular activities at Monroe Lake include birdwatching and mushroom collecting.

Bring a picnic with you and spread out your feast at one of the designated picnic areas featuring tables and grills.

Monroe Lake is in south-central Indiana, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of Bloomington. An entrance fee applies and some activities such as camping and boating have extra charges. For details of fees and permits, visit the website of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.


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Lodging Near Lake Monroe

See all 155 Properties near Lake Monroe
Fourwinds Lakeside Inn and Marina $139
Reviewed on Apr 29, 2019
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Fourwinds Lakeside Inn and Marina

Fourwinds Lakeside Inn and Marina

9301 S Fairfax Rd, Bloomington, IN
     
    4.0 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Liked the lakeside view. Breakfast was good. Didnt like the thin walls. Could hear the tv and activity next door and they weren't being obnoxious.

    Overlook, Private 5 Star Retreat for Great Times
    Overlook, Private 5 Star Retreat for Great Times

    Overlook, Private 5 Star Retreat for Great Times

    Bloomington, Indiana
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated on the waterfront, this romantic condo building is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Lake Monroe and within 9 mi (15 km) of Bloomington Speedway and Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center. Indiana University Bloomington and Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center are also within 16 mi (25 km).

      Overloft, Golf Resort Get Away Near Lake Monroe
      Overloft, Golf Resort Get Away Near Lake Monroe

      Overloft, Golf Resort Get Away Near Lake Monroe

      Bloomington, Indiana
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Bloomington, this family-friendly condo building is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Lake Monroe, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center and Bloomington Speedway. Indiana University Bloomington and Wonderlab Science Museum are also within 12 mi (20 km).

        Charming 2BR Lake Monroe Golf Condo IU Bloomington
        Charming 2BR Lake Monroe Golf Condo IU Bloomington

        Charming 2BR Lake Monroe Golf Condo IU Bloomington

        Bloomington, Indiana
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Bloomington, this vacation home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Lake Monroe and 9.7 mi (15.6 km) from Bloomington Speedway. Indiana University Bloomington and Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center are also within 16 mi (25 km).

          Hyatt Place Bloomington $98
          Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
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          Hyatt Place Bloomington

          Hyatt Place Bloomington

          217 W. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN
             
            4.6 of 5
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            New and well kept overall, but there was blood spots on bathroom wall and we had to switch rooms.

            Welcome to Acorn Resort, A Unique Retreat
            Welcome to Acorn Resort, A Unique Retreat

            Welcome to Acorn Resort, A Unique Retreat

            Bloomington, Indiana
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Bloomington, this historic cabin is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Lake Monroe and within 9 mi (15 km) of Bloomington Speedway and Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center. Indiana University Bloomington and Monroe County Courthouse are also within 12 mi (20 km).

              Acorn Resort is a Unique Retreat
              Reviewed on Jul 10, 2018
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              Acorn Resort is a Unique Retreat

              Acorn Resort is a Unique Retreat

              Bloomington, Indiana
                 
                5.0 of 5
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                The house is well maintained, spacious and was a great gathering place for a work reunion. The property is quiet and makes you really feel "away from it all" no matter what the purpose of your trip is.

                Graduate Bloomington $79
                Reviewed on Jun 13, 2019
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                Graduate Bloomington

                Graduate Bloomington

                210 E Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN
                   
                  4.7 of 5
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  IU-themed hotel with beautiful rooms located right between campus town and the downtown square on Kirkwood. A great addition to the B-Town experience!