As a recent addition to the staff at Lake Monroe, I still have a lot of land (and water!) to explore and learn about. A few weeks ago, I took some time to check out a geological feature that I’d heard people talking about – the fossil beds at Allen’s Creek State Recreation Area.
I parked in the small lot and began the hike back to the fossil beds. The trail, which is really a little-used service road, follows a ridge top line all the way out to the point. Trees are starting to turn color more rapidly now and they look beautiful lining the ridge. Immediately next to the trail, the habitat is more open, with scattered blooms of goldenrod.
While exploring the fossil beds, I also took in the scenery. When you’re standing on the point, you’re sticking out about halfway into the reservoir, so there’s a great view across the water in all directions. The hills rise up from the surrounding shorelines and are absolutely gorgeous in fall color.
Allen’s Creek is located off of SR 446 near Bloomington, Indiana, on the south side of the causeway that crosses the reservoir. The one-way hiking distance back to the point is about 1.5 miles over mostly moderate terrain. The trail will periodically split off, when you’re hiking out to the point always take the right fork. Please remember that fossil and geode collecting is prohibited on state property!
If you want to learn more about the geology of the reservoir, call Lake Monroe’s Paynetown SRA Office at 812.837.9546.