Stunning Vistas Tour

This 4-hour journey provides magnificent panoramas of the Southern Indiana landscape from some of its most scenic outlooks. Destinations include:

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The Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve is a 23-acre haven in Southwest Monroe County that features a 75-foot high limestone bluff overlooking the Clear Creek watershed.

Named for the gnarled red cedar trees that cling to its cliffs, the preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy, a private, nonprofit group that buys and protects rare and endangered ecosystems like the “limestone bluffs and dry, mesic upland forest” at Cedar Bluffs.

The preserve, the organization says, “provides a stunning display of species adaptation and survival in a harsh environment. At its eastern end, the bluff narrows and drops off into a rock-walled valley cut by a small tributary stream of Clear Creek. This canyon protects a lavish spring wildflower display and exhibits remarkable rock formations.”

Cedar Bluffs is open to the public from dawn to dusk. Visitors are asked to stay on marked trails.

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The Lake Monroe Dam was constructed between 1960 and 1965, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Salt Creek to control downstream flooding and provide drinking water and recreational opportunities for Bloomington and nearby communities.

The dam and nearby cutaway offer scenic views of the state's largest lake, as well as a park, picnic tables, rest rooms and fishing.

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The Hickory Ridge Fire Tower, located six miles into the Hoosier National Forest on the edge of the Charles Deam Wilderness Area, is one of the few such structures left in the state and offers a spectacular view of the forest in four counties.

At 202,000 acres, the Hoosier is Indiana’s largest public land mass, stretching, in four broken chunks, from Lake Monroe to the Ohio River. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the Hoosier is managed for multiple uses, from logging to backpacking.

The 13,000-acre Deam is the only federally protected wilderness in Indiana that is permanently off limits to logging and other extractive uses, such as oil and gas production.

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