Indiana University
Research and Teaching Preserve

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Griffy Woods trees
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Griffy Woods

The Griffy Woods site is less than one mile from IU Assembly Hall and encompasses a great deal of landscape and biological diversity. The 185-acre site is adjacent to the City of Bloomington's Griffy Nature Preserve and the Indiana University Championship Golf Course. Much of the area consists of heavily forested ridges and ravines flowing into Lake Griffy but there are also flatter upland and bottomland areas. A diversity of successional stages, ranging from old fields to mature forest, are represented. Parts of the preserve exhibit substantial invasion by exotic plant species but most consists of undisturbed native communities. University Lake is completely within the preserve. This diversity and proximity to campus offer considerable research and teaching opportunities in many areas at the graduate and undergraduate levels.


Environmental Monitoring at Griffy Woods   View real-time weather at Griffy Woods as well as other data from the micrometeorological station. Data being sampled from the weir on Griffy Creek and instrumentation on University Lake are also available.   [ View the data ]


Quick Facts

Driving time from campus: 5-10 min. Date Acquired by IU: 1908-1954 (approximately 950 acres north of 45/46 bypass; 185 acres went to preserve)
Nearby Public Land: City of Bloomington Lake Griffy Nature Preserve (1160 acres) Current Land Use: Forest and wetland preserve with no formal land management; informal use for hiking, class, and research use
Land Forms: Flat-topped elongate ridgetops; rugged, highly ravined slopes; wetland valley along south fork of Griffy Creek; elevation range 630-810 ft; 1,500 feet of shoreline along Lake Griffy and completely enclosing University Lake; southern border along IU golf course
Vegetation: Mature Oak-Beech-Maple forest varying with topographic position and exposure; bottomland forest along Griffy Creek; earlier successional vegetation west of Headly Road with some pine plantings and substantial cover of invasive woody species; limited evidence of selective logging in past; diverse array of herbaceous species given diversity of habitats; unusual vegetation on Huckleberry Ridge.
Geology: Harrodsburg limestone on ridgetops and Borden siltstone/shale in valleys; some karst features; exposure along lakefront bluffs, in deep ravines and in artificial cuts for railroad bed (abandoned); unglaciated thin soils.
Access: This area is open to the public and the 2008 trail map and brochure is available. Best access point is from Headly/Hinkle Road south of the Lake Griffy causeway. Driving directions to Griffy Lake are below.


Canada Geese on Lake Griffy

Driving Directions

From the Indiana Memorial Union: Take Woodlawn Avenue to 10th Street, and turn right (east) onto 10th Street. Take 10th Street east to Fee Lane. Turn left (north) onto Fee Lane and continue north across bypass at stoplight by Unitarian Universalist Church onto Matlock Road. Continue on Matlock Road, which becomes Headly Road, for approximately 0.6 miles. The parking lot is on the left, 150 yards past a sharp left near the 4th hole of the IU golf course.

From Indiana Highway 37 (from Indianapolis): Take the 45/46 bypass exit east from Highway 37 to where Fee Lane and Matlock Road intersect the bypass. Turn left (north) on Matlock Road across from the Unitarian Universalist Church. Continue on Matlock Road, which becomes Headly Road, for approximately 0.6 miles to parking lot on left.

aerial map of Griffy Woods property
Click to enlarge

From Indiana Highway 46 (from Nashville): Take Highway 46 west to the 45/46 bypass. Turn right (north) on bypass and continue to stoplight by Unitarian Universalist Church. Turn right (north) on Matlock Road, which becomes Headly Road, and continue approximately 0.6 miles to parking lot on left.


Relevant Publications

  • Koslow, J. M. and K. Clay. 2010. Spatial and temporal dynamics of rust infection on jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). International Journal of Plant Sciences (in press).
  • Reinhart, K. O., T. Tytgat, W. H. Van der Putten and K. Clay. 2010. Plant invasions and the virulence of soil pathogens. New Phytologist 186: 484-495.
  • Speer, J. H., K. Clay, G. Bishop and M. Creech. 2010. The effect of periodical cicadas on growth of five tree species in midwestern deciduous forests. American Midland Naturalist (in press).
  • Reinhart, K. and K. Clay. 2009. Spatial variation in soil-borne disease dynamics of a temperate tree, Prunus serotina. Ecology 90: 2984-2993.
  • Clay, K., A. Shelton and C. Winkle. 2008. Differential susceptibility of tree species to oviposition by periodical cicadas. Ecological Entomology 34: 277-286.
  • Tintjer, T., A. Leuchtmann and K. Clay. 2008. Variation in horizontal and vertical transmission of the endophyte Epichloë elymi infecting the grass Elymus hystrix. New Phytologist 179:236-246.
  • Koslow, J. M. and K. Clay. 2007. The mixed mating system of Impatiens capensis and infection by a foliar rust pathogen: Resistance, local adaptation, and fitness consequences. Evolution 61: 2643-2654.
  • Flory, S. L. and K. Clay. 2006. Distance to road and forest age affect invasive exotic shrub distribution in eastern deciduous forests. Plant Ecology 184: 131-141.
  • Reinhart, K. O., Packer, A., van der Putten, W. and K. Clay. 2003. Plant-soil biota interactions
    and spatial distribution of black cherry in its native and invasive ranges. Ecology Letters 6: 1046-1050.
  • Packer, A and Clay, K. 2000. Soil pathogens and spatial patterns of seedling mortality in a temperate tree. Nature 404:278-281.
  • Huffman, H. 1996. Griffy Lake Nature Preserve: Vascular plant species list. Indianapolis: Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
  • Lively, C., Johnson, S., Delph, L., and Clay K. 1995. Thinning reduces the effect of rust infection on jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). Ecology 76:1859-1862.
  • Blatchley, W. S. 1887. A preliminary catalogue of the flora of Monroe Co., Indiana. Indiana University Masters Thesis.

View more RTP-related publications


waterfall in Griffy Woods
Waterfall in Griffy Woods
budding bloodroot
Bloodroot in bud
University Lake
University Lake



Revised: May 21, 2010


IU RTP home page: http://www.indiana.edu/~preserve/
Comments: preserve@indiana.edu
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