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Once a source of drinking water for the City of Bloomington, today Leonard Springs is a nature park managed by the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department and is located on 95.5 acres on Leonard Springs Road. Some of the highlights of this park include Leonard and Shirley Springs, wetland areas, forested slopes, waterfalls, and caves. There are two short hiking trails available at Leonard Springs.

  • View from the dam
  • Wetlands at Leonard Springs
  • Cave at Leonard Springs

Obtaining sufficient water to sustain Bloomington's population has been a challenge since the city's founding. Numerous approaches have been taken over the years--wells, cisterns, dams, each has been successful to varying degrees. Leonard Springs was one of many attempts to create a reservoir using a dam. The property was purchased by the City of Bloomington between 1914 and 1917 in order to construct a dam to support the city’s growing need for water. However, by 1943, Bloomington was receiving water from other sources and the lake fell into disuse and was eventually drained. The property remained unused until 1998, when Bloomington Parks and Recreation bought the property from the Bloomington Utilities Boardand dedicated it as a nature preserve on October 18, 1999.

Conner, G. (2010). Limestone Cavern Rock-Unit Profiles for the Mississippian Age Blue River Group in Leonard Springs Area of Southern Indiana. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, 119(2), 174–179. Retrieved from