It comes as no surprise that Bloomington is home to some of the most interesting hiking spots in Indiana. I remember when I first moved here for school my best friend and I made it our goal to explore every cool, abandoned place we could find. We had found a website listing out all the best spots in Bloomington, and like a checklist we ticked off each one as we visited. My favorite place we have visited over the past few years would have to be Lake Monroe, but not for the lake itself.
Near Lake Monroe is a bunch of woods. One particular patch of forest is home to an abandoned water slide, known as Zoom Floom. Back in the late 70s, Zoom Floom operated during the summer as one of the biggest outdoor water slides in Southern Indiana. Unfortunately, the slide had to close in the early 80s due to safety concerns and high insurance cost. However, the concrete slide still remains and is now a popular spot for local artists to practice graffiti, making it an ideal tourist attraction.
Before I ever got a chance to visit Zoom Floom, I had heard a lot about it from others who had gone. Some went there to graffiti, others went to hike, and a few had gone to skate, claiming the concrete slide was perfect to practice tricks on. However, the pictures they showed me did not compare to the real thing. The abandoned water slide was comparable to a hidden mural. I found myself wanting to look at every work of art spray painted on the concrete. Some pieces were very detailed while others paid homage to the Black Lives Matter movement (I visited Zoom Floom in the summer of 2020). The color range was wild and most of the more simple pieces had something superimposed over it, so looking at the artwork was an optical illusion in a sense. Exploring further around the slide there were also abandoned sheds and what looked like a house surrounding the area. Both were also covered in spray paint. I took photos of my findings to share with my roommates once I returned home, however like the pictures I was shown they did not do the subject justice.
I have not revisited Zoom Floom since my last adventure, however I hope to go back there someday after exploring more of Bloomington’s hidden gems.