Starting in Lawrenceburg, this 63-mile trip will take you along the southeastern border of Indiana to Madison. Begin your trip in the Lawrenceburg Historic District, then take State Route 50 to Vevay. Continue the trip on State Route 56 to reach Madison. There’s historic sites, an art center and a plenitude of natural beauty along the way, so be sure to take your time. When you finally reach Madison, close your trip by visiting the steepest railroad incline or just relax and enjoy some time at a state park.
Sites to see & things to do (listed from east to west):
Lawrenceburg Historic District
Lawrenceburg was founded in 1801, the fourth oldest city in Indiana. The town was a terminus for the Whitewater Canal that extended north to Cambridge City. In the heyday of the steamboat era, Lawrenceburg was a favorite port of call.
Aurora Historic District
Visitors can witness a variety of architectural styles in Aurora, settled as early as 1796. These styles gave evidence of the town’s sporadic and sometimes rapid growth due to its prominence as both a busy port and later a railroad stop.
213 Fifth Street
Hillforest Mansion was the home of industrialist and financier Thomas Gaff and his family between 1855 and 1891. Rich in Italian Renaissance style, it is characterized by broad overhangs, graceful balconies and porches.
3635 E. Laughery Creek Rd.
Opened in 1869 and designed by architect William Tinsley, Riverview Cemetery is home to one of the finest collections of Indiana trees, a memorial to the Lochry Massacre, two prehistoric Indian mounds currently under excavation and a Civil War Memorial.
Rising Sun Historic District Rising Sun, Indiana
Founded in 1814, Rising Sun boomed in the 1830s and 1840s with a population near 2,500 – nearly the same population as today. In the downtown district, visitors can view structures built during the town’s heyday.
Pendleton Art Center
201 Main Street
Rising Sun, Indiana
Features a fine art gallery, gourmet coffeehouse and 25 artists’ studios.
Ohio County Historical Museum 212 S Walnut St.
The museum is the “Grandma’s attic” of Rising Sun, housing a collection of quilts and farm implements, music machines and the town pride – the famous 1920s “Hoosier Boy.”
Markland Locks and Dam
The dam is 1,416 feet long and created a flood pool that extends 95 miles upstream. The Markland Generating Plant is the largest in Indiana. An information center presents a history of the projects that dammed the Ohio.
Switzerland County, Indiana is located along the beautiful Ohio River in Southeastern Indiana. Vevay is the county seat and largest town in Switzerland County.
Switzerland County Courthouse
212 West Main Street
Completed in 1865, the courthouse has Greek columns and a classic portico and the entire structure has been extensively restored. The original courtroom is still intact and one of the finest interior spaces in the country.
Madison’s scenic riverfront park offers a gazebo, brick walkways, lights and benches to view the Ohio River.
Madison Commercial Historic District
Downtown Madison is Indiana’s largest historical district, containing over 1,000 19th century structures and two national Historic Landmarks – the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site and the Shewsbury-Windle House.
James F. D. Lanier State Historic Site
601 W. 1st St.
Greek Revival Home of J.F.D. Lanier who supported Indiana’s Civil War Regiments. National Historic Landmark.
Madison has the steepest grade non-cog railroad in the United States (5.89%). Irish immigrant railroad workers used the stones from the incline to construct St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in 1839.
6927 West State Road 250
A National Historic Landmark, Eleutherian College was constructed between 1854 and 1856. It as the first college in Indiana to admit students without regard to race or gender. Some of the college’s trustees were the most active in the Underground Railroad.
Clifty Falls State Park
2221 Clifty Drive
This state park provides picnic areas, a nature center, Olympic size swimming pool, campsites and an inn with conference facilities. Trails allow hikers to enjoy the beauty and challenge of deeply cut gorges, sheer rock walls and plunging waterfalls.