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MADISON, Ind. — You don’t have to go far to find a Hoosier adventure. You can find it on the banks of the Ohio River, on the southeastern edge of the state, at a place with presidential history, natural beauty and a few surprises.

High above the Ohio cutting its way through ancient limestone, you’ll feel the power of Tunnel Falls.

There are plenty of canyons and waterfalls to choose from at Clifty Falls State Park near Madison. The tallest plunge drops 83 feet to the canyon floor. But you must time it right to see the water at its peak.

“Local rains will determine how much water’s going off our falls. We have a short watershed because of the steep terrain around here.  Water can be roaring one minute and then half a day later it’s a trickle,” said Darrell Skinner with Clifty Falls State Park.

Leaving the canyons behind,  cruise southward on your Hoosier adventure to the Indiana city named after Thomas Jefferson. In 1802, the Founding Fathers adopted a development plan for “Jeffersonville” drawn up by the president himself.

“It was laid out crisscross with parks on every other square and they later figured out that it just wasn’t workable,” said Jeanne Burke of the Clark County Museum. The Clark County Museum is steps away from the Vintage Fire Museum.

For more than a century, Jeffersonville was known as “Little Las Vegas” for drawing Mobsters casinos and mineral springs. Today, it’s the Red Yeti Brew Pup — a former speakeasy and part of a bustling restaurant and entertainment scene.

This revitalized resort community across from Louisville is connected by a repurposed railroad bridge for runners and cyclists.

Minutes from downtown Jeffersonville, you’ll find a Midwest treasure: the Howard Steamboat Museum built before the Civil War.

“They were founded initially by James Howard, an English immigrant who came over to the United States.  And built his first Vessel here in Jeffersonville in 1834,” said river transportation historian Dr. Carl Kramer.

You can tour his family’s mansion with its original 1894 furnishings.

Kramer said the Jefferson Boat & Machine Company, or “JeffBoat” for short, built ocean-going ships to deliver tanks during World War II, along with other vessels.

“Jeffboat” recently announced plans to shut down, but the richness of the heritage and natural beauty lifts us towards new adventures.

More information:

Howard Steamboat Museum & Mansion
1101 East Market Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47130

Clifty Falls State Park
1501 Green Road

Clark County Museum
725 Michigan Avenue
Jeffersonville, IN

The Red Yeti
256 Spring Street
Jeffersonville, IN

Vintage Fire Museum
723 Spring Street
Jeffersonville, IN

Falls of the Ohio State Park
201 W Riverside Dr.
Clarksville, IN

Jeffersonville , IN Parks & Recreation
“River Stage” outdoor concerts