A National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for its archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and/or scenic qualities.
The program was established by Congress in 1991 to preserve and protect the nation’s scenic but often less-traveled roads and promote tourism and economic development. The program is administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

Ohio River Scenic Byway in Southern Indiana – An Overview

Experience a journey of discovery along the Ohio River Scenic Byway in Southern Indiana. Learn the stories of the great river that has shaped the landscape, people, and economics of the region since its beginning, when glaciers diverted existing rivers.

Falls of the Ohio State Park is located on the banks of the river in Clarksville. The 386-million-year-old fossil beds are among the largest naturally exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world. A spectacular interpretive center overlooks the fossil beds and contains an exhibit gallery and video presentation. The park has also been certified by the National Park Service as an official Lewis and Clark site associated with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Prehistoric burial mounds, mostly from the Hopewell culture, indicate the river’s importance in ancient patterns of migration. Find archaeologists at work at Aquixo, the site of an ancient Indian village, known today as Angel Mounds. This State Historic Site, operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, is nationally recognized as one of the best preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the United States. You can visit the site’s interpretive center near Evansville, Indiana, which presents artifacts of the people who lived here circa 1300 A.D.

The Ohio River corridor was a hotbed of abolitionist and Underground Railroad activity prior to the Civil War as escaped slaves desperately tried to cross the river to free territory. At the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, experience a multimedia exhibit “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the Underground Railroad”. Tour Eleutherian Collegein the village of Lancaster, near Madison. Founded in 1848, the stone college building is a monument to a group of people believing in education, the arts and equality without regard to race or gender. Both sites are Gateways to the Southeast Indiana Trails to Freedom.

Learn about life along the Ohio River during the steamboat era at the Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville. Enjoy a large collection of steamboat models, tools, artifacts, documents, photos, and paintings located in the 1849 Howard mansion.

Embark on a Civil War adventure and follow the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail through Southeast Indiana. One of the sites along the trail is the Corydon Battle Park commemorating the only Civil War battle fought on Indiana

The Ohio River Scenic Byway in Southern Indiana offers a variety of wonderful attractions & events that can create many memorable excursions. Come create your own Byway adventure!

Links to Learn More about the Byway and Southern Indiana