What can recreation lovers find to do in Madison? How about biking, hiking. fishing. horseback riding, boating, golf or bird watching? Clifty Falls State Park features 70 foot gorges, seven plunging waterfalls, a nature center, picnic areas, swimming pools, RV and primitive campsites. Ten hiking trails from very rugged to easy will provide all the challenge the outdoor enthusiast is seeking. Or hike the Heritage Trail from downtown to the hilltop – the views are spectacular!
Rolling hills and spectacular scenery, characterize biking in Madison and along the Ohio River Scenic Byway. You’ll find flat farmland, challenging hills, river views, and creek crossings – a ride for every skill level.
There’s great fishing in Madison! Bring your boat, fish from the banks of the Ohio River or cast a line at one of our fishing holes. Boaters will find a marina and public launching ramp. Don’t have a boat? Take a ride on Rockin’ Thunder, the only New Zealand style jet boat in the mid-west.
Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge is a Globally Important Bird Area because of its value to migratory birds. Located just 5 miles north of Madison, portions of the refuge are open for wildlife observation, photography, fishing, hunting, interpretation and environmental education.
Hit the trail at Shilo Farms, in Canaan, just outside Madison for great trail riding horses for every level of riding.
Check out all the options!
Area Bicycling Routeswww: www.madisonbicycleclub.org
Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge
Big Oaks NWR has been designated as a Globally Important Bird Area because of its value to migratory birds. Located five miles north of Madison on Highway 421. Portions of the refuge are open for wildlife observation, photography, hiking, fishing, hunting, interpretation, and environmental education.
Mid-Apr-Nov: Mon & Fri, 2nd & 4th
Mandatory briefing and Access fee permit required ($3 daily, $15 annual); fee waived for holders of Migratory Bird Stamps, Interagency Access Pass, Interagency Senior Pass.Address: 1661 W. JPG Niblo Rd.
City of Madison Boat Docks & Ramp
Ramp open year round, no overnight docking.Address: Vaughn Dr. and West St.
Clifty Falls State Park
Open all year; admission charged Mar-Oct.Phone: 812-273-8885
Crystal Beach Pool
12pm-8pm, Sat of Memorial Day weekend through mid-August
Hatcher Hill Trail
This newly opened hiking & biking trail is ¾ of a mile long. All non- motorized modes of transportation permitted. Parking access is only available at the bottom of the trail at the City Garage. Open year round dawn to dusk.
Heritage Trail of Madison
1-1/4 mile paved and natural surface pathway for jogging, walking, biking, hiking. All non-motorized modes of transportation permitted. Connecting downtown with the hilltop and overlooking the Ohio River. Begins at the corner of Vaughn Dr. and Vernon St.
Open Dawn to DuskPhone: 812-273-6266
Full service marina at the water’s edge. Covered slips, 24/7 fuel, utilities, food, storage, renovations. Rent pontoons and golf carts. West Second and Hatteras Way. Mile marker 559. Annual, seasonal, and weekend dockage. Call ahead, Harbor Master will greet you!
Abbreviated winter hours
The riverfront has always been a favorite spot for a relaxing stroll, viewing cruising boats along the river, or attending one of several outdoor festivals held throughout the year. Public boat launching facilities, playgrounds, shelter houses, picnic areas with tables, benches, gazebo and viewing areas. Volleyball, basketball,bocce & cornhole courts and horeshoe pits. Equipment available at the Visitors Center, 601 W. First St.Address: Vaughn Drive
Rockin Thunder Jet Boat Rides, LLC
Experience the only Jet Boat tours of the Ohio River and Kentucky River. 5 different tours to choose from. A 15 mile Rockin Wild Ride, 40 mile Scenic Tour, 75 mile Weds Lunch Excursion, 90 mile Sunday Dinner Adventure and the 155 mile 2 Day Kentucky River Adventure. Nothing else like this in the Midwest. Fun for everyone.
Late May-October: 11-7pm everyday except TuesdaysAddress: West St. and Vaughn Dr.
Shilo Farms Horseback Riding
Open daily, daylight till dusk -call ahead to schedule.
Retail & restaurant hours subject to change, please call ahead.