What can recreation lovers find to do in Madison? How about biking, hiking, fishing, 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! Be sure to check out the monthly interpretive programs Clifty offers, click here.
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 river tour on the 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.
Check out all the options!
Acree Alley Carts
Golf cart rentals, golf cart sales, and mechanical services.
7 Days a week – 9am-5pm
Phone: (812) 701-9328
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.
See one families Summer 2018 adventure to Clifty Falls State Park!Phone: 812-273-8885
Crystal Beach Pool
Crystal Beach Swimming Pool is a national landmark that was constructed in 1938 during the Great Depression by the Works Progress Administration. The pool is known for its iconic semi-circular design that slopes from ankle deep to 8 feet with a waterslide and is still enjoyed by tens of thousands each year. Crystal Beach holds over 20,000 gallons of water and is approximately nine feet deep.
CLOSED for 2021
The pool opens for the 2021 season Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, May 29) and closes for the season the last weekend of July.
- Daily – Open Swim – 12-7:00PM
- Mon – Friday – Water Aerobics – 9AM
|Age||Daily Rate||Season Pass|
|5 and under||Free||Not Available|
|6 to 64||$5||Not Available|
|Water Aerobics||$5 a session||$30|
* Punch cards available: Buy 5 visits, get 6th free
Swim lessons are offered Monday – Friday the weeks of June 7-18th and July 5-16th at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. for ages 5 and up.
The cost is $50.
Click HERE to register.
Water aerobic classes are be offered Monday – Friday at 9:00am beginning May 31st.
The cost per session is $5 and the season pass is $30.
Click HERE to purchase your season pass for water aerobics.
1. Crystal Beach was given the Guinness World Record for the most number of times to go down a slide in one hour- 213 times on July 23, 2013.
2. Originally the bottom of the pool was filled with sand and included a sandbar.
* The pool will have a minimum of nine lifeguards on duty everyday. Concessions will be available. Temperature checks will be taken prior to entry.
Address: Vaughn Dr. and Broadway
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 River Tours
Fun river tours of the Ohio River and Kentucky River. 3 different tours to choose from. A 40 mile 2 hour Scenic River Tour, 75 mile 5 hour Lunch Excursion and a 155 mile 2 day Kentucky River Adventure. Each tour offers a unique river experience for lovers of history, wildlife and wonderful scenery.
Season Open Late May – Mid-October: 10am-7pm; closed most Tuesdays. (Subject to weather & river conditions.)
Through June – OPEN noon to 7 pm every day but Mondays.
From July 1st through mid October – OPEN at 11am to 7 pm everyday except Mondays.