The Heritage Trail of Madison (Pt.1)

One of  downtown Madison’s finest features is it’s accessibility on foot and bicycle. This great accessibility furthers the sense of connectedness and community that Madison imbues to those of us who reside here and to those folks fortunate enough to be able to visit our fair city. Unfortunately Madison is divided into two parts,downtown and the hilltop,and,until the construction of the Heritage Trail,there was no easy access between the two parts of our city for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Heritage Trail of Madison is the much desired link between the two distinct areas that’s been missing from the equation. While not connected to the commercial areas of the hilltop,the trail does give Madisonians a safe,and attractive,path to use both for exercise and for non-motorized travel to or from the hilltop and downtown. The trail begins downtown along the far west end of Vaughn Drive along the Ohio River,following the tracks of the railroad that was so vitally important to commerce here. Eventually terminating on the hiltop on the grounds of the old State Hospital.

The following is a photo review of the trail (only a fraction of it so far,there’s more to come later) offered in an effort to show those of you haven’t trekked along it yet what it is that you’re missing.


The sign marking the beginning of the trail.

Old foundations.

The trail passes along the waterfront where the city’s once bustling shipping industry was located. These foundations are almost all that’s left of that time.

Exploring off path could be dangerous due to the treacherous footing here,so use caution if you decide to play archaeologist.

Another view of the remnants of the old waterfront along the trail.

The downtown portion of the trail is a level,dirt path,heavily shaded by the overhanging boughs that serve to almost turn this part of the path into a tunnel.

Watch for Part 2 of this pictorial of the Madison Indiana Heritage Trail.

About Walter Long

Walter is a native Hoosier and has been to have lived in the Madison area for the last 12 years. He’s an avid reader. He’s married with two kids, one cat, one dog, and far too many rabbits.


  1. Karl Eaglin says:

    I walk the Trail when ever I can, Thanks Bob, great job.