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!
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.
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.
See one families Summer 2018 adventure to Clifty Falls State Park!Phone: 812-273-8885
Crystal Beach Pool
New Swim Hours (8/10/20):
- Friday – Open Swim – 4-7:00PM
- Saturday – Senior Swim – 9:30-11:00AM | Water Aerobics 9:30-10:30AM | Open Swim – 11AM-7:00PM
- Sunday – Senior Swim – 9:30-11:00AM | Water Aerobics 12-1:00PM | Open Swim – 11AM-7:00PM
Crystal Beach Operating Procedures
The pool capacity will be limited to 250 individuals per swim time. Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day. The entire facility will be closed midday to allow for sanitation. Signage will be posted to encourage social distancing. Each swim session will cost $5 per person, 3 and under are free with a paying adult.
Due to capacity and cleaning standards, those visiting the pool from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. must purchase a new day pass to re-enter for the afternoon swim time. This will allow more members of the community the opportunity to enjoy the amenities while keeping crowd gathering restrictions in place. If an individual leaves the facility at any point, they must pay to re-enter and may not be able to re-enter until the next swim time slot. Seniors who purchase a pass for senior swim can stay during the 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. swim time. Season pass holders who leave the facility at any time will not be able to return until the next swim time slot.
Season Passes and Rentals
Please note, the parks department will not be selling any additional family or season passes this year: However, current season passes will be honored. Holders who leave the pool at any time during the day, may reenter as long as capacity has not been reached. The pool will also not be available for rentals this year.
The City Parks Department is offering programming at the pool in the evening hours.
Water volleyball will be offered as both a recreational and competitive program. Teams are guaranteed ten games during the summer season. The cost is $100.00 per team. Teams must be made up of 3 individuals. To sign up your team, click here.
Water Aerobics will be offered Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Individual sessions can be purchased at the pool entrance for $3 or a summer water aerobics pass can be purchased for $30 at the Parks Department Brown Gym or at the pool prior to a water aerobics session.
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
Family friendly laser tag facility. Laser tag games, arcade games, axe throwing, concessions and party space.
Open year-round. Off-site portable laser tag available.
Sat. 11am – Midnight
Mon-Thurs by appointment.Address: 2587 Cragmont Street
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
Experience the only Jet Boat tours of the Ohio River and Kentucky River. 4 different tours to choose from. A 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. Beautiful scenery and wildlife.
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 Monday and Tuesday.
From July 1st through mid October – OPEN at 11am to 7 pm everyday except Tuesdays.