The Best Place in the State: Indiana

The Tulip Trestle

Picture this. You are standing on the brink of the Grand Canyon for the very first time. The majestic vistas take your breath away. You think to yourself, how can something so amazing just end up here in the middle of nowhere? A very perplexing thought of course, but similar thought to what you might be thinking when you turn around that final dirt road bend, and gaze upon the Tulip Trestle.

The Tulip Trestle is known by many names. Richland Creek Viaduct, The Greene County Viaduct, Bridge X75-6 just to name a few. Yet regardless what it is called does not take away from its impressive grandeur. Built in 1906 it is still used to this day for transporting coal by train to a power plant in Indianapolis. Let me share a few facts with you to give you some perspective on what a behemoth this really is.

  • 2,295 feet long (700 meters)
  • 157 feet tall (48 meters) at the highest point
  • Constructed with 2,700 tons of steel
  • Original cost to build: $246,504. That would be well over $20 million with todays pricing!
It is the third largest bridge of its kind in the world, and when you see it, you will have no problem believing it.


Greene County Viaduct

Tulip Trestle - after short walk from the road below
Tulip Trestle - after short walk from the road below

How To Find It

Since it is in the middle of nowhere, finding this place and successfully navigating to it can be an adventure in its own right!

I will try to give you the best directions I can from whichever direction you might be approaching it.

From Indianapolis: Take I-70 West out of the main city. Get off on Exit 41 and take US-231 South. Continue to take this down to the small rural town of Worthingtown. Once inside the city limits look for signs for IN-157 and when you find it take a left. You have to take this road for two and a half miles until you reach the turn off for County Road 325 North (turn left). This road will meander for a ways and it will turn into Co Rd. 410 and then Co Rd. 400. As the Trestle comes into sight off to your right you will see a bumpy half-paved road branching off towards it. This road (Co Rd. 480 E) will take you directly to the base of the viaduct.

From Louisville: Start off by taking I-64 W towards St. Louis. Get off on exit 119 and merge onto US-150 W. Continue on this road for 37 miles until you come to the small town of Paoli. Once inside the town limits you will have merged onto E Main Street. Look for signs of IN-37 N and take a right. After this road takes you past the city of Bedford start looking for IN-54 N and IN-58 N and turn left there. Take swerving IN-54 for 22 miles until you come to Sharkey Road (a.k.a. Co Rd. 530 E). Take this road until you pass the little creek and take the immediate first street you come to. It should be Co Rd. 230 N. After taking another right on this road you have just over a mile to go until arriving at the base of the trestle.

From Bloomington: Take IN-45 S out of the downtown area. After 11 miles you will come to the junction of In-445 W. Continue on this and stay on it as it turns into IN-54 W. Remain on this street until you come to Sharkey Road (a.k.a. Co Rd. 530 E). Take this road until you pass the little creek and take the immediate first street you come to. It should be Co Rd. 230 N. After taking another right on this road you have just over a mile to go until arriving at the base of the trestle.

looking east across the top of the trestle

Tulip Trestle looking east
Tulip Trestle looking east

If you ever happen to find yourself in southern Indiana do yourself the honor of seeing this treat. Even better if you happen to see a train crossing over this engineering feat consider yourself blessed! Assuming you dont happen to be on the track that is...

If you would like to see more pictures of the infamous Tulip Trestle, check out this website.

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