Modern four-lane State Road 37 bypassed 15 glorious, winding miles of the original Dixie Highway sometime during the 1960s. They are great fun to drive and, because they largely pass through a woods, show how beautiful Indiana can be.
The old road leads right to Bloomington, one of Indiana’s coolest cities and home to Indiana University.
The view along this road can be spectacular in the autumn when all the leaves are changing color. Many scenes just begged for my road-trip companion Dawn and me to stop for a photograph, but there were almost no places to pull over. So it goes on old, narrow, rambling roads.
Finally, a pond’s shore offered a place to park. Here’s the road southbound from there, with Dawn walking along the roadside.
With few exceptions, the northern half of Indiana is flat and featureless. Thank the ice age’s glaciers for that. It makes for long, straight roads in that part of the state. The glaciers relented starting about this far south, leading to terrain that gets wilder and wilder as you head toward the Ohio River. This is hardly rugged terrain, but it still excites this transplanted northern Indiana boy.
Autumn hadn’t yet reached its peak when we took this trip, but the trees that had changed were stunningly colorful. This has been a year of arresting oranges.
We lingered at this pond. Noticing that few cars passed through, we took it slowly the rest of the way to Bloomington so we could enjoy this road as long as we could.
The longest old alignment I’ve found in Indiana is 21 miles long, and was once US 50. Check it out!