One of my favorite drives in Indiana is State Road 45 between Beanblossom and Bloomington. It’s a twisty little marvel that cuts through the Yellowwood State Forest.

Imagery c 2013 Google. Map data c 2013 Google.
Imagery © 2013 Google. Map data © 2013 Google.

I first drove it in 2006 (story here), just after my inner roadgeek awakened. I hadn’t been back since. It was time to correct this grievous error.

Curvy State Road 45

Near a dot on the map called Needmore there’s a place to pull off the road. All of these photos are from near there.

Curvy State Road 45

I first drove this road after finding a posting on a motorcycle forum that claimed that State Road 45 would “make a man out of you.” That was good enough for me.

Curvy State Road 45

When you stand on a highway taking pictures, your eyes and ears must be wide open – other drivers won’t expect to come upon you. But I had this great road all to myself the whole time I stood in it with my camera.

Curvy State Road 45

Even though these photos are all from the same short stretch, they are representative. This is a heavily wooded, curvy drive.

Curvy State Road 45

My little Ford Focus is a surprisingly good handler and made driving these curves a blast. If you squint, you can spot it parked in this photo.

Curvy State Road 45

I took all of these photos with a Nikon N60 using an AF Nikkor 28-80mm lens on Fujicolor 200. This camera is a recent addition to my collection, and I’ll write about it at length soon.

Another fun twisty road is US 50 in southwestern Indiana. Read about it.

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10 responses to “State Road 45”

  1. Wally-Tonya Czyz Avatar

    Reminds me of our drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway. You see a lot more wildlife on the Shenandoah Drive which is North of the Blue Ridge. These are both must drives!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve never been. One day!

  2. pesoto74 Avatar

    This road would be a challenge to someone used to the wide-open straight roads in a lot of the Midwest.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Fortunately, it seems to get so little use that it would be a good one to practice on.

  3. davidvanilla Avatar

    I really like this sort of road. Grew up in the Rockies; nostalgia, you know!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s there, waiting for you!

  4. Steve Miller Avatar
    Steve Miller

    SR 45 has the advantage of less traffic, but 46 east of Bloomington has its share of challenges to a driver with a heavy foot. Now, for some real fun, hot-foot it down some of little country roads that connect the two, some so primitive that they’re shown on Google merely by photo evidence, not as marked roads. Scarce o’ Fat Ridge is one… IIRC, that land feature is named “Devil’s Backbone.”

    So great place and road names all through that area, many of which include the word “creek,” for some mysterious reason!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      46 between B’ton and Nashville is pretty fun, but I must admit 45 charms me more. I’ve never tried any of the roads between the two — roads that don’t even make the map make me skittish!

  5. Bernie Kasper Avatar

    Great pics Jim, love the contrasting light in these, I have been down that road and it is definitely quite a drive. If you ever get down to the Smokies try the Dragons Tail, now that is a road that will that will test your stomach lol !!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks, Bernie! I did have to correct some overexposure on these photos – the simple autoexposure system on that Nikon really didn’t handle these scenes that well. It’s amazing what Photoshop can fix!

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