15 Best Things to Do in Metamora, IN

Metamora, IN
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Experience the best things to do in Metamora, Indiana's only Canal town.

It is a charming small village rich in history and picturesque beauty.

When construction began on the Whitewater Canal in the 1830s, it ultimately opened the Whitewater River valley to commercial and industrial activity and the establishment of new settlements.

Like many others, the town of Metamora flourished along the canal banks.

The canal allowed agricultural products to gain access to new markets.

It gave mills and industries the hydraulic power they needed to produce goods like bread, timber, and paper, among other things.

The canal water flow continued to supply power for the mills even after the railway's construction on the canal's towpath in the future.

The canal's towpath eventually became an even more efficient transit channel.

The drama Metamora, or The Last of the Wampanoags, was released in 1829 and inspired the naming of the town.

Discover more about this quaint town with this list of the best things to do in Metamora, Indiana:

Tour the Metamora Cotton Factory

Daytime view of Metamora Gristmill
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The Metamora Cotton Factory, established by Jonathan Banes, is a three-story cotton mill.

In 1856, Banes refurbished the cotton mill before selling it to John Curry the following year.

The mill was called Hoosier Mills for a while and then Crescent Mills as it changed hands multiple times throughout the years.

A fire in 1899 destroyed the old mill, and it was rebuilt a year later.

After the rebuilding in 1932, the mill became a two-story structure.

In 1946, Indiana bought the mill and the Whitewater Canal's 14-mile portion.

The state then designated it as a historic property.

It grinds wheat and grits to become whole wheat flour, other cereals, and yellow and white corn to become a corn meal.

Powered by a breast water wheel at the height of 12 feet, the millstones grind grain in a canal at the back of the mill.

Explore the area, learn about the Metamora Cotton Factory's contributions to the local economy, and re-live the era.

Experience Working on a Train at Whitewater Valley Railroad

Has working on a train and being part of a crew ever crossed your mind?

Southeast Indiana's Whitewater Valley Railroad connects Connersville and Metamora.

Branch line railroading of the 1950s is the focus of the railroad.

Antique diesel-powered switchers and road-switching vehicles pull several of the year's trains.

Volunteers run and maintain the railroad to an almost complete extent.

Donations to the Whitewater Valley Railroad are utilized only to support the organization's purpose and effect on the community.

Find out how the mill grinds maize into flour, meal, and grits–precisely as it has done since the 1800s–and witness for yourself!

You can mill your grain using a hand-powered grinder or practice tying a miller's knot to learn about the methods used by millers to secure flour sacks.

There is a transportation exploration area for kids to play in.

Using our wooden canal and railway table, you can see how Hoosiers used to go from point A to point B.

You can also use the interactive map to plot your route throughout Indiana or load up our model canal boat with boxes and goods before it heads to Cincinnati.

Visit the Duck Creek Aqueduct

This aqueduct, established in 1843, suffered significant damage in an 1846 flooding event.

Shortly afterward, it underwent reconstruction using a modified 75-foot-long Burr arch truss.

The Duck Creek Aqueduct became part of Ripley's Believe It or Not because of its uniqueness.

Only one other covered wooden aqueduct in the United States is in use.

Architects built this aqueduct so boats could go over Duck Creek during the canal elevation.

The Duck Creek Aqueduct is also a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and a National Register of Historic Places-listed structure.

Check Out How Gordon's Lock 24 Works

The Whitewater Canal's 56 locks' purpose is to handle a 491-foot elevation decrease along its route, including Gordon's Lock 24, also known as Millville Lock 24.

Two persons must hack away at the lock using balancing beams to pry open the chamber's doors.

They shut the gates as soon as the boat entered the lock.

At the top end of the lock, sluices are opened in the lower gates, allowing water from a higher elevation to enter the chamber, which the operators then fill.

The boat climbs as the water level in the lock increases.

The ship proceeds on its journey once the upstream gates are released.

For boats traveling downstream, the operators reverse the procedure.

Visit Gordon's Lock 24 to see this process first-hand.

Stroll along the Whitewater Canal Trail

The Whitewater Canal Trail, which runs between Metamora and Brookville in Franklin County, Indiana, is great for a stroll or bike ride.

As of this writing, a total of 31/3 miles of trail are now operational, with one portion located near Metamora and another located east of Metamora on US Highway 52.

Take a hike along the canal's path, starting at the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site and working your way south.

The Whitewater Canal may help trail users better understand where they are.

You can explore historic Metamora on these pathways, which lead to the Duck Creek Aqueduct (approximately 0.5 miles) and the "Twin Locks" (an additional 2.6 miles).

Catch a Show by Metamora Performing Arts

Whenever visiting a new place, one of the things that you must not miss is discovering its art and culture.

An Indiana non-profit membership organization, Metamora Performing Arts Inc, was created to produce and promote various cultural events in Metamora.

It usually performs at the Opry Barn in an abandoned tomato cannery warehouse on the village's western outskirts.

Every month of the year, Metamora Performing Arts holds concerts, plays, and other performances.

The organization is also in charge of Canal Town's best live music venue.

Solve Mysteries at the Get a Clu Escape Room

Do you have what it takes to get out of a tricky situation before the clock strikes zero?

Experience a fun escape room at the Get a Clu Escape Room, Southeast Indiana's top pick for thrill seekers.

Its 60-minute escape game rooms are interactive and provide an exciting experience.

The Bank Robbery and the Barber Shop are two of its themed chambers.

You'll have to rely on your cunning and the combined knowledge of your other players to succeed.

Additionally, it serves as a venue for private parties and team-building events.

Join The Haunted Tour of Metamora

Metamora, an 1838 Canal village, has a rich history of previous lives and lost loves.

The Haunted Tour of Metamora is ready to take you on a spooky adventure.

Take a stroll with them as they share tales of the individuals who lived and died in these streets and perhaps feel the emotions that come with them.

Many of Metamora's most haunted buildings are open to the public on The Haunted Tour.

The guides combine true tales and a minor legend on the walking excursions.

Check out the town's history, folklore, and first-hand reports of many more haunted locales on 90-minute tours that include short inside investigations.

Spot the Castle on the Hill

Indiana is arguably the last location that comes to mind when you think about castles.

However, the number of palace-like structures in Indiana is just incredible.

One of the state's most mysterious castles remains a mystery to the general public, and you can find it in Metamora.

Unknown to the general public, the town also houses a secret castle.

Known as "The Castle on the Hill" by locals, this castle atop Mount Metamora is a little-known treasure that's easy to overlook.

The castle stands one mile west of Metamora on US 52.

Although it's not apparent whether this strange castle is available to the public, rumors have it that it's a church.

This building is fascinating because of its unique medieval architecture and construction.

It's impressive to know that a castle has been hidden in Metamora for years, whatever the genesis tale may be.

Celebrate Metamora Canal Days with the Locals

Each year Historic Metamora holds a fundraiser called Metamora Canal Days.

Metamora Canal Days has been running for over 50 years, during the first weekend in October.

A three-day event begins on the first Friday in October and ends on Sunday.

Vendor booths have been put up all around town for our largest weekend of the year.

Every year, tens of thousands of people search for good deals and hidden gems.

You can find several antiques and artifacts along Main Street and the Whitewater Canal in Historic Metamora.

There are spots available at Mill Park for anybody who wants to market their homemade goods.

Enjoy Delightful Treats at the Metamora Strawberry Festival

What better way to welcome in the season of warmth and sunshine?

The annual Metamora Strawberry Festival takes place on the first weekend of June.

You'll have enough to eat for days when you buy strawberries during this time of year.

Try the specialties such as strawberry shortcakes topped with ice cream and whipped cream sold by local merchants.

Ace the prize in the strawberry pie eating contest, a little friendly competition.

Unleash Your Inner Child at Words & Images Home of The Train Place

Do you love trains?

Words & Images Home of The Train Place opened its doors in 2005.

It stands near Metamora's Train Ticket Office.

The shop is a great place to visit if you're a train enthusiast.

Words & Images Home of The Train Place features items such as kerosene lamps, railroad memorabilia, cast iron pots and pans, cookbooks, and more.

Don't forget to pick up train-related souvenirs on your way out!

Bring Home Gemstones from Metamora Gem Mine & Luna's Garden Gift Shop

Do you have a soft spot for gems?

Metamora Gem Mine & Luna's Garden Gift Shop has a sluicing mechanism where you can search for over a hundred different kinds of gemstones and fossils.

Gift store products range from the mild to the wild, and gem specimens and jewelry are on display.

Hot food, beverages, and Italian ice are all available in the snack bar.

There is also an option for outdoor seating.

Indulge in Sweet Treats at Mr. Fudge's Confectionery

In addition to a wide range of fudge varieties, Mr. Fudge's Confectionery also sells hand-dipped chocolates, roasted almonds, and peanut brittle.

Enjoy an ice cream sundae, malt, or another frozen treat at the classic soda fountain.

If you want to explore Metamora, you can have your ice cream in a handcrafted waffle cone.

Since 1975, Mr. Fudge's Confectionery has been a Metamora icon, serving homemade fudge, sodas, sundaes, and more.

For the most enjoyable delight for your taste buds, you may witness Donna hand paddle the marble slab fudge in a copper kettle on any given day.

Stay the Night at The Metamora Inn

In the 1860s and 1880s, Franklin County directories list William G. Blacklidge as a carpenter.

Blacklidge and his family founded The Metamora Inn in 1857.

The temple and wing follow this house's Greek Revival design.

The "temple" consists of two wings, which creates harmony.

At the Metamora Inn, visitors may relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of home in a historical setting in Metamora.

Start your day with a hearty breakfast prepared by your hosts, followed by a cup of coffee on the patio with some close friends before exploring everything Metamora offers.

Air conditioning, cable TV, a mini-bar, a hair dryer, shampoo, and soap are all provided in each of the four comfortable themed rooms.

There is a separate outdoor entrance for each room.

Parking is completely free, and it's just outside your door.

Final Thoughts

Treat yourself to the small-town charm and the best things to do in Metamora, Indiana.

Get some ice cream, stroll around town, or see live music while visiting the Whitewater Valley Railroad, which travels along the canal.

You may do all this while taking it easy and taking in the sights at your own pace.

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