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Metamora and the Whitewater Canal

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

Metamora is a small canal town platted in 1883 along the anticipated path of the forthcoming whitewater canal. You might say little has changed in Metamora since then once you visit - its a wonderfully quaint town with original 1800s buildings containing shops, cafes, a working grain mill and the country's only wooden covered-bridge aqueduct!

Today, we explored after a quick trip to our favorite coffee spot, Funny Farm Coffee Company, for hot chocolate, bacon bagels and, of course, coffee for dad.

Once we fueled up we hit the road for a 40 or so minute drive to Metamora. Our route took us up Indiana RT1, through Guilford (home to the Guilford Covered Bridge, originally built in 1879). The bridge is actually open to vehicle traffic and leads to a small park along Tanners Creek.

And on to Metamora!

Today we visited the Grist Mill, many shops, craft stores and even the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the largest collection of cookie jars! We spent a little over 4 hours in Metamora and could have spent DAYS longer exploring everything to do there (expect future posts capturing some of the great places we didn't experience today!)

Charley and Everett were troopers with all the walking (over 7,000 steps for dad) and loved learning about the Whitewater Canal and how it was used to transport goods from Cincinnati, through Indiana to Hagerstown (East of Indianapolis). Originally built between 1836 and 1847 and dug by hand, it traversed 76 miles, through 56 locks with a total elevation change of 491 feet!

The Whitewater Canal wasn't just used for transportation, though. It was also used to power businesses like the Metamora Grist Mill through the use of water wheels. Metamora has a still-operating grist mill where you can watch white corn being ground into cornmeal, grits and bran. If you're feeling like a little cornbread for dinner - you can actually purchase the stone-ground meal right in the gift-shop after the self-guided tour!

After the Grist Mill, we wandered around town a bit and watched the train from Connorsville roll in. Typically Metamora has a 30-minute train ride departing hourly from the East end of town, traveling East toward Brookville. Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased at the ticketing office on the main street in Metamora. This weekend, however, the train was used for a special event so we weren't able to take a ride.

The Whitewater Valley Railroad also has regular trains departing weekends from Connorsville Indiana to Metamora and back as well as a variety of special themed rides (Wild-West Special, Civil War Special and the Polar Express). Tickets can be purchased online at their website.

With so many things to do, we're sure you'll enjoy a day-trip out to Metamora - we sure did! And after all that exploring, there was only one thing left to do:

Nap Time!

Have a nap on the way home and get ready to plan our next adventure!

Happy Exploring!

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