Dearborn County Trail - Aurora / Lawrenceburg / Greendale
Aurora, Lawrenceburg, Greendale
NOTE: To find the name of a trail on this map, please move the cursor of your mouse onto the trail line. Left click. The name and length of the trail will show in a balloon.
For anyone who cherishes water with his or her trail experience, the Dearborn Trail is a good choice to go for a day’s (or more) outing and exploration. This 4½ mile paved path follows the Ohio River for most of the trail’s length.
Passing along Aurora, Lawrenceburg, and Greendale, Indiana, it is within short walking distances of the historic sections of these riverside communities. With the surrounding region, the trail offers various points of interest to visit whether you’re inclined toward the arts, science, outdoor activities, pre-history and history, riverboat gaming, local eateries, shops, and/or farm markets, including pumpkin, berry, and orchard sites.
The western end of the trail is in Aurora’s Lesko Park, where it hugs the river and offers a choice of benches on which to rest or take in the scenery. There are also covered picnic shelters and lighting, and one can find parking, restrooms, and a small playground here as well. The town of Aurora is said to have been named by an Indiana Supreme Court Judge for the Roman goddess of the dawn.
Speaking of interesting names, it’s not on the trail, but Rising Sun, Indiana is just west of Aurora on SR 56, part of the Ohio River Scenic Byway. It has the Pendleton Arts Center, a shop where harps are made, several festivals, riverboat gaming, and more.
In Aurora and eastward, the trail roughly borders part of U. S. Highway 50, which was constructed in the 1920s and ’30s as a coast to coast transportation route, preceded in the 1850s in this region by rail. With a major salt lick just across the river in Kentucky, it’s likely that the corridor was also in use much earlier by woolly mammoths, bison, and others.
There are a couple of 19th century mansions in or near Aurora, open for tours, and on the National Register of Historic Places: Hillforest and the country estate of Veraestau which sits atop a river bluff.
Moving on, the trail’s central portion bridges major creeks emptying into the Ohio River just downstream, wanders through woods, leads past glimpses of an abandoned rail line, then follows atop the levee through Lawrenceburg. Besides its riverboat, Lawrenceburg offers the speedway, a large antiques market, gallery and theatre arts, and a good number of restaurants from which to choose, even skiing—the kind you do in winter.
On to Greendale. You have to navigate around the front of Lawrenceburg’s casino and hotel. However, don’t miss the east side, Greendale portion of trail. A large wetlands conservation area parallels U. S. 50, created by an oxbow lake and the riparian habitat along the Great Miami River inflow to the Ohio River. This is also where the states of Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky meet, with the city of Cincinnati just up the river.