Indiana, United States

About Indiana

Indiana is located in the Great Lakes Region, and with approximately 6.3 million residents, is ranked 16th in population and 17th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area, and is the smallest state in the continental US west of the Appalachian Mountains. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis, the largest of any state capital east of the Mississippi River. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 as well as a number of smaller industrial cities and small towns. The state is bordered on the north by Michigan, on the east by Ohio and on the west by Illinois. The Ohio River separates Indiana from Kentucky on the southern border. Indiana is one of eight states that make up the Great Lakes region

Indiana Tourism and Recreation

About 70% of visitors participate in outdoor activities. Summer resorts are located in the north, along Lake Michigan and in Steuben and Kosciusko counties, where there are nearly 200 lakes. Popular tourist sites include the reconstructed village of New Harmony, site of famous communal living experiments in the early 19th century; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Museum; and the George Rogers Clark National Historic Park at Vincennes.

Indiana has 23 state parks, comprising 59,292 acres. The largest state park is Brown County (15,543 acres), near Nashville. There are 15 state fish and wildlife preserves, totaling about 75,200 acres. The largest are Pigeon River, near Howe, and Willow Slough, at Morocco. Game animals during the hunting season include deer, squirrel, and rabbit; ruffed grouse, quail, ducks, geese, and partridge are the main game birds.

In addition to the Indiana State Museum there are 15 state memorials, including the Wilbur Wright State Memorial at his birthplace near Millville, the Ernie Pyle birthplace near Dana, and the old state capitol at Corydon. Among the natural attractions are the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan (12,534 acres); the state's largest waterfall, Cataract Falls, near Cloverdale; and the largest underground cavern, at Wyandotte.

Indiana Climate

Temperatures vary from the extreme north to the extreme south of the state; the annual mean temperature is 49°f–58°F (9°C–12°C) in the north and 57°F (14°C) in the south. The annual mean for Indianapolis is 52°F (11°C). Although Indiana sometimes has temperatures below 0°F (–18°C) during the winter, the average temperatures in January range between 17°F (–8°C) and 35°F (2°C). Average temperatures during July vary from 63°F (17°C) to 88°F (31°C). The record high for the state was 116°f (47°C) set on 14 July 1936 at Collegeville; the record low was –36°F (–38°C) on 19 January 1994 at New Whiteland.

The growing season averages 155 days in the north and 185 days in the south. Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, although drought sometimes occurs in the southern region. The average annual precipitation in the state is 40 in (102 cm), ranging from about 35 in (89 cm) near Lake Michigan to 45 in (114 cm) along the Ohio River; during 1971–2000, Indianapolis had an average of 41 in (104 cm) per year. The annual snowfall in Indiana averages less than 22 in (56 cm). Average wind speed in the state is 8 mph (13 km/hr), but gales sometimes occur along the shores of Lake Michigan, and there are occasional tornadoes in the interior.

Indiana Transportaion

Indianapolis International Airport serves the greater Indianapolis area and has just finished constructing a new passenger terminal. The new airport opened in November 2008 and offers a new midfield passenger terminal, concourses, air traffic control tower, parking garage, and airfield and apron improvements. Other major airports include Evansville Regional Airport, Fort Wayne International Airport (which houses the 122d Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard), and South Bend Regional Airport. The southern part of the state is also served by the Louisville International Airport across the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. The southeastern part of the state is served by the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport also across the Ohio River in Florence, Kentucky. Most residents Northwest Indiana, which is primarily in the Chicago Metropolitan Area, use the two Chicago airports, O'Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport.

The major U.S. Interstate highways in Indiana are I-64, I-164, I-65, I-265, I-465, I-865, I-69, I-469, I-70, I-74, I-80, I-90, I-94 and I-275. The various highways intersecting in and around Indianapolis, along with its historical status as a major railroad hub, and the canals that once crossed Indiana, are the source of the state's motto, the Crossroads of America.