Indiana sits, as its motto claims, at “the crossroads of America.” It borders Lake Michigan and the state of Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south, and Illinois to the west, making it an integral part of the American Midwest.
Except for Hawaii, Indiana is the smallest state west of the Appalachian Mountains. After the American Revolution the lands of Indiana were open to U.S. settlers. The influx of white immigrants brought increased war with the Native American tribes. The conflicts continued until the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe, which was won by General, and future president, William Henry Harrison. With a name that is generally thought to mean “land of the Indians,” Indiana was admitted on Dec. 11, 1816, as the 19th state of the union. Its capital has been at Indianapolis since 1825.
Tulip is the state tree and beautiful Peony is named as the state bird. Indiana takes a nickname-Hoosier State.
Indiana has more than 4,255 railroad route miles, of which 91 percent are operated by Class I railroads, principally CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway. Other Class I railroads in Indiana include the Canadian National Railway and Soo Line Railroad, a Canadian Pacific Railway subsidiary, as well as Amtrak. The remaining miles are operated by 37 regional, local, and switching and terminal railroads. The South Shore Line is one of the country’s most notable commuter rail systems, extending from Chicago to South Bend. Indiana is implementing an extensive rail plan prepared in 2002. Many recreational trails, such as the Monon Trail and Cardinal Greenway, have been created from abandoned rails routes.
The major U.S. Interstate highways in Indiana are I-64, 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. There are also many U.S. routes and state highways maintained by the Indiana Department of Transportation. These are numbered according to the same convention as U.S. Highways. Indiana allows highways of different classifications to have the same number. For example, I-64 and Indiana State Road 64 both exist (rather close to each other) in Indiana, but are two distinct roads with no relation to one another. Besides, Most Indiana counties use a grid-based system to identify county roads.
Barges are a common sight along the Ohio River. Ports of Indiana manages three maritime ports in the state, two located in Ohio.
Indiana annually ships over 70 million tons of cargo by water each year, which ranks 14th among all U.S. states. More than half of Indiana’s border is water, which includes 400 miles (640 km) of direct access to two major freight transportation arteries: the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway (via Lake Michigan) and the Inland Waterway System (via the Ohio River). The Ports of Indiana manages three major ports which include Burns Harbor, Jeffersonville, and Mount Vernon.
In Evansville, three public and several private port facilities receive year-round service from five major barge lines operating on the Ohio River. Evansville has been a U.S. Customs Port of Entry for more than 125 years. Because of this, it is possible to have international cargo shipped to Evansville in bond.
Indianapolis International Airport serves the greater Indianapolis area and has finished constructing a new passenger terminal. 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 International Airport.
The Terre Haute Regional Airport has no airlines operating out of the facility but is used for private flying. 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 Hebron, Kentucky. Most residents of Northwest Indiana, which is primarily in the Chicago Metropolitan Area, use the two Chicago airports, O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport.