Taking the roads from Lexington, KY, to Miles City, MT, involves passing through sections of six states—Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana. To experience the entirety of the journey, plan a road trip itinerary from Lexington to Miles City before you embark. On your way, you'll encounter countless hamlets, villages, and towns, as well as several large urban areas. However, communities are not the only things to add to your list. Take advantage of your time and detour to visit a few national and state parks available along your planned route to see what the region looked like before settlers entered the area. Structure your stops along the way to experience as much history as possible—there is a lot of it along this route.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
When you reach Indianapolis—189 miles into your Lexington to Miles City road trip—detour east for 317 miles to see the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The park follows the Cuyahoga River for 100 miles on its way to Cleveland, OH. This fantastic valley offers visitors over 125 miles of trails and over 100 waterfalls, including legendary Brandywine Falls. A scenic railroad runs through the park allowing those unlikely to hike the trails to get a glimpse of the intense beauty this park offers.
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
At Gary, IN, take a slight detour of 16 miles to the east to visit Indiana Sand Dunes National Park sits on the southern tip of Lake Michigan. Located 350 miles into your Lexington to Miles City RV road trip, this park contributes 15 miles of stunning shoreline and 20 square miles of inland countryside. Migratory birds use this area as a stopping point to feed and recuperate on their journey north to Canada or south to the southern states. The same currents that bring sand yearly to the tip of Lake Michigan provide a feeding ground for fish, making angling incredibly good. Miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails wander through the park. The park is a logical place to stop, rest, and prepare for the westward leg of your journey.
Gateway Arch National Park
About 370 miles into your road trip from Lexington to Miles City, you enter Chicago. It is a great time to head 300 miles south to visit one of the most inventive monuments created in modern times—the Gateway Arch National Park in Saint Louis, MO. The Arch symbolizes the connection of the east and west coasts, which began at this spot where the Lewis and Clark Expedition embarked on their exploratory mission. Most visitors ride the trolley to the top of the Arch to view Saint Louis, its rivers, and the surrounding countryside from 630 feet above. The 91-acre park includes the Arch and several riverside buildings of historical significance that will intrigue the family.
Badlands National Park
About 1,300 miles along your Lexington to Miles City road trip, you reach Dickinson, ND. Once you hit this small city, detour south 250 miles to see the incredible Badlands National Park that seems to spring out of the plains. The lands inside this 370-acre park are a unique mix of pinnacles, eroded buttes, and incredible vistas. It is one of the last remaining natural settings that holds bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and bison. Hiking and biking trails get you into the park's interior, where you trod deep valleys beneath towering spires. Stay the night and witness one of the most incredible skies you will experience in a lifetime.
Prophetstown State Park
A vital stop and layover along your road trip from Lexington to Miles City is at Prophetstown State Park. Located about 250 miles along your journey, this state park represents an important event in American history. Situated on an open prairie between the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers, Native Americans stood here against the encroachment of settlers on their land. Today, the park hosts replicas of Native American lodgepole houses and a working pioneer farm.
Mississippi Palisades State Park
Mississippi Palisades State Park is 455 miles into your Lexington to Miles City road trip. It is a logical stopping point to rest and relax after visiting the Indiana Sand Dunes and Gateway Arch National Parks. The park is celebrated as one of the most beautiful in the country. Visitors discover sinkholes, incredible rock formations, and caves as they hike the trails. The park sits beside the upper reaches of the Mississippi River, which flows slowly past this area. Many visitors choose to fish along the riverbank, while others seek a brief trip on the water on a boat, kayak, or canoe.
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
Only 13 miles off the direct route on your road trip from Lexington to Miles City lies Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. The park is famous for its reconstruction of Native American villages, the Custer House, a historic military cemetery, and an incredible museum center. It sits on a wide-open section of the Great Plains between the Missouri and Heart Rivers. Hiking trails run throughout the park and along the rivers where fishing is excellent for catfish, walleye, and northern pike.
Mary Todd Lincoln House
Before you embark on your road trip from Lexington to Miles City, stop by the Mary Todd Lincoln House to get some insight into one of the most interesting first ladies to occupy the White House in Washington, DC. This 14-room house is where she grew up and it holds much of the furnishings and accouterments that the Todd family used at the time.
In Minneapolis, MN, 780 miles into your road trip from Lexington to Miles City, you must stop at Minnehaha Falls. The waterfall is the same one Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote of in 1853. This famous plunge of the Minnehaha River lies within the city limits of Minneapolis. You get a great view of it by climbing down a set of steps, and you can hike the half-mile to the confluence of Minnehaha Creek and the Mississippi River to fish or sunbathe on the sandy beach.
An excellent example of civic pride, Buckstop Junction is a town constructed to preserve the region's history. Located outside Bismarck, ND, this town is a product of the Missouri Valley Historical Society. It is a life-size replica of the original community that sat at the location in the late 1800s. Many of the buildings are originals moved to the site from surrounding towns.
One of the major intersections your road trip from Lexington to Mill City passes through is Indianapolis. From this city, you can detour to the east, west, or continue north. It is a pleasant community full of restaurants, shops, and museums that invite visitors to stop and have fun. The city provides multiple dump stations where you can clean your waste tanks before continuing on your journey. The city also provides several campgrounds for visitors to stop and rest.
When you pass through Minneapolis, you will be delighted with the convenient dump stations and campgrounds. Minneapolis is a large urban area with several unique restaurants offering nearly every cuisine found in the world. Stopping in this city is fun as it is populated with multiple parks, museums, and entertainment venues.
Bismarck, North Dakota
Bismarck is the last large urban center you will pass through on your road trip from Lexington to Miles City. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. People who stop here are surprised by the friendliness with which they are greeted. One of the unique factors of this town is its solid grounding in the history of the area. For the convenience of RV visitors, several businesses offer dump stations in various locations around the town. If you wish to stop here for a night or two, there are several campgrounds within easy reach of the Bismarck town center.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Lexington to Miles City, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Lexington or Miles City.