Falls of the Ohio State Park, Clarksville

4.3
#1 of 7 in Things to do in Clarksville
Geologic Formation · Hidden Gem · State Park
Falls of the Ohio State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Indiana. It is located on the banks of the Ohio River at Clarksville, Indiana, across from Louisville, Kentucky. The park is part of the Falls of the Ohio National Wildlife Conservation Area. The exposed fossil beds of the Jeffersonville Limestone dated from the Devonian period are the main feature of the park. The Falls was the site where Lewis & Clark met for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The park includes an interpretive center open to the public. In 1990, the Indiana state government hired Terry Chase, a well-established exhibit developer, to design the center's displays. Construction began in September 1992, costing $4.9 million with a total area of 16,000 sq ft (1,500 m2). The center functions as a museum with exhibits that concentrate on the natural history related to findings in the nearby fossil beds as well as the human history of the Louisville area, covering pre-settlement, early settlement, and the history of Louisville and southern Indiana through the 20th century.

Unlike at other Indiana state parks, annual entrance permits do not allow unlimited free access (rather, only five people per pass per visit) to the interpretive center, as fees are still needed to reimburse the town of Clarksville for building the center.

The Woodland Loop Trail features ten stainless steel markers denoting the plant life of the trails, thanks to an Eagle Scout project.
Strange wildlife has a habit of showing up in the park. Living alligators and crocodiles have been seen in the park, and in August 2006 a fisherman hooked a dead octopus. Zachary Treitz, a 21-year-old Louisville college student, admitted he had put the octopus there after purchasing it dead from a local seafood shop for a film project.
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Falls of the Ohio State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
278 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This is a state park with lots of options. There is an interpretative center with lots of information on the fossils found here. There is an accessible path down to the river where you can see lots...  more »
  • I love Ohio history! We sometimes forget that this was the frontier 200 years ago. I m particularly interested in the conflicts between native Americans and the first settlers. Visiting this park...  more »
Google
  • This is one great place to visit. The absolute best time is when the water levels are low. Meaning the flood gates are not wide open. You can see some incredible dinosaur fossils with the naked eye. Picnic tables, restrooms, and the Cultural Center with great views too boot.
  • Went here last week on a casual hike and was thrown into a fascinating world of natural wonder. Immediately I began searching for Indian arrow heads (which I have been told of by a friend). The opportunity to find such historically significant objects immediately grabbed my attention and the next 2 hrs were a most satisfying experience! Alas, I never found any points, but the search was worth it. I plan to visit the Falls park much more frequently now and suggest doing so for anyone interested in connecting to local and historic nature.

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