Falls of the Ohio

One of the best things about a trip to the Louisville area is on the Indiana side of the Ohio River: The Falls of the Ohio State Park.

If you’ve never been, it’s more than worth a visit. Remember learning about trilobites in science class? Well, thousands of the fossilized marine creatures are embedded in the rocky floor of the falls area. The nearly-400-million-year-old fossil beds are the main attraction of the park.

Depending on the time of year and level of the river — which is usually held back by a 30-foot dam — visitors can walk far out onto the floor of the falls.

When I was there for a visit last fall, the river level was low and you could very nearly walk out to the dam. This week, the water level was quite high and the water was rolling violently.

The effects of the variable water level are obvious in the photo below. High above the water level we found this week were piles and piles of driftwood that had washed up onto the banks.

While the fossil beds are cool and the raging waters were impressive, one of the best reasons to go to the Falls of the Ohio is the peace and beauty of being close to nature — but still close to civilization, with New Albany on the Indiana side and Louisville on the Kentucky side.

Here’s the website for the DNR park if you want to explore further.

(Photos with this blog were taken by me in October 2011.)

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