Connecting the environment of the ancient past with the natural and cultural history of yesterday and today.


The Interpretive Center

News about the renovation and new exhibit installation:

The Interpretive Center closed in November and will reopen in fall 2015. During this time, the building will undergo renovations from stem to stern, including offices, restrooms, galleries, the auditorium, classroom, and halls.

Access to the fossil beds will not hampered except during times when construction equipment blocks the road to the rear parking lot. Indoor restrooms will not be accessible to the public during the closure.

School group programs will move to outreach (school-based) and Charlestown State Park. Details on the Educator information page.


Front of the Interpretive Center

Front of Interpretive Center

Parking is behind the building.

This is your guide to the Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center!

Floor plan of the Interpretive Center.


This page can help you explore our building. Our hours are Monday - Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. You may visit the park even when the Center is closed. Park hours are 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM as is open year round.

The foyer contains a scale model of the entire falls area, including the Portland canal and the McAlpine Locks & Dam. It also has a brochure rack with information about other tourist sites in the Louisville Metropolitan area.

Restrooms and water fountains are located to the right of the reception desk, just past the gift shop. For those without a cell phone, a pay phone is located on the right side of the lobby, near the theater entrance.

Visitors may borrow a wheelchair for use in the Center. The theater presentation has closed caption and headsets with an audio descriptive channel for visually impaired visitors. Inquire at the reception desk so we can make your visit as pleasant as possible.

This museum features over 100 different exhibits and an award winning 14 minute movie about the long and exciting history at the Falls of the Ohio. The theater entrance is to the right of the exhibit gallery entrance.

The gift shop hours are 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday - Saturday, 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM on Sunday.

We do not have vending machines or exterior rest rooms. We sell soft drinks and bottled water in the gift shop.

School group under the new lobby exhibit

School under the new lobby exhibits


Lobby exhibit focuses on the content of the Interpretive Center. It shows a taste of geologic history and ancient life, the natural environment, wildlife and the more recent history at the falls. The giant mural shows an aerial view of the falls area before Europeans entered the area.

New lobby exhibits October 2011

Our new lobby exhibits

Exhibit gallery (enter right of the Falls of the Ohio mural)

These exhibits will be replaced with new exhibits in 2015.

An Ancient Sea

(focusing on the Devonian fossils and their origins)

An Ancient Sea exhibit rendering (focusing on the Devonian fossils and their origins)


A Changing Land

(from the Ice Age to early Peoples)


Converging Cultures

(The arrival of Europeans and the Lewis and Clark Theater)

Converging Cultures rendering (The arrival of Europeans and the Lewis and Clark Theater)


The Falls Today

(a look at the ecosystem)

The Falls Today rendering (a look at the ecosystem)

The Virtual Aquarium

Artist rendering of the Virtual Aquarium


Wildlife Observation Room is in the hallway behind the lobby. Sit and listen to birds at our feeders. Typically, one may observe any of these visitors: sparrows, mourning doves, house finches, goldfinches, chickadees, tufted titmouse, cardinals, blue jays, downy woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds and others.

The outdoor part of the Wildlife Observation Room was renovated in 2014.

Tufted Titmouse on Feeder                              Baby Groundhog by pond

Tufted titmouse on feeder        Baby groundhog by pond


The River Observation Room will become a place for exploration with activities, resources and books relating to the Falls of the Ohio.

The River Observation Room will be converted to an exploration room for kids of all ages


Resource library is available for educators, students and scientists / historians with advance arrangement. It is used as a classroom for educational groups throughout the year and may be rented for $50 per half day when not being used for educational programs.


Resource library / classroom is used for indoor fossil labs.   Students learn about ancient life and how to recognize fossils.


Diorama in the lobby of the Interpretive Center is dominated by a cast of a mammoth skeleton. 

Original Lobby Exhibit (No more...)

Mammoth's shadow on the lobby mural only occurs on January mornings.

Mammoth Shadow on the Lobby Mural

(Occurred on January mornings)

Updated January 12, 2015