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



Park Programs

(Special Events listed separately)

For more information about specific programs please contact us at: (812) 280-9970 or

Interpretive Programs will be held on Saturdays at Charlestown State Park and Sundays at the Falls of the Ohio. Look at our Facebook page for the most up-to-date details.

2015 Outer Fossil Bed Hikes:

August 29, September 12, 19, 26,

October 3, and 10

All meet on the deck at 9:30 a.m.

Brian Vance and Paul Olliges lead hikes on fossil beds

Arrive a few minutes early to sign a liability waiver before the hike.

Led by long-time park volunteer Paul Olliges and outer-bed enthusiast Brian Vance. 3 to 3 1/2 hour hike, moderate to strenuous. For age 12 and over.

Meet on the Interpretive Center deck. If you have difficulty walking on rocks, uneven ground, rough terrain, this hike isn't for you. We will walk several minutes in water varying six inches to as much as three feet deep with little to moderate current. Guide will talk about the history, flora & fauna, the river and the engineering behind the McAlpine dam and locks. Expect to see thousands of fossils! Some are the best ones to be seen on the fossil beds.

Bring water to drink, a hat, good hiking shoes - no shoes with exposed toes (i.e., sandals)! Old athletic shoes will work. A walking stick is helpful. If you do not have one, you can probably find something that will work among the driftwood. This hike is a terrific photo-op. Call the state park office (812-280-9970) the day before to verify the hike is on, because the hike is dependent on river conditions. If the one gate on the dam is open even a few inches, we cannot cross.

Public Hikes on the Devonian Fossil Beds

Looking for fossils on the fossil beds


Naturalist-led hikes are offered on the fossils daily from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Whether you are stalking crinoids, trekking for trilobites or creeping over corals, you can learn about the wonderful Devonian fossil beds and learn why they are unique in the world. We encourage you to come and visit the Interpretive Center before going outside.

Saturday hikes are available after Labor Day weekend (September 7) and go through October 26. At other times hikes can be scheduled by calling several days in advance.

When you can't come when there is a scheduled hike, we have roving volunteer naturalists who may be found on the fossil beds.  You can recognize one by looking for a brown vest with the Falls logo on the back, or a lanyard (hang-tag) with their name and "Naturalist at Heart" logo. You can also pick up a free "Discovering Fossils" brochure or download one from here.

Scheduled public hikes will be held July 4, 11, 19, 25, 26. Watch Facebook or check our on-line calendar, or call 812-280-9970 for times.

Canoe Hikes

August 22 10:00 a.m., August 29  3:00 p.m.

September 5 and 19 10:00 a.m.

October 3   1:00 p.m.

Canoe hike on the Indian Chute channel at the Falls of the Ohio.

Paddle the falls and discover a very pleasant way to discover wildlife and seldom-seen fossils.

Canoe or kayak with Falls of the Ohio interpretive naturalist Jeremy Beavin in the unique Falls of the Ohio National Wildlife Conservation Area.

Meet at the boat ramp on Harrison Avenue, in Clarksville, by 9:30 a.m.

We will paddle into the Conservation Area, hike a bit on the outer fossil beds and plan to

return around noon. Call on Friday (812) 280-9970, to make sure the river level is safe

for boating. Bring your own canoe or kayak and PFD (life jacket), water to drink, and

sun protection. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

If you don’t have a boat of your own, you can rent a canoe through Green Earth Outdoors by

calling 502-475-7445.


Canoe Kentucky   and   Green Earth Outdoors


Outings launch from the GRC Boat Ramp 1204 W. Harrison Avenue.


         Paddling below the George Rogers Clark home site cabin.


         Paddling below the Clark Cabin


Updated July 21, 2015