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



2017 Special Events

We have a number of hikes and short public programs on our schedule.

Consult the Programs page or our Facebook page to see what's happening!


At Charlestown State Park

Charlestown Under the Stars

September 23 - 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Louisville Astronomical Society, this event will focus on stargazing. What is out under the night sky tonight? Learn about telescopes, how to find Polaris, discover the summer and fall constellations, bring your telescope that you haven't figured out how to use and we will show you. Come to the Oak Shelter House. If weather is overcast, we will hold the event in the park office with an astronomy slide show and telescopes for examination.

We'll look at the moon, planets, objects in the Milky Way and galaxies beyond.



            Observing the moon                         Crescent Moon                     Anticipating the night

Where is Charlestown State Park?

It is 1 mile east of the intersection with Hwy 3 (Charlestown) on Hwy 62. Turn right. Gate fees apply - $5 per vehicle, Indiana residents, $7 per vehicle, non-residents. Programs are free with admission.

For more information about this park: Click here. Click for a park map (PDF).

Rock the Rocks            
Saturday, September 30, 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

You are invited to our 13th annual Rock the Rocks. Come for a special evening at the Falls of the Ohio Foundation's annual fundraiser.


Click here for Rock the Rocks details

A Haunting Good time at Charlestown State Park

October 20 - 21

Enjoyed by thousands every year. Come early before the campers run out of candy! Watch the Charlestown State Park Facebook page for a detail schedule.



Leslie Grow with Bald EagleRaptor Day at Charlestown State Park

April 14, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Learn about birds of prey and bird watching. Hardy Lake Raptor Rehab Center will bring several of their birds for visitors to see up-close. Telescopes will be set up to observe birds in their native  habitat. "Non-live" raptor programs and children's activities will be guided by Naturalist at Heart Volunteers from the Falls of the Ohio.


10:00 AM Bird watching at the head of Trail 2

11:00 AM Live Raptor Program (Hardy Lake Raptor Rehab Center) - Clark Shelter near Trail 2

1:00 PM Bird watching at the head of Trail 2

2:00 PM Live Raptor Program (Hardy Lake Raptor Rehab Center) - Clark Shelter near Trail 2

On-going activities for kids of all ages at Clark Shelter:

Dissect an owl pellet

Learn how to use scopes and binoculars for bird watching

Make a pine cone bird feeder

Make a nesting material bag

Hand-outs to learn more about raptors!

Bring a picnic lunch! Enjoy spring wildflowers along any of the parks trails!

At Charlestown State Park*

Where is Charlestown State Park?

It is 1 mile east of the intersection with Hwy 3 (Charlestown) on Hwy 62. Turn right. Gate fees apply - $5 per vehicle, Indiana residents, $7 per vehicle, non-residents. Programs are free with admission.

For more information about this park: Click here. Click for a park map (PDF).

*Staff at the Falls of the Ohio and Charlestown State Park have merged. As a result, programs and events at Charlestown will be coordinated by the same people.

Learn how to fish - free fishing dayFree Fishing Weekend Event                                    
June 2, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Ever wanted to go fishing but don't have the gear? Not sure how to tie a Fisherman's Knot? The event was designed just for you! This is a chance to give the sport of fishing a try without investing in all the gear or a license! Our Park Naturalist along with DNR Fisheries Biologists will all be on hand for this fun, free, family event! Open to all ages.

Art Festival at the Falls*

June 23 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

June 24 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cosponsored by Southern Indiana Arts Council

*Details (including the official name for the event) are pending. It will be on the Interpretive Center grounds and include artist vendors, food, music, and hands-on art activities.


Southern Indiana Butterfly Festival

Tentative: July 21 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Charlestown State Park, at the river viewing area

Free with regular park admission

Charlestown State Park has a wide variety and vast number of butterflies and moths. July is the perfect time to see them having abundant wildflowers that attract species. With 3 miles of roadside butterfly viewing, everyone will have a perfect view! The event will feature on-going programs and continuous insect observing.

On the schedule:

IUS entomologist Dr. Randy Hunt will help identify the insects you see.

Guest naturalists will identify bugs and flowers.

Park naturalists and volunteers will be throughout the activity area.

Anabel Hopkins, Arts in the Parks, will paint park scenes and answer questions.

Digital photography scavenger hunt (prizes offered)

Butterfly crafts for younger children

Crafts and activities for older children and adults

Butterflies to be released! Monarchs, swallowtails, and painted ladies


Digging the Past!

A Celebration of Archaeology and Fossils

August 25, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

$2 per person admission

This day-long festival offers many hands-on activities and learning opportunities have a for adults and children.

Co-sponsored by the Mineral and Fossil Interest Club and IMI, Inc.

New this year! Experience an earthquake at the Indiana Geological Survey's Quake Cottage. No extra charge!

Boy Scout Troop 1 sells hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks.

Hands-on Archaeology!

Mock dig for artifacts

Learn about / how to use stone tools

Flint-knapping demonstration

Artifact identification (bring your unknowns)

Dig Geology!

Fresh fossil and mineral collecting piles

Guided hikes on fossil beds

Roving naturalists on fossil beds

Rock and fossil identification (bring your unknowns)

$1 egg cartoon geology collections (fossils, minerals and rocks)

Low cost minerals for collectors and educators

Arts & crafts for children with fossils, colored stones, beads and more!

Special for Educators!

Teachers - sign up to win a 50 or 75 piece comprehensive geological collection containing identified rocks, minerals and fossils for your classroom.

Drawings at 11AM, 12, 1, 2, and 3 PM - must be present to win. A 100 piece collection will be drawn from non-winning entries.


Sample Schedule  

National Fossil Day (link away from our site)

Photo Album See what our previous geology events were like!


5th Annual Falls Fossil Symposium: Topic TBD

Tentative date: November 3 and 4, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Speakers)

Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Field Trip)

Cost: $20 per person

For serious fossil collectors / amateur paleontologists / paleo students

Learn from experts about fossils.

2017 Speakers:

Dr. Carlton Brett, University of Cincinnati

Dr. Kate Bulinski, Bellarmine University

John Catalani, Chicago-area amateur paleontologists

Chris Cozart, Chicago-area amateur paleontologists

Alan Goldstein, Falls of the Ohio State Park

Dr. Steve Greb, Kentucky Geological Survey

Field trip:

The fossil beds from a paleontologist's perspective, and a collecting trip to a local quarry. No 'field trip only' option available.

Click here: 2017 fossil symposium itinerary to get an idea of the type of speakers and topics.

Inquiries and to register: or call 812-280-9970 and ask for Alan.


Updated  September 17, 2017