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, the Calendar or our Facebook page

to see what's happening!


Leslie Grow with Bald EagleRaptor Day at Charlestown State Park

April 15, 2017 - 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 3, 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.


Ohio River Sweep                                    
June 17, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
(Weather & river levels permitting)

The Clark County effort is part of a multi-state program to remove trash from the banks of the river. A free tee shirt is provided. Come to the Falls - and bring your friends! We welcome scouts, schools and civic organizations to volunteer and help us clean up the riverbank. Unfortunately, there is no end to the trash that needs to be picked up!

Contact Paula Hepp - 812-283-8233 for details.

Clark cabin front porch Clark Days

June 24 & 25 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

$2 per person admission

Celebrate the founder of Clarksville and Louisville, the revolutionary war hero George Rogers Clark and his young brother William, of Lewis and Clark fame. This weekend event features reenactors, guest speakers, guided cabin tours, pioneer activities, and more!

Would you like to participate? Click here to print a registration form.

Southern Indiana Butterfly Festival

July 22 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Charlestown State Park

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. DNR photographer Frank Oliver offers free tips to photograph butterflies. IUS entomologist Dr. Randy Hunt will help identify the insects you see. Naturalist Larry Hilton will also identify bugs and flowers. Park naturalists and volunteers will be throughout the activity area.

On-going programs include...

Digital photography scavenger hunt (prizes offered)

Butterfly crafts for younger children

Crafts and activities for older children and adults

4th Annual Falls Fossil Symposium: Devonian Fossils

Date to be determined, 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.

The 2016 Speakers were:

John Cataloni (Chicago) - Ordovician nautiloids

Chris Cozart (Wheaton, IL) - Ozarkian mollusks from eastern Missouri

Jack Kallmeyer (Cincinnati) - Cincinnatian crinoids

Ben Dattilo (IUPU Fort Wayne) - the Life of Rafinesquina brachiopods

Rebecca Freeman (University of Kentucky) The Afterlife of Rafinesquina brachiopods

Dr. Carlton Brett - Trilobite "Pompeii" Horizons

Previous itinerary: symposium to get an idea of the type of speakers and topics.

Inquiries and toregister: or call 812-280-9970 ext. 403 (Alan).


Digging the Past!

A Celebration of Archaeology and Fossils

September 9, 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, Falls of the Ohio Archaeology Society, and IMI, Inc.

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


Hands-on Archaeology!

Atlatl -dart throwing

Technology and hunter-gatherers (U of K)

Mock dig for artifacts

Learn how to use stone tools

Ancient art

Flint knapping demonstration

Artifact identification (bring your unknowns)

Dig Geology!

Fresh fossil amd 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)

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

Special for Educators!

Teachers - sign up to win a comprehensive geological collection for your classroom. It contains identified rocks, minerals and fossils.


Sample Schedule  

National Fossil Day (link away from our site)

Photo Album See what our previous geology events were like!

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.

Updated November 13, 2016