Located on the banks of the Ohio River in Clarksville, Indiana at I-65, exit 0, is the Falls of the Ohio State Park. The 390-million-year-old fossil beds are among the largest, naturally exposed, Devonian fossil beds in the world. The park features a spectacular Interpretive Center (now closed for renovation until late fall, 2015) overlooking the fossil beds containing an exhibit gallery and video presentation. The Interpretive Center is open year round, except Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
The "Falls" was originally a series of rapids allowing the Ohio River to drop 26 feet over a distance of two and a half miles. This was the only navigational hazard over the 981 mile-length river formed by rock outcrops. Today much of the original falls have been flooded behind the McAlpine dam.
Fishing, hiking and casual walking, fossil viewing, bird watching, and picnicking are among the most common activities.
While fossil and rock collecting is not allowed to protect our resources for future generations, the park staff encourages visitors to explore and discover the many different types of fossils that can be found on the ancient sea floor. The Discovery Center button (above left) provides details about the park's natural and cultural resources - archaeology, birding, flora, fossils, George Rogers Clark and Lewis and Clark are featured. Compare the river level chart with our fossil bed chart to see what is exposed today.
August through mid November typically provides the best accessibility to the 220 acres of fossil beds, as the river is at its lowest level during this period. We are seasonally on Eastern Daylight Savings Time (through November 5) or Eastern Standard Time.
Information about the park, directions, admissions fees, visiting tips, fishing, and more are posted under Visitor Information (at the top left) or questions can be answered by contacting the park. The Educator Information button allows educators to plan a visit, find descriptions of our school programs and many teacher resources, find information about professional development opportunities, information for home schooling, and fill out an on-line group reservation visit request.
This web site supports the Falls of the Ohio Foundation and the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
Learn about fossils from locations world-wide.
Interpretive Center is closed until fall, 2015
See designs and construction photos at this link.
The park is still open and pay-to-park still applies.
News & Latest Features!
Construction of I-65 Bridge Leads to Park Access Issues!
See Visitor Information Page
Falls Foundation Member's Only Events for 2015
Family Nature Club - Getting Children Outside - NEW!
The Nature of Shells - A Virtual Exhibit - NEW!
Teachers! Share your favorite lesson plans that connect to the Falls.
Crossroads Campaign Donors
(On our "Fund the Falls" page)
360 degree views of the Interpretive Center and Park from etourvision.com
Job postings at the Falls & Charlestown State Parks
Site 'Table of Contents'
Updated August 28, 2015