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















 

 


2017 Park Programs

Most activities last 1 to 2 hours

Free with regular interpretive Center admission

$2 pay-to-park in the Interpretive Center parking lot applies.

 

June 24    11:00 AM      Jim Mead and Tom Bibb, Naturalist at Heart volunteer

GPS hike on the fossil beds

The Falls of the Ohio State Park has three web-based GPS hikes posted on the fallsoftheohio.org. Created by volunteers Jim Mead and Tom Bibb, in partnership with Indiana University Southeast’s Department of Informatics, these hikes allow visitors to explore the fossil beds using a GPS / smart phone. This hike will be guided by the GPS hike developers. Bring your GPS and follow along! Program is free.

June 24  & 25   10 to 4    George Rogers Clark Home Site

Atlatl and tomahawk throwing... and more!

Prehistoric darts were thrown with a throwing device called an atlatl. Learn about prehistoric hunters and practice hitting a target with a throwing dart. Try your skill throwing a tomahawk at a wood disk. Other activities scheduled including cabin tours.

July 1      3:00 PM    Dale Brown, Falls of the Ohio State Park 

The world of fossils

Come see a display and discuss fossils from different time periods from around the world. Evidence of life from more than 600 million years ago to as recent as 10,000 year will be shown. Anyone under 18 will receive a free souvenir fossil.

July 2      3:00 PM    Dale Brown, Falls of the Ohio State Park 

Turning a walking stick into a talking stick

This is a free one our lesson on how to use a walking stick in the field, along a hike, or in a survival situation. Your naturalist, Dale Brown, will discuss the many potential uses of a walking stick, including how to choose a walking stick that is safe, reliable, and functional. Attendees will then learn how to convert any walking stick into a one-of-kind walking tool that fits their own personality and becomes a piece of conversation.

July 3      3:00 PM    Geneva Fry, Falls of the Ohio State Park volunteer

Decoration of Indy Pendants

Join us as we celebrate note only the founding of the United States, but a year beyond Indiana’s bicentennial. Make a pendant with an Indiana theme. It should be better than the ‘punny’ title of this arts and craft activity. $2 program fee applies. Meet in the picnic area. Educator and craftwoman Geneva fry will lead this activity.

July 8   10:00 AM      Wanda Bilkey, Master Gardener, George Rogers Clark Home Site

Walk In the Cabin Garden - At the GRC Home Site on Harrison Avenue

Gardeners will give a walk through the Cabin garden and discuss gardening for 18th Century settlers. Growing, planting, plants and seeds and the trials of gardening in the new territory.

July 8     12:00 PM      Paul Olliges, Naturalist at Heart volunteer

Falls overview

A review of the natural and cultural history of the Falls from the perspective of former volunteer of the year, Paul Olliges. Paul leads outer fossil bed hikes in September and October and has done a lot of reach to document the history of the Falls of the Ohio.

July 15, repeated July 16    9:30 AM to 4:00 PM    Dale Brown, Falls of the Ohio State Park 

Basic Map Reading and Orienteering

This is a six hour course designed to teach attendees how to read a map, plot a course, use a compass, and navigate to a chosen destination. This is for people who want to be able to find their way without relying on GPS. All needed materials will be provided, however attendees may bring their own protractor and compass if they desire to become better acquainted with their own equipment. $10 fee, limited to 30. RSVP to Dale Brown, 812-280-9970.

July 15     11:00 AM      Karen Maag, Naturalist at Heart volunteer

Mushroom hike at Lapping Park

Join Karen and learn about and how to identify the summer mushrooms in Lapping Park. Meet at the lodge. Hike will last about 90 minutes.

July 22    10:00 AM to 4:00 PM        See Special Events page

Southern Indiana Butterfly Festival at Charlestown state Park

July 30   3:00 PM   Alan Goldstein, Falls of the Ohio State Park paleontologist and naturalist

Ask the Paleontologist: A peek at the collections

Park paleontologist Alan Goldstein will bring out some rarely-seen fossils from the park’s collections ranging from 700 million to 10-thousand years ago. For comparison, the Falls of the Ohio fossils are from the Silurian and Devonian periods, 425 and 390 million years ago, respectively. Learn about the diversity of life preserved in Earth’s fossil record. It’s a great opportunity to ask the paleontologist questions and bring rocks you want identified! Location: Picnic area behind the Interpretive Center (lobby if there is inclement weather) between 3:00 and 4:00 PM.

August 5   10:00 AM      Wanda Bilkey, Master Gardener, George Rogers Clark Home Site

Walk In the Cabin Garden - At the GRC Home Site on Harrison Avenue

Gardeners will give a walk through the Cabin garden and discuss gardening for 18th Century settlers. Growing, planting, plants and seeds and the trials of gardening in the new territory.

August 6   2:00 PM      Tom Bibb, Naturalist at Heart volunteer & solar gazer

Family Nature Club - Safe Solar Observing - Preparing to view the eclipse

There’s a total solar eclipse on August 21. It will be about 95% in the Louisville area. The 5% that isn’t covered is still blinding. What causes a solar eclipse and what’s the best way to safely watch it? Naturalist at Heart volunteers Tom Bibb and John Scott answer those important questions by helping participants make a safe eclipse viewer and share ideas to see the eclipse. $2 program fee. Meets in the picnic area.

August 6   2:00 PM      Tom Bibb, Naturalist at Heart volunteer & solar gazer

All About Solar Eclipses

Tom Bibb will present in the auditorium on why solar eclipses occur, what we learn from them and how you can observe the eclipse safely. If you want to travel to see totality, he will offer tips there, too.

August 12 & 13  

Falls Fossil Symposium, See Special Events page

August 23 & 26   2:00 PM    Paul Olliges, Naturalist at Heart volunteer

Virtual tour of the outer fossil beds

Learn about the outer fossil bed experience from the air conditioned comfort of the Interpretive Center auditorium. If you want to experience the reality, hikes are scheduled in September and October, and this program will give you a great idea about what to expect.

August 26 & 27      9:30 AM to 4:00 PM    Dale Brown, Falls of the Ohio State Park 

Basic Survival Techniques

A two day, 12-hour basic survival course will provide attendees with the basic knowledge and survival skills. It is designed for outdoor-oriented individuals, such as hikers, campers, and those who want to know what they can do to increase their chances if they find themselves in a survival situation. It covers topics such as survival strategies, suggested tools and equipment, field craft, search and rescue operations, and much more. Dale Brown, instructor. $25 fee. Limit of 30. Bring a notebook to take notes. No tools or weapons. RSVP to Dale Brown, 812-280-9970.

 


Public Hikes on the Devonian Fossil Beds

Looking for fossils on the fossil beds

Begin every weekend Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Most at 1:00 PM. Consult our Facebook page.

Hikes scheduled at 1:00 PM unless noted (** 11 AM hike)

June 24, 25

July 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 15, 16, 23, 29, 30

August 5, 6**, 19, 20, 26**, 27

September 2, 3, 4, 10

Naturalist-led hikes are offered on the fossils on weekends from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Roving naturalists on weekdays. 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.

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.

Watch Facebook or call 812-280-9970 for times.


Outer Fossil Bed Hikes

 

September 9 & 23 and October 7 & 14, 2017

Departs from the deck at 9:30 AM

The outer fossils are one of the world's amazing excursions to see Devonian fossils in their natural "habitat." We can only offer hikes in the late summer and fall when the upper gates of the McAlpine Dam are closed. This hike is moderately rugged and without shade, so wear a hat and bring water. You will do a little wading, the worst is about 2-feet deep with a moderate current. There will be a lot of walking on uneven limestone ledges. Wear enclosed shoes for your safety.

Learn about the geology, history, and river dynamics & engineering of the lock & dam and 1870 railroad bridge. You will see birds and other wildlife on this outing.

Hike lasts about 3 1/2 hours. Meets on the deck. It is geared for adults and children 12 and over. Show up with enough time to sign a liability release form and use the rest rooms in the Interpretive Center before you go outside to explore.

Hike depends on river level and weather conditions.

Contact us the day before at 812-280-9970.

 

Brian Vance and Paul Olliges lead hikes on fossil beds

Secret cache of fossils will be shown on this hike to explain the ancient life that created the fossil beds.


Canoe Hikes

Will be scheduled for Late Summer - Early Fall 2017

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.

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 June 21, 2017