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

Hike schedule below

Free with regular interpretive Center admission

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


August 26 & 27      9:30 AM to 4:30 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.

August 27 &30   2:00 to 4:00 PM   (New dates) 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.


September 2   3:00 PM    Alan Goldstein, Falls of the Ohio State Park paleontologist and naturalist

Build a Devonian Ecosystem

Help assemble a diorama - a model of the Devonian sea floor - with models of fossils. Learn about the Devonian food web and ecosystem. What did horn corals eat? Why did trilobites crawl and not swim? Which animal was the top predator? Get a photo of the completed diorama when we are done. (Bring your own camera.) Free. Meet in River Room.

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)

August 19, 20, 26, 27

September 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24

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.


Updated August 16, 2017