of the Ohio State Park
park offers summer fun
and education for entire family
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (June 2005) The Falls of
the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, Ind., is famous around the world
for the 400-million-year-old fossil beds found at the Ohio River banks.
Formed beneath a shallow inland sea millions of years ago, these fossil
beds have only been exposed by the Ohio River in the last million years.
by Don Ward
Clarksville, Ind., park
is famous for its rare fossil beds.
Most visitors are amazed to find out that this was
under a salt water sea, said Bett Etonohan, interpretive naturalist
at the Falls of the State Park. Over millions of years, the land mass
was elevated and the sea dissipated. Later, as the Ohio River carved
out its route, the ancient fossils slowly became visible. Today, visitors
have come from every continent except Antarctica to view the one-of-a-kind
The 220-acre limestone bed is unique for its size and the fact that
one can walk over a single layer on the ancient ocean floor for several
acres. The unusual phenomenon is comparable to walking on a dry ocean
When it is too cold outside to take the family hiking and exploring
at the park, there is a place where the wonders of the outdoors come
inside. The Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center houses a number of
exhibits relating to sites at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
The tropical sea exhibit replicates the creatures that are now fossilized
in the limestone beds.
by Don Ward
can watch a movie,
tour the museum and
get a great view of the Ohio River.
When guests walk through the exhibits, they are in a sense
walking through time, said Etonohan. Visitors are taken back 400 million
years and through full-sized exhibits and historical artifacts. They
travel through the Devonian-era plant and fish life, the Ice Age, Native
American culture, European explorers, various habitats, an exhibit of
naturalist John James Audubons work, and the birth of the Falls
In the centers auditorium, guests can view the changes at the
Falls over the last 400 million years. In a half-million-dollar, award-winning
production, viewers are transported to the Falls area of the past and
New in January and February was the Day in the Life of George
Rogers Clark exhibit. The cabin home of the revolutionary war
hero was been moved indoors for cold weather viewing. All of the artifacts
from the cabin are normally put into storage during the winter when
visitors do not go to the cabin.
10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 17-18, at the Falls of the Ohio State
201 W. Riverside Dr., Clarksville
Event will feature Native American artists, craftsmen,
musicians, and storytellers all demonstrating their skills and
selling quality handmade items. New crafts this year include wood
carving, quiltwork, leatherwork, pottery and blowguns. Tony Nava
will be demonstrating the Native American flute.
There is no entrance fee for activities on the park grounds.
Admission to the Interpretive Center is $1 for ages 2-18; $4 for
This year, however, officials decided to bring the artifacts
in and recreated the cabin in the Interpretive Centers temporary exhibit
The room was made to look like a cabin and along with the artifacts
will offer visitors a glimpse into what life was like in the early 1800s.
Now that it is warmer outside, the parks many outdoor activities are
open for public enjoyment.
The Falls of the Ohio State Park is located
at 201 W. Riverside Dr., Clarksville, IN. Admission to the Interpretive
Center is $4 adults; $1 under 19. Call (812) 280-9970 or visit: www.fallsoftheohio.org.
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