Boater's delight

DNR, governor dedicate new marina
at Charlestown State Park

Facility to provide boaters access to the Ohio River

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(July 2007) – Darrell Adams has been a resident of Charlestown, Ind., for 57 years. At least three to four times a week he goes hiking or walking in Charlestown State Park, located on Hwy 62.

Mitch Daniels

Photo by Konnie McCollum

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on June 26
helps Indiana Department of
Natural Resources officials dedicate
the new Ohio River marina.

When his grandchildren are visiting, he loves to take them on the scenic trails of the park. The Adams family is excited about the new boat ramp and landing area, which they believe will bring even more visitors to the beautiful state park and add to the recreational opportunities there.
Adams and his grandchildren were among numerous residents, park visitors and dignitaries on hand for the June 26 dedication ceremony at the new Charlestown Landing Boat Ramp and Overlook at Charlestown State Park. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels Jr. gave the keynote address during the event, which included a plaque unveiling.
Other officials to speak during the festivities included Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director Robert E. Carter Jr., Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Glen Salmon, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Branch Chief Abbey Kucera, Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs Director Daniel W. Bortner and Charlestown State Park Property Manager Larry Gray.
The landing cost $2.8 million. It consists of a 75-foot-wide boat ramp, two observation decks, more than 100 parking spaces and a paved road to the ramp. About $2 million of the funds came from the state, while a U.S. Fish and Wildlife grant provided $750,000. MAC, a New Albany, Ind.-based company, is building the landing.
“We are committed to maximizing opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy our natural surroundings,” said Daniels during the ceremony. “Our economy benefits directly when we make natural resources available to the community.”
Salmon said the boat landing affords area boaters access to 60 river miles, 30 in both directions, which have been inaccessible for 60 years. Until now, there have been no Indiana public access sites from Clarksville, Ind., to Madison, Ind.
During World War II, the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant was built between Charlestown and the river, cutting off public access. In 1995, however, the state began developing the park on land occupied by the closed plant.
Charlestown State Park was opened in October 1996. It began with 2,339 acres and has since added 2,761 from the decommissioned depot. A popular fishing spot, Fourteen Mile Creek, flows through the center of the park. Several trails run through the park and showcase the area’s cliffs, wetlands and creeks.
In addition to hiking, fishing and camping, there are picnic areas with restroom facilities, playground equipment, shelters and playfields.
Erica Adams, 13, and Amber Howard, 16, were with their grandfather at the ceremony. “It’s cool,” said Erica. “Now there is even more to do here.”
Amber agreed, and said she is looking forward to coming back to camp at the park.
Although use of the boat ramp is free and open to the public, there is a gate fee charged to all vehicles entering the park itself. The Monday-Thursday rate for in-state vehicles is $4 per day, $5 Friday-Sunday and holidays. Cost for out-of-state vehicles is higher.

• For more information about Charlestown State Park or Charlestown Boat Ramp and Overlook, call (812) 256-5600 or visit: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/properties/park_charlestown.html.

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