There is a special place in my heart for southern Indiana. The Ohio River creates the southern border between Indiana and Kentucky, and the bottom of the state is full of rolling hills and luscious greenery. After growing up in northern Indiana, which is flat farmland, I was surprised to see how different the rest of the state could be.
Located in Floyd County, Indiana is Falls of the Ohio State Park. It is part of a National Wildlife Conservation Area located on the Ohio River. Visiting this state park is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and see what Indiana has to offer.
The park offers beautiful views of Louisville, Kentucky, which is just across the river. As well, it is known for its 390 million year old fossil bed, accessible to visitors because of the McAlpine Dam. The dam has virtually diminished the falls that this park is named after, however, visitors now have a unique experience by being able to explore the bottom of the Ohio River riverbed.
You can find rocks, fossils, and even sea glass. For protection of this land you are not allowed to collect any of your findings, but it is still fun to see how many pieces of sea glass you can find in the sand.
While you can drive or walk, the best way to experience this park is on a bicycle. Just down the street from the park is The Widow’s Walk Ice Creamery & Bike Rentals. For $8 an hour you can rent a bicycle and ride it down the Ohio River Greenway. It is just a few minutes from the fossil bed and the state park.
I had the best time casually riding bikes and spending the day along the river. It was a perfect summer day, especially because you can return your bike rental and grab an ice cream cone to go. I recommend relaxing on a bench by the river and spending some time enjoying the view of Louisville before you go.
If you’re looking to have lunch or dinner, there are plenty of restaurants down by the river for you to enjoy. I tried Bristol Bar & Grille, a delightful restaurant on the second floor offering stunning views both inside and outside. Their patio has string lights that brighten up the evening, and is a great option during the summer. There are many more restaurants along the Ohio River Scenic Byway, and any with a view of the river is a perfect way to end the day.