Rose Island Amusement Park was a popular destination in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Families would board steamboats in surrounding cities – Louisville KY, Madison IN, Henderson KY – and cruise down the Ohio River for a fun day at the park. A wooden roller coaster, ferris wheel, a black bear named Teddy Roosevelt – Rose Island had it all. The entire park was destroyed in the 1937 flood – 10 feet of water covered the park, and it was never rebuilt.
Today, the land is part of Charlestown State Park, and Trail 7 leads you through the Rose Island area, with educational elements along the way.
Clark State Forest is located outside of Henryville in northern Clark County, Indiana. It is the oldest state forest in Indiana, and remains one of the few completely free properties in the Indiana Department of Natural Resources system. Inside the forest are several lakes, White Oak Nature Preserve, picnic areas, a primative campground, horse & hiking trails, and a public shooting range.
For more information on Clark State Forest, visit IN DNR: Clark State Forest.
I’m able to take Malady on day-long hikes – she enjoys them, doesn’t run out of energy, and we have fun.
Piper, on the other hand, throws up after being in the car for more than 5 minutes. She has short legs, has to take frequent breaks, and falls asleep as soon as we get in to the car to go home. That being said, I feel guilty taking Malady places and leaving Piper at home, so the day after I took Malady to the Charlestown State Park I took Piper for a stroll around the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
The Falls of the Ohio State Park is another newer state park in Indiana (newer as in the last 20 years), though its beginnings are 386-million years old. It sits on the banks of the Ohio River, along with Clarksville’s Ashland Park, directly across from Louisville (99% of the Louisville skyline photos you see are from here).
In my world Monday is known as “Manager Monday”, when I slave over spreadsheets and payroll and sales (for about an hour) and then do other stuff that goes in to managing a semi-successful shop. This past Monday was no exception. In between putting away an order updating something on the computer I stepped outside, and, well, that was it. the weather was too nice to be inside doing stuff all day, especially when it was all stuff that I could put off.
So, around 2pm, I got in my car, got Malady from the house, and went back to Charlestown State Park.
This time we went out on Trail 6, which is the newest trail in the park. It starts at the parking lot for the boat dock for the Ohio River, climbs up the bluff, and follows the river to Fourteenmile Creek, where it descends to the Ohio River. From here you follow an old service road back to the parking lot. I really like this trail – it isn’t too long (around 2.5 miles), or too rugged, but there is a lot to see and a lot to do.
One of my favorite things about Charlestown State Park is it’s past. The land was once part of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, where tens of thousands of people made smokeless gunpowder for the military starting in the 1940’s. the plant (over 10,000 acres) continued manufacturing goods until 1992. Some of the land was turned over to the State of Indiana in 1995 & 1996, when they developed it in to a state park.
The main part of the park has 6 trails, a campground, a boat dock, picnic areas, and a playground. There are still several gated areas with roads dating back to it’s former use – many of these areas have “Do Not Enter’ or “No Trespassing” signs, but some don’t. There are several abandoned warehouses scattered throughout the gated areas, as well as railroad tracks & cars.
I woke up this morning with the birds chirping, the day off of work, and the need to get out. It was still in the 20’s outside, but I knew that the high was supposed to be around 50, and the sun was shining, plus I still haven’t really been able to really try out my new camera, so I decided that I was going to spend my day at Charlestown State Park.
Charlestown State Park is special to me. I took a summer school gym class in high school (I didn’t take it during the school year because of scheduling conflicts.) and we went to the park on a field trip. I had an interest in the outdoors as a child, but I lost it in middle + high school. I reconnected with nature that day – the park was so calm, so beautiful. I’ve returned to that park every summer since, probably 20 times a year in the last 7 years even. Last spring they opened 2 new trails, and they have plans for more in the future.
Today I took Malady on Trail 3, which runs down an old service road, descends to the Ohio River and goes along the Fourteenmile Creek valley, and then returns to the service road.
Overcast, humid, and warm, but I really wanted to take Malady somewhere, so we ended up driving out to Otter Creek Park. When we got there we went straight for the old Ohio River boat launch (it’s been closed for years), where we walked down the river bank to where a creek let out, then we turned around. After that we walked down the rail road tracks to see a waterfall, which we ended up not being able to really get down to. Then it started raining, so we jumped in to the car and came home.
Malady and I were planning on going to the Loop Island Wetlands in New Albany, IN, but apparently there was a fire in the park earlier that week, so instead I took her to the Jaycee Riverfront Park, which pretty much takes over the entire riverfront area of New Albany. We parked over the flood wall where they are building the Scribner Place complex and walked to the park. From there we walked around the amphitheater down to the river, where the New Albany Fire Department were having a mock rescue. I let Malady play on the empty skate park for a few minutes then we walked to the other side of the Sherman Minton bridge, and down the park to a picnic area. From there we went down a trail to the river, walked down the side of the river bank for a while, then climbed through the brush and trees to get back to the park and the car.