Named after Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark and the site where his much younger brother William met up with Meriwether Lewis to begin their extraordinary journey to the Pacific Ocean. Now Clark’s homestead and their where they began their journey is part of the Falls of Ohio, the most hazardous spot on the 981-mile river.
It was a rugged area of wooded hills where the river swirled and eddied over rock formations dating back eons and containing a rich load of fossilized materials dating back millenniums. Take time to visit the monolithic interpretative center and walk along the trail paralleling the Ohio River with its great backdrop of Louisville, Kentucky across the water.
For kids, besides looking at the fossils and falls, there’s Atlantis Waterpark in Clarksville has lots of thrills and spills, including its 43-foot maze of water slides and Tsunami Seas wave pool with five-foot curlers, as well as King Neptune’s Cove for little ones.
Take a tour at Schimpff’s Confectionary, which opened in Jeffersonville in 1891 and is now owned by Warren and Jill Schimpff.
Also in Jeffersonville, there’s the Howard Steamboat Museum in a magnificent Romanesque mansion. Enjoy free concerts on Friday nights in Jeffersonville’s Warder Park.
Downtown New Albany, with its Victorian era downtown, offers some great global cuisine, including Habana Blues Tapas Restaurant (habanabluestapasrestaurant.com), Asian Fusion at the Dragon King’s Daughter (dragonkingsdaughter.com) and Louis Le Francais (louislefrancaischef.com), named 2014 Best French Restaurant in Metro Louisville.
At the New Albanian Bank Street Brewhouse try the cask-conditioned Bob’s Old 15-B Robust Brown Porter and Black & Blue Grass, a spiced Belgian ale. Also in New Albany, sample River City Winery’s award-winning Culbertson Red and Lazy River White.
Situated across the Ohio River from Kentucky, towns like New Albany were often stops on the Underground Railroad. The Carnegie Center for Art and History spotlights this past with its award-winning exhibit “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the Underground Railroad.”
A few blocks away, the 160-foot tower of the Town Clock Church, built in 1852, was a beacon for those on the river, and the church’s interior had several hidden rooms for those on the run to freedom.