By Luanne Mattson | Photos Courtesy of Clark-Floyd Counties Convention-Tourism Bureau
The summer began with a bit of rain (understatement of the year), but you owe it to yourself to enjoy some riverside fun. Here are four ways.
Bike It: The Ohio River Greenway
Put two (or three) wheels on the Ohio River Greenway in southern Indiana’s three historic river side towns: New Albany, Jeffersonville and Clarksville. The Greenway has paths ranging from 1.4 to 2 miles, and visitors get stellar views of the Louisville skyline, birds, and the river. Other sites along the way include Devonian era fossil beds at the Falls of the Ohio State Park and the Clark Cabin, the Loop Islands Wetlands, playgrounds and picnic areas, and Widow’s Walk Ice Creamery. If you don’t have a bicycle, you could rent one from the Widow’s Walk in Clarksville or Wheel Fun Rentals in Louisville’s Waterfront Park.
Bridge It: Big Four Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge
One of Jeffersonville’s most popular activity is walking or cycling the Big Four Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge opened its Indiana ramp in 2014. Walkers and cyclists span the one-mile trek across with views upstream of Jeffersonville and its Riverstage performance venue. If you have made it a regular activity, you’ve been a part of history as the new bridge on I-65 has risen from the mighty Ohio.
Walk It: Riverside Cities
Want a downtown experience? Walk through the historic river towns of Jeffersonville, and New Albany to enjoy urban amenities. Just a few blocks from the Big Four Bridge you can watch Jill and Warren Schimpff make their famous cinnamon red hot drops at Schimpff’s Confectionery. Savor the taco trio – including the spicily indulgent brisket taco – at Red Yeti Brewing Company; then shop for handmade pottery at Silica Ceramic Studio.
Walk along New Albany’s Ohio River Greenway section, then cross the levee. You can walk through Mansion Row on Main Street or head downtown for the dining and shopping district. You can shop for fun gifts at Regalo, peek into history at Culbertson Mansion State Historic Park, drink hand crafted brews at New Albanian Brewing Company (and, soon, Floyd County Brewing Company), and sample the up-and-coming food scene.
In Clarksville’s Ohio riverside section, you get one of the best views of the Louisville skyline at Ashland Park. Why not reserve the shelter house for a family picnic?
Cruise it: Riverboats
If you’ve lived here for a while, you’ve probably cruised aboard the Belle of Louisville or the Spirit of Jefferson. If you haven’t, get a different perspective of Louisville and southern Indiana on daily cruises.
On Aug. 23, the Spirit of Jefferson will launch two special cruises from New Albany. The afternoon cruise will be a fun family excursion for kids, and the evening cruise will tour the McAlpine Locks and Dam, weather and river conditions permitting.
Since the Ohio River played such a big role in our region’s history, it’s no wonder we flock to its shores.
Luanne Mattson is the Director of Communications Clark-Floyd Counties Convention & Tourism Bureau.