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Climbing Around the Falls of the Ohio

One of my favorite outdoor spots in Louisville is actually in Indiana. 

We tried to visit the Falls of the Ohio a few years ago, in August. The fossil beds can get something like 20 degrees hotter than whatever the temperature is, and on that day, the temperature was already too much. We made it halfway down the banks of the river before we turned around.

But the Falls of the Ohio in November? Perfect. 

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I like this spot because the Ohio is a different river on this side of the McAlpine dam. From Waterfront Park and the Big Four Bridge, the river looks slow and wide, and for whatever reason, I always wonder if I could swim across it (but I wonder that about most bodies of water). Pushed through the dam, the water turns to rapids and becomes powerful, intimidating, banishing all thoughts of swimming. 

 Can't swim in that. 

Can't swim in that. 

I like the Falls of the Ohio because the path and guardrails from the interpretive center stop halfway to the river. From there, you can pick your path to the river, scrambling over boulders and climbing over bleached, beached tree trunks. There's nothing and no one (at least on Sunday) stopping you from walking up to the dam. 

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And there's no signage (that I saw) explaining the siren from the dam that sounded at 1 o'clock. 

We took it to mean, "Run away!" which we did until it stopped. None of the fishermen seemed concern, and logically, I figured it didn't mean, "We're opening this and flushing you out." The few results Google has imply that it might actually mean that, but no one seemed to care. Do you know what it is? Because apart from terrifying alarms, the Falls are wonderful. It would be reassuring to know for sure that I don't risk drowning from open floodgates while climbing around.  

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