Ohio - Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile)


Ohio, Indiana, US/Kentucky, US

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Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile)

Usual Difficulty II(IV) (varies with level)
Length 1 Miles
Avg. Gradient 22 fpm
Max Gradient 22 fpm

Jim Gunn Falls of the Ohio


Jim Gunn Falls of the Ohio

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
OHIO RIVER AT LOUISVILLE, KY
usgs-03294500 12.00 - 55.00 ft III-IV 00h45m 18.63 ft (running)
Gauging best flows is somewhat complex . See details on 'Flow Info' tab.


River Description

The Falls of the Ohio is one of the most distinctive paddling locations in the United States. Within sight of downtown Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the premier high flow runs.

The Falls were originally a series of rapids formed by the exposure of a Devonian era coral reef which existed 350 million years ago. It is the world's largest exposed reef of this period. Today the McAlpine Locks and Dam control the river and expose the fossil bed along the Indiana shoreline. As water is released from the Upper Tainter Dam it flows over the exposed bed providing big water fun from (approximately) November till June. At higher water, the exploding waves appear, giving paddlers a quick, crazy ride from the dam down to the interpretive center.

The Falls of the Ohio is a National Wildlife Conservation Area. Please do not disturb any birds nesting or remove fossils. For more information see the Falls of the Ohio State Park website.

Directions:
Take Exit 0 from I-65 and follow signs to the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center. No shuttle for this fun, the interpretive center is both the Put in and Takeout. Just walk down the stairs to the river. Note:The State park is now charging a fee to park, you may avoid the fee by parking upstream under the railroad bridge.

There is also a Lower Falls of the Ohio site 1 mile down stream that is accessed via the clark boat ramp.

Map and Description:
Putting in at the Interpretive center, a long eddy allows paddlers to make their way to the gates. From there cross the very large eddy line and enjoy the waves below. Be careful as wood often collects along the eddy line. Swims can be very long at the Falls; at higher levels, swimmers may be in the water for over a mile before they can reach the Indiana shore.

At lower levels the fossil bed becomes exposed along the KY side and one can ferry across the 1600ft wide river section to access additional playspots.




StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2009-04-07 17:52:34

Editors



Falls of the Ohio

Detail Trip Report  Falls of the Ohio  Ohio, IN(38.73KB .jpeg)

Falls of the Ohio

Detail Trip Report  Falls of the Ohio  Ohio, IN(20.06KB .jpeg)

Falls of the Ohio, Second Wave

Detail Trip Report  Falls of the Ohio, Second Wave  Ohio, IN(19.26KB .jpeg)

Falls of the Ohio

Detail Trip Report  Falls of the Ohio  falls of the ohio, ky(90.71KB .jpeg)

Falls of the Ohio

Detail Trip Report  Falls of the Ohio  falls of the ohio, ky(86.11KB .jpeg)

falls of the ohio

Detail Trip Report  falls of the ohio  falls of the ohio, ky(83.77KB .jpeg)

falls of the Ohio

Detail Trip Report  falls of the Ohio  ohio, in(77.78KB .jpeg)

falls of the ohio

Detail Trip Report  falls of the ohio  falls of the ohio, ky(84.54KB .jpeg)

Falls of the OHIO Panoramic

Detail Trip Report  Falls of the OHIO Panoramic  @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (963.58KB .jpeg)

Triple Waves

Detail Trip Report  Triple Waves  @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (18.07KB .jpeg)

Brian Sandman

Detail Trip Report  Brian Sandman   @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (9.93KB .jpeg)

Falls of the Ohio Map

Detail Trip Report  Falls of the Ohio Map  @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (74.85KB .jpeg)

Eddy Line

Detail Trip Report  Eddy Line  @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (21.23KB .jpeg)

Ben Surfin a Big Wave

Detail Trip Report  Ben Surfin a Big Wave  @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (26.74KB .jpeg)

Kentucky Wave

Detail Trip Report  Kentucky Wave  @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (13.81KB .jpeg)

Jim Gunn Falls of the Ohio

Detail Trip Report  Jim Gunn Falls of the Ohio  @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (38.99KB .jpeg)

Upper Dam : Falls of the Ohio

Detail Trip Report  Upper Dam : Falls of the Ohio  @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (42.83KB .jpeg)

Surfing Right Wave : Falls of the Ohio

Detail Trip Report  Surfing Right Wave : Falls of the Ohio  @Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), (12.28KB .jpeg)

Jim Gunn Kentucky Wave

Detail Trip Report  Jim Gunn Kentucky Wave  Ohio, KY(14.87KB .jpeg)


Gauge Information

Gauge Description:

Call the Falls of the Ohio Dam at (502)775-5056 for the release information. Lower Pool Level, Feet of Dam being released, and gate configuration all determine what is in. For each foot of dam 1400cfs is being released. 53' of dam on the upper site equates to 74,200 cfs. The National Weather Service forecasts the river level, but is only accurate when no rain is expected in the near future the forecast can be found at: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps2/tabular.php?wfo=lmk;gage=mlpk2

A general rule:
Playable big water= 22 ft. of pool(lower) or less.
Big Wave Train= greater than 22 ft. of pool(lower)

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
OHIO RIVER AT LOUISVILLE, KY
usgs-03294500 12.00 - 55.00 ft III-IV 00h45m 18.63 ft (running)
Gauging best flows is somewhat complex . See details on 'Flow Info' tab.

RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
0.00 -12.00 ft somewhat Low-barely Low II
12.00 -25.00 ft med runnable-a bit pushy runnable III-IV Gauging best flows is somewhat complex . See details on 'Flow Info' tab.
25.00 -55.00 ft a bit pushy runnable-high runnable IV
55.00 -100.00 ft barely High-extremely High IV Flood

Report - Reports of Ohio Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile) and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.

Reports

When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
OhioFalls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile) [ ] Jim Gunn Falls of the Ohio n/a Kyle Nicholson
falls of the ohio [ky] falls of the ohio n/a aaron koch
Ohio [IN] Falls of the Ohio n/a Matt Muir
> 10 years Ohio [KY] Jim Gunn Kentucky Wave 13.5 Kyle Nicholson
> 10 years OhioFalls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile) [ ] Surfing Right Wave : Falls of the Ohio 19.5 Kyle Nicholson
> 10 years falls of the ohio [ky] falls of the ohio n/a aaron koch
> 10 years ohio [in] falls of the Ohio 3 1/2 gates aaron koch
> 10 years Ohio [IN] Falls of the Ohio, Second Wave n/a Matt Muir
> 10 years Ohio [IN] Falls of the Ohio n/a Matt Muir

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Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Eddy LineHazard Photo
0.1Right Indiana WavePlayspot Photo
0.1Triple WavesPlayspot Photo
0.1Kentucky Side WavePlayspot Photo
0.1Big WavePlayspot Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Eddy Line

Eddy Line

Eddy Line

The eddy line at the dam is very strong, it can give even the best paddlers trouble at times.

Right Indiana Wave

Surfing Right Wave : Falls of the Ohio

Surfing Right Wave : Falls of the Ohio
Photo of Kyle Nicholson by Kyle Nicholson taken 03/19/05 @ 19.5

Usually is in play between 19' and 20' of pool. The wave pushs towards IN, so keep the bow towards Kentucky.

Triple Waves

Triple Waves

Triple Waves
Photo of UnKnown by Kyle Underwood

Indiana side just downstream of the Far Right Indiana Wave. Water level is lower then when the Right Indiana Wave appears.

Kentucky Side Wave

Kentucky Wave

Kentucky Wave
Photo of Kyle Nicholson

Walk up above the Pit on the Kentucky side, a great Medium sized glassy wave appears around 15' of pool. Beware a very large hole waits 100ft below. Punch the hole on the Kentucky side.

Big Wave

Ben Surfin a Big Wave

Ben Surfin a Big Wave
Photo by Kyle Nicholson

Walk up the Kentucky side, and ferry hard towards Indiana behind the large Diagonal at the Dam. Best levels are aroun 17' of Pool.


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 Falls of the Ohio - Upper (1 mile), Ohio Indiana, US/Kentucky, US (mobile)