Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Loop Island Wetlands, New Albany, Ind.

A professor recently told me about walking a section of the Ohio River Greenway that runs alongside Loop Island Wetlands in New Albany, Ind. Chris, Sidney and I went to check it out over the weekend.

Loop Island Wetlands

As described by my professor, the parking area is a little scary. It’s located at an old tannery. Several abandoned buildings and trailers sit at the entrance. My professor told me when he visited, he moved his car because it seemed like a place riffraff would most likely hang out.

Loop Island Wetlands parking lot

I understand what he means. All of the buildings had broken or boarded-up windows. Graffiti covered the walls of the buildings and along the trail. Based on the juvenile content, I’m sure the “artists” were teens.

We would not have been sure of our location if it weren’t for cars full of people parking and heading for the trailhead. Other clues we were in the correct place was a project development sign at the gravel lot’s entrance and parking signs posted on one of the dilapidated buildings.

We attempted to walk some dirt paths through the woods next to the wetlands, but our walk was cut short due to a minor breach in what appeared to be a man-made pond. If there was a path, it was washed out by a newly created rill.

Instead, we headed back to the paved greenway. It wound north of the wetlands and climbed a levee. Just west of the wetlands, we found an apartment community sitting below the levee. A couple played fetch with their German shepherd and other medium-sized dog. On the greenway, we walked past several teenagers, families, couples with dogs and a couple of joggers.

At the end of the greenway, we found a paved parking lot. According to the greenway’s map, that section is 0.8 miles. Eventually this section will connect to the portion we walked on when we visited the Falls of the Ohio.

Though not a relaxing walk, Loop Island Wetlands was an interesting visit.

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Falls of the Ohio, Clarksville, Ind.

On a recent Saturday we took a short trip across the Ohio River to Falls of the Ohio State Park. This small, state park features a fossil bed on the shoreline of the Ohio. The visitor and interpretive center sits on a cliff overlooking the Ohio and the fossil bed, which you can reach via a long set of steps and climbing down over some big rocks.

Falls of the Ohio

Some of the fossil beds aren’t visible year round due to water levels, though late summer and early fall are good opportunities to see them. There were pools of water in various spots along the fossil bed when we visited. Every once in awhile we found a minnow trapped in a small pool.

Pools of water are common along the fossil beds at the Falls of the Ohio.

Pools of water are common along the fossil beds at the Falls of the Ohio.

Chris and Sidney check out the pools of water at the Falls of the Ohio

Chris and Sidney check out the pools of water at the Falls of the Ohio

We spent half an hour looking for fossils embedded in the rock. An interpretive sign said the fossils include many different types of coral, trilobites and brachiopods. Here’s some photos:

Falls fossil 1

Falls fossil 2

Falls fossil 3

The visitor center had signs posted warning visitors that the temperature on the rocks could be as much as 20-25 degrees warmer. I can believe it. We were only on the rocks for about 10 mins. before I broke out in a sweat on what was a relatively cool, summer morning. Make sure you take water if you visit on a really hot day!

The park has events throughout the year. You can also pack at picnicking, fish or hike. I just discovered the park has one trail. I wish we’d found it while we were there. We did walk a little ways on the Ohio River Greenway.

The park is open year round, except for a few holidays, and is located near I-65 in Indiana.


New Harmony, Ind.

While we were out west, we stopped at New Harmony, Ind., the site of two former utopian societies.

First, we walked down a path alongside the Wabash River. Due to ton of rain the area had gotten recently, the walk was pretty buggy. Even though we sprayed our hair, arms and legs with bug spray, we were still covered in little, black flying insects!

We did see other insects on our walk, too.

I really loved exploring the Roofless Church.

This is a statue in the middle of the Roofless Church.

There was also a labyrinth garden. My mother-in-law, Margie, and I walked around the labyrinth as Chris and his dad, Dana, waited. You’re supposed to walk around it slowly, meditating. The fountain in the park and the landscaping was beautiful.

The town’s library is the former New Harmony Workmen’s Institute. I loved the architecture of the building, but the inside was a little bit musty.

I loved the door handle, so I had Chris take a picture. 🙂

The library was hosting a sale, and Dana picked up a CD or two.

Here’s some more photos from around town:

This doorway used to be part of a church. It’s now an entry into one of the town’s gardens.

A very modern building for such an old community.
This houses the visitor center and is where you can start tours.

The town was also hosting the Golden Raintree Antiques Show, so we did a little browsing, too.


Angel Mounds Historic Site, Evansville, Ind.

Not too long ago, Chris, Sidney and I headed out west to visit family. While there, of course, we made sure to visit some sites. Many of those Chris had visited often when he lived in the area, but this was my first time seeing a lot of these places.

One place Chris has wanted to take me for several years is Angel Mounds Historic Site, Evansville, Ind. Since we usually visit in December, we haven’t made it to the mounds, though it’s nearby.

I’ve been to a few Native American burial and ceremonial grounds (see Serpent Mounds and Grave Creek Mound), but never had I seen so many mounds together nor over such a large area! I now see why Chris didn’t want to take me in cooler weather. Most of our time was spent outside walking around the mound.

This post is just in time because Angel Mound’s annual Native American Days are Sept. 23-25! So, start planning your trip now.

After walking through the Interpretive Center, you walk out across a bridge to the Mounds. There you follow a mowed trail around and over the mounds. If I remember correctly, the whole trail is about a mile long.

Signs point out the various mounds and what they may have been used for.

There were also models of a stockade that would have surrounded the community and different buildings.

This is a reconstruction of what the stockade may have looked like.

After our walk, we stopped at the bridge so Chris could take photos of turtles and dragonflies. I wonder if any of the turtles or fish found the lens cap I dropped into the water. Oops!


Mesker Park Zoo, Evansville, In.

As promised, here’s some photos from our trip to the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville in 2007.

A greater rhea.

A peacock wandering around the zoo.

A prairie dog.

Zebra.

A giraffe.

A ring-tailed lemur. I loved him so much! Yes, I wanted to cuddle with him. Lemurs are my favorite primates. 🙂

Do you see the large tortoise in the back?

I think this is a przewalski horse.


Evansville, Indiana

As you read this, we’re probably settled in for Christmas with Chris’ family in Evansville, In. We usually head to Cincinnati for a while too, but not this year. Since we visited family in Ohio in August, we’re not going to stop by this year.

Here’s some photos from November 2007 that I snapped on my first trip to Evansville and my first trip, ever, to a state that wasn’t on the East Coast! Make sure to read the cutlines, I’ll explain the photo and posts links.

The city’s greenway, which runs along the Ohio River.

The Four Freedoms, a monument along the greenway, facing the Ohio.

University of Southern Indiana. My father-in-law tutors there.

The old courthouse, built in the late 1800s.

The old jail, located across the street from the old courthouse. It was also built in the late 1800s.

An old art deco Greyhound bus station 
The Gerst Bavarian Haus, a German restaurant, is my favorite place to eat in Evansville, with Emge’s Deli a close second! (Ignore the crazy man running at the camera.) There’s also Turoni’s Pizza, which is a favorite for the locals.

We also visited the Evansville African American Museum. It was fabulous! I was very impressed and loved all the detailed and interactive exhibits.

I have yet to visit the Angel Mounds — another Native American burial ground. I’ve been told that the mound is usually operating on off-season hours when we’re there, so we haven’t been.

In a later post, I’ll share photos from the Mesker Park Zoo, a small zoo in Chris’ hometown. We’ve already visited it a couple of times together. It recently added a rain forest exhibit and I must go check that out!

Have a very merry Christmas and talk with you soon!