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Trip Suggestion:

South of McAlpine Locks


By Jerry Hay, Publisher of the Ohio River Guidebook.

I have read a lot of discussion about the crowds and inconsiderate boaters on weekends and agree with those who complain. I am fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the river on week days and rarely go out on the river above McAlpine Lock on weekends.

If you really want to enjoy the river on weekends, lock through McAlpine or put in below the dam. There is a good launching ramp on the Kentucky side at Greenwood. You will find a river with few boats and a lot of remote beauty.

Heading south of New Albany, a view of the Horseshoe Casino. Interestingly, these boats are required to be crewed by a licensed captain. Below, a close-up of the bridge, which had it radar array spinning when this picture was taken. Photos by Capt. Eric

A nice day trip would be to cruise to Leavenworth and have lunch at the Dock Restaurant. For an overnight, go to mile 578.6 and anchor in the Little Blue River at Alton, IN or cruise on down to Derby, IN and rent a cabin with a dock (ohiorivercabins.com). There are no marinas on this route but you can dock close to a gas station at Derby and carry fuel if needed.

It is 60 miles from downtown Louisville to Leavenworth or 45 miles from Greenwood ramp to Leavenworth. The bends at and below Leavenworth are one of the most scenic areas of the river. I invite everyone to extend their territory a little and enjoy more of what the Ohio River has to offer!


Capt Eric adds: Just a reminder to thoroughly review the river chart before heading south through McAlpine Locks. Note that just past downtown, the channel becomes vary narrow under the bridge prior to entering the Portland Channel. Consult the USACE charts for more detail.

Like Jerry says, it is a trip worth checking out. See "Featured Articles" for information on "Locking Through").

Below, the view from the Portland Channel looking upriver toward downtown. Review USCG Rules of the Road for operations in a small channel. Specifically, I would recommend that you give the barges room and coordinate your passing on VHF ch. 13.

Above, the upriver view of the McAlpine Locks. Photos by Capt. Eric.


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Also, please check out Jerry Hay's Ohio River Guide Book: Link

Thank you. -Capt. Eric



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