of McAlpine Locks
By Jerry Hay, Publisher of the Ohio
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