Old Locks and Dam 43

Indiana, Harrison County, New Boston

river mile 633

River access: no. Tree cover: somewhat open. Impervious surface: none. Landscape design strategy: none. Information about the Ohio River: little to none.

On SR 111, the riverside road from New Albany towards Mauckport, at about Sugar Grove, there is a sign “Dead End 7 miles.” Dead end? Seven miles? What are we to do, turn back now? Investigate the gravel roads that climb up the bluff? What an odd sign. We must investigate! What happens then? What happens then is that the road makes a sharp left turn, and, 100 feet further on, dead ends at the Ohio River. Luckily, at the sharp turn there is a road that goes off to the right, up the bluff, “Old Dam Forty Three Road.” From this kind of road sign we now know what kind of a place we are at. And here, at the dead end, to the left, surrounded by a chain link fence, in the middle of this rural countryside, is a little subdivision of 10 or 12 carefully constructed houses, much better quality than those we have seen driving along the road to this place. One is for sale. This is the remnant community of USACE Locks and Dam 43. Paul Kiger gives us a view of it from a drone. In 1940 the USACE allotted $250,000 for construction of an additional beartrap.

This is a very popular catfish spot.

Then we turn right, instead, and go up the road. Certainly it is a road designed by engineers: to go up to the top of the bluff in the shortest way. It is newly paved. The horizontal elevation: there are tons of turns. But especially the vertical elevation!!! Not one hill has been cut down or valley filled in. The research team wishes they were driving a Ferrari, so, when at the top of each of the small hills, with no forward road visible, we would actually take to the air.

The steepness of the road would be a challenge for out-of-shape bicyclists. It is an excellent potential location for a biking and paddling campground.

Next park: Mauckport Boat Ramp

Field research September 2015

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