Indiana, Switzerland County, Patriot
river mile 518
The research team knows that Patriot Boat Ramp is an excellent place to begin a kayaking trip on the Ohio River, because we began one there. It was ill-fated: the nonprofit that sponsored it as an educational event and fundraiser had not signed up enough people to make it a go, so at the last moment they added a large group of high school students who had never been in kayaks and canoes before, and who were ill-equipped, both by training and by background for a long paddle in an isolated rural area. But it wasn’t they who came in last — it was the research team, who got spooked by 3 foot waves. Three-foot waves, on the Ohio River? It was mid-afternoon and the wind was blowing hard, in the right direction, through a canyon made by the bluff on one side and a power plant on the other. The river ran backwards. Did the less experienced member of the research team jettison the kayak and walk the last mile on shore? Since then, we have observed similar conditions at similar places on the Ohio. The nonprofit has not repeated the event.
This said, the Patriot Boat Ramp is an excellent place to camp. Along this part of the Ohio there are many stream junctions that have been flooded by the construction of the navigation dams. They create picturesque bayous, full of birds, reed, and fish. The boat ramp here at Patriot launches into one. In addition there’s a picnic shelter with picnic tables and many secluded potential camping sites between the river and the parking lot. Thank you, Lion’s Club, for providing a clean portapotty with a full container of hand sanitizer!!! That’s not a snarky remark — it’s an expression of true thanks, because too many of these riverside parks lack the kinds of basic amenities that make it possible to enjoy them. Cleaning the portapotty and keeping hand sanitizer in it is a task both tedious and unrewarding, but it is a task that is essential. Thank you, again.
Next park: Patriot Town Park
Field research September 2015