Ohio, Belmont County, Florence
river mile 84
Driving along as the sun was going down, the research team had rejected entering this part of old State Route 7 from the south, as being far too dark and lonesome for safe travel. At the next interchange, finding SR 7 a more promising road on the right at a T-intersection, we drove down and found this lovely, unexpected park. It was sundown, and several people had brought their lawn chairs and were sitting at the top of the bluff watching the sunset. Well, not the sunset, exactly, since the park faces east (the Ohio runs north-south here), but the water splashing over the dam, the sun reflecting on the river, and the shadows on the concrete locks getting darker and darker. In addition to a close up view of the dam, the visitor gets a short elevated walkway paralleling the river and a short paved path up the hill from the beach. The beach itself is fascinating, marked by a water-created sandbar and a pileup of lots of large driftwood in a small cove. Kids were poking sticks in the sand while their parents chatted. The park also is distinctive in including a feral cat feeding station. No water or sanitation, and the only information about the Ohio River was an empty Ohio DNR use survey station. Kayak or bike camping might be possible here, although, in addition to no water or sanitary facilities, it is distant from any town where supplies might be obtained. The park was quiet and peaceful, an unexpected gem.