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Help dedicate Rose Island trail at Charlestown SP, March 18
Start Date: 3/18/2016Start Time: 11:00 AM
End Date: 3/18/2016
Entry Description
The public is invited to the March 18 dedication of a Charlestown State Park hiking trail that tells the story of Rose Island, a historic resort and park.

The dedication of Rose Island Interpretive Trail is at 11 a.m. EDT.

Rose Island was a popular outdoor recreation location for residents of southern Indiana and greater Louisville. It opened in 1884 and was originally called Fern Grove. The site included a hotel, cabins, a dance hall, a swimming pool, live animals and more.

Despite its name, Rose Island was not an island. It was built on a narrow peninsula created by the confluence of Fourteenmile Creek and the Ohio River.

The facility operated until the Ohio River Flood of 1937 destroyed it. Several structures and foundations of structures remain, including a swimming pool, which has been filled in.

The interpretive trail features signage and exhibits that help explain what people experienced when they visited Rose Island in its heyday.

“We have heard wonderful stories from people along the Ohio River who visited Fern Grove/Rose Island as children, and we are thrilled to be able to tell the story of this unique site,” said Dan Bortner, director of Indiana State Parks.

A central feature to the trail is the recreated Walkway of Roses, a decorative stone path that welcomed visitors at the boat landing and guided them into the park. The park used archaeological data to build the walkway in the same location it was in the early 1900s.

Transportation Enhancement grant funding, managed by INDOT in Indiana, was matched with state dollars to develop the facilities.

The area is also a part of a dedicated nature preserve. Exhibits remind visitors that an area that was highly developed is now returning to its natural state.

Those planning to attend the dedication are encouraged to RSVP to

Vehicles will be available to help people down and up the long hill from the trailhead parking area to Fourteenmile Creek. Arrive several minutes early to ensure that you are at the site in time for the ceremony.

State parks staff will be stationed along the trail after the dedication to answer questions and talk with guests. Also, regional ecologist Jason Larson will lead a spring wildflower walk from the site as a part of the event.

A portion of the trail is not stone, so come prepared to walk on natural surfaces.

Charlestown State Park ( is at 12500 State Road 62 in Charlestown, 47111.

To view all DNR news releases, please see
Contact Information:
Name: Ginger Murphy
Phone: (317) 232-4143
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  • Residents
  • Visiting and Playing
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  • Natural Resources, Department of

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