outside the city. Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, both
great examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius and vision,
are a short rental car drive away in the beautiful Laurel
From Pittsburgh, cruisers can head up the Monongahela River
past Morgantown, West Virginia, to the headwaters at Fairmont.
This brings you to the highest point in North America a boat
can reach from the sea, 867 feet in elevation. Cruising back down
the Ohio River, there are stops at several charming small towns,
and then the option to venture up the Kanawha River, with its
mountainous vistas, to Charleston, West Virginia’s capital.
We also enjoyed our stop in Evansville, Indiana, home to
the proudly restored USS LST-325, which was part of the
largest armada in history when she served at Omaha Beach
on D-Day. Evansville also hosts the West Side Nut Club
Fall Festival, an event that has been attracting gourmets for
90-plus years. Everything imaginable and unimaginable is
there for the tasting—as long as it’s fried. More than 100,000
visitors attend annually, dining on delicacies ranging from
fried sheep brain sandwiches to fried Kool-Aid.
The Ohio River offers a cornucopia of destinations, all
steeped in regional history. Most of the charming towns that
dot the riverbank are slow-trawler day hops. Cruising is
simple, just one midtown dock to another, making an Ohio
River cruise a relaxed trip that’s well worth taking.
Top: A map of the Ohio River with waypoints indicating the
author’s stops along the way. Above: Morgantown, West Virginia,
has complementary city docks for visitors.
Cruise Distance 2,378 statute miles
Locks Negotiated 66
Days at Anchor 4
Days on Free Dock 52
Days on Fee Dock 59 (total cost: $1,286)
Engine Hours 348
Genset Hours 74
Fuel Burned 712 U.S. gal. (total cost: $2,410);
2.05gph (including genset)
Guide Books Quimby’s 2013 Cruising Guide,
The Ohio River: Voyaging on Today’s River
by Capt. Rick Rhodes, Ohio River
Guidebook by Jerry M. Hay, U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers chart books.