Boating in Perry County

Perry County is a boater's paradise. It is a gateway to two lakes or pools on the Ohio River which gives boaters thousands of acres of water on which to boat, ski, canoe, fish, and swim, plus there are plenty of places to pull up a boat for a picnic or camping. One of the great things about boating the Ohio, is you'll never find it crowded.

There are boat ramps both above and below the Cannelton locks and dam, and the river above the Cannelton dam stretches for 114 miles to the next dam at Louisville. There are boat service, a launch ramp, groceries, supplies and camping just above the dam at Rocky Point Marina , where Deer Creek enters the Ohio. Dozens of bass tournaments use Rocky Point as their starting point each year. Boat sales and service are available at Perry Marine located at Rocky Point Marina (812) 548-0611.

You can put in a boat at one of the ramps at Troy, Tell City, Cannelton, Rocky Point, Rome and Magnet or at the U.S. Forest Service's Mano Point ramp near Derby and enjoy water sports in the area, or you can plan a trip upstream to places like Magnet, Alton, Leavenworth or even go all the way to Louisville.

You also can plan a trip downstream and pull up your boat and camp at places like Anderson Island (mile marker 736), or French Island (mile marker 767) where there is a marina and boat services during warm weather months.

Upstream there is a marina and boat service at Leavenworth (mile marker 664). While gasoline is not available directly on the water, there is a dock at Derby (mile marker 692), and gasoline and groceries available at the Derby General Store, and a restaurant (Ramsey's Tavern) located about 100 yards from the dock. Boat rentals and storage are available at Port Derby (1-812-836-2125).

At Magnet, you can dock your boat and walk up the hill to Betty Ray's Landing for food and refreshment.

When the new dams were built on the Ohio in the mid 60's, the level of the river was raised and formed embayments or flooded creeks that entered the river. Creeks like Deer, Millstone, Poison and Oil Creek have many miles of navigable water, beautiful scenery and excellent fishing.

Ohio River Information

The Ohio River may be Indiana's most underused natural resource, offering the outdoorsman and the boater unbelievable opportunity to enjoy and explore. Along it's banks lay almost all sights worth seeing, from modern industrial progress to stretches of banks preserved as they were before any men set eyes upon them. The river was the interstate of our forefathers. It was the pathway to the western frontier, New Orleans, and the Gulf of Mexico. Today, because of the high lift lock and dam system created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and navigational purposes, the river is a series of lakes. During the summer months there is very little current and the river is maintained at a constant level. There are 19 locks and dams on the Ohio River and some will raise and lower your boat 25 feet or more from one pool to another. The river at Derby, IN (Perry County) is approximately 1/4 mile wide and over 50 feet deep in the channel.

Boating Gas Locations

  • Cannelton Pool
  • Mile 646 Brandenburg, KY
  • Mile 664 Leavenworth, IN
  • Mile 692 Derby, IN Gas Station is one block from the water. The Derby General Store (812) 836-2775 and gas station can provide a 5 gallon can for you
    to carry gas.
  • Mile 719 Rocky Point,IN (812) 547-7753

U.S. Corps of Engineers --

Safety Tips:

How deep is the river? If no river buoys are present, then the river will be deep bank to bank. If buoys are present you should always travel between the buoys or the general rule being, "red on right going up stream".

Always remember that river barges can be bigger than the Titanic. It takes them a long time to stop and they are slow to change directions. Do not cross within 1/2 mile in front of a barge, and do not travel directly behind a barge.