Indian Hill Overlook Park
This location is the highest point along the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Cairo, Illinois. This historic 17.6 acre site was once an American Indian settlement and later was the site of an estate of a prominent local family,
the Schmidts. The spectacular views attracted
Evansville attorney Paul H. Schmidt and his wife,
Samuella, to build their pueblo-style house on
the overlook above Cypress Beach in 1933.
The house had fourteen rooms with foot thick
walls and striking views of the Ohio River. Their structure replaced a home built in 1924 which had been destroyed by fire. The Schmidt's retained the original pillars marking the entrance to the property from Old Highway 66 and named the site "Indian Hill", which they carved into those pillars.
When construction for the new Locks and Dam was begun by the Army Corps in 1966 at the site of Cypress Beach, the Schmidt property, perched high above the dam, was purchased. The Army Corps offered to sell the house, with the stipulation it be moved. Finding no takers, the house was razed in 1970.
In 2005, after almost four years of negotiations with the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, the property on Highway 66 formerly
known as the Overlook, was leased to the Town of Newburgh for
25 years (August 1, 2005 - July 31, 2030). The park has since been
renovated and established as a popular passive recreation park
along the Rivertown Trail.
The park features parking, restrooms and picnic facilities among remains of the 1933 house and surrounded by woods. Twin stone pillars remain at the entrance to the site, along with a stone wall and stone stairs. There is an overlook that gives an unmatched view of the Ohio River and the Newburgh Locks and Dam. In 2011, ALCOA donated funds for the installation of two interpretive signs and various plantings. The park provides a much needed nature connection to the Newburgh Parks System.
In 2019, invasive plant species were identified at the park and
Town Staff is working with various groups with permission from
the Army Corps, to remove the invasive species. The Town
also added an additional 1.84 acres to their lease, taking
connected land to the east. This land already contains part of
the Rivertown Trial but will be a new site for a trailhead