Devil's Backbone (rock formation)
Devil's Backbone is a rock formation and peninsula formed by the flow of Fourteen Mile Creek into the Ohio River, and is currently situated in Charlestown State Park near Charlestown, Indiana and across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. According to local legend, on this bedrock ridge once stood a stone fortress that was built by Welsh explorers led by Prince Madoc sometime in the 12th century.
The Backbone is believed to have been formed by the processes of glaciation where a combination of ice sheet advances, meltwater flows and a diversion of the Ohio River left an isolated bedrock ridge remaining between two valleys.
Charlestown State Park hiking trails do not provide access to the Backbone, but a loop around the old Rose Island site passes below the ridge.
- Satellite image of Devil's Backbone and Rose Island
- Geology Laboratory Manual, Hanover College — includes a more detailed description of how the Backbone probably was formed.
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