Situated on the banks of the Ohio River, Clarksville, Indiana (www.town.clarksville.in.us/) has a long, rich outdoors history. Some of the oldest naturally exposed fossil beds (www.fallsoftheohio.org/) can be seen there; Native Americans set up camps along the Ohio River as it was close to the crossing of the Buffalo Trace; it was the gathering point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition of the Louisiana Purchase (www.lewisandclarktrail.com/legacy/louisclark/) and John James Audubon was only one of several naturalists to study the variety of wildlife in the area. With such an outdoors heritage it is only natural that outdoors giant Bass Pro Shops has built a retail store in Clarksville which bills itself as the “Oldest American Town in the Northwest Territory.” At 280,000 square-feet, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store is the company’s second largest to date.
Located in the River Falls Mall, just off Interstate 65 and across the river from Louisville, Kentucky, the entire store is a tribute to the Kentuckiana region and its people and, like other Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores, takes on the flavor and atmosphere of the region in which it is located. Using area artifacts, antiques and memorabilia the store becomes a living museum of the hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor legacies of Indiana.
The outdoor super store features two levels and is part museum, part art gallery, part education, conservation and entertainment center. Massive log and rock work frame the Grand Entrance where inside, timber skin walls and vaulted post and beam construction ceiling make up the front lobby. Natural daylight streams through the store through the 50,000-square-foot Hypalon roof structure.
Museum quality wildlife exhibits adorn the entire store including state record fish mounts, turkeys, native waterfowl, quail, pheasants, rams, elk, full body whitetail mounts and bears. State record mounts are displayed alongside local historical prints depicting early Indiana residents enjoying sporting adventures.
Inside, giant, exquisitely crafted outdoor themed chandeliers, made by Bass Pro Shops own artisans, hang throughout the store. Dinosaur fossils and wildlife tracks are imprinted in the concrete floor. One of the store’s focal points is a rock bluff structure that showcases a dramatic 65’ waterfall (one of three) flowing into the 50,000 gallon aquarium which features two tanks. It is stocked with more than 300 fish native to the area including large and smallmouth bass, catfish, carp, walleye, bluegill, and crappie. A beaver pond and stream runs through the central clerestory on the main floor.
Two elevators rise through cave-like structures near the aquarium allowing visitors to see through the aquarium on their ride up to the 2nd floor.
Murals, wildlife paintings and animal dioramas help portray local and regional scenes to lend authenticity and help capture the Indiana landscape.
On the 91,500-square foot first floor, visitors have the area’s largest selection of freshwater rods, reels and fishing accessories, all hand-picked and specially selected for the area, to choose from. The White River Fly Shop, featuring antique and collectible fly fishing memorabilia, has a vast selection of the latest in fly fishing gear. Experts will continue the art of hand-tying flies on site and assist customers in making the perfect selection.
More than a fishing store, visitors find items perfect for camping, hiking, outdoor cooking, bird watching or whatever your outdoor pleasures. A gift and nature center offers a variety of items from artwork to lamps, to bird feeders and furniture, home decorating items and gifts for the holidays. Cooking accessories include cookbooks, spices, grills and jerky making items.
The attention to detail continues upstairs in the 178,600 square-foot second floor. The hunting department features a 75’ long curved counter which stands ready to help assist customers. Hunting cabinets are adorned with hand-carved animals. World Class record mounts grace the walls. Customers will find an equally impressive array of hunting clothing and gear. The archery department offers a bow set-up shop and a 25-yard live archery range is perfect for testing that new bow or sharpening necessary skills.
Shooters of all ages will enjoy the 16,000-square foot, walk-through “African Big Game” safari-style rifle arcade with animated targets. There is also a theater-styled seminar room which will accommodate up to 200 people for various civic, educational or conservation functions.
A NASCAR department provides 3 car simulators plus all the clothing and items featuring your favorite driver.
An 11,000 square-foot marine and boat center helps area residents have fun on the water with a full range of powerboats from Tracker Marine--the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing boats. From big water boats to small fishing, canoeing and even kayaking, customers will find exactly what they need with selections from Tracker, Nitro, Tahoe, Mako, Kenner and more. An on-site boat service center with 4 service bays is available for customers’ convenience for boat rigging and repairs.
The store offers Outdoor Skills Workshops for adults, kids and families that will help maximize outdoor fun by teaching new skills and improving existing ones. They also feature many youth activities throughout the year.
For more information regarding your Clarksville Bass Pro Shops store location, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com or call 812-218-5500.
Visit us soon!
Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator