Best Places to Kayak in Kentucky

7 Top Kayaking Destinations and Things to do in Kentucky

The thought on people’s minds when you mention Kentucky is chicken, bourbon, Louisville Slugger, and Derby. What most people do not know is that Kentucky offers an excellent destination for many other recreational activities. If you are a kayaker or angler, this place is a must-try. The place is bordered by rivers on three sides and is home to some of the best recreational waterways. Whether you are looking for flat water, rapids, or still water, this is the place to go.  When planning a trip or vacation, this place should be top on the list. For single day and multi-day kayaking, you will have a productive day and after that, grab your favorite snack.

Things to Do in Kentucky

Kentucky is one of the most famous tourist destinations. This owes to the different activities you can participate in and places you can visit. Here are some of the things to do in Kentucky.

  • Go kayaking and canoeing in the different water bodies
  • Visit Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and the different museums
  • Watch Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs
  • Visit Louisville Mega Cavern
  • Visit Mary Todd Lincoln House
  • Go to Natural Bridge

Read More: Best Places to Kayak in Tampa Bay

Kayaking in Kentucky

One of the most fascinating activities to participate in while in Kentucky is kayaking. First of all, this place is surrounded by different types of water. Whether you are a beginner or expert, you will have the right waterways to test your skills. The different kayak and canoe renting services offer will provide the right kayak for you.

Canoeing in Kentucky

The waterways used in kayaking are also perfect for canoeing. So it goes without saying that in addition to kayaking, Kentucky is also a perfect destination for canoeing. The 1900 navigable miles of water offer the best spots for canoeing. You do not have to carry the kayak from miles away. There are different canoe rental services where you can hire a canoe, and you are out in the water enjoying the beautiful scenes.

Best Places to Kayak in Kentucky

To enjoy your paddling adventure to the fullest, you need to pick the best spots. So here are some of the best places to go kayaking in Kentucky.

  1. Harrods Creek
  2. Red River Gorge
  3. The Green River
  4. The Parklands of Floyds Fork
  5. Elkhorn Creek
  6. Kentucky River
  7. Grayson Lake

Kentucky River

The river is one of the most historic sites in Kentucky. This river is formed at Beattyville in Lee County by the confluence of the North, Middle, and South Forks. It is famous due to the limestone cliffs bordering it. So if you choose this place as a kayaking destination, you will be visiting historical grounds too. Anglers have longed to paddle through limestone cliffs. Kentucky river flows through mountains, lush forests, and bluegrass landscapes, giving kayakers the best scenes. Paddling through these waters gives paddlers the best views of caves, waterfalls, and caves.

As you sail through, you will also catch a glance of wild animals like herons, peregrine falcons and kingfishers. You can paddle all year, but you should be careful during spring since there are floods. In the summer, the blueway is preferred since the water are calm and low. Other than paddling, you can try stand-up paddleboarding and visit Daniel Boone Fort at Fort Boonesborough State Park and learn about Daniel Boone.

Harrods Creek

Harrods creek is one of the best kayaking destinations in Kentucky. If you are a lover of nature, this is the place to be. Kayaking through Harrods Creek, you get to enjoy huge forests, marinas, rapids and a waterfall. You also get to enjoy the view of wild animals. Kayaking here gives you the perfect kayaking experience, and you are in a better state to kayak in different waters after this experience.

Red River Gorge

If you are looking for an exciting way to spend a day, try kayaking or canoeing at the red river Gorge. You will have an experience of a lifetime. It is not every day that you get a chance to kayak in an underground cave. Therefore, if you are thrilled by nature, this is a must-visit place. Imagine the calm and quiet you will experience paddling through these flat waters. If you’ve not been here, then this is a great idea for your next camping trip. Of course, you can always get an underground cave boat if that’s what you prefer. You will have the most memorable experience watching the flooded quarry.

Elkhorn Creek

This place gets its name from its shape. The place is shaped like Elkhorns.

It provides the best environment to enjoy a weekend or Sunday afternoon. You get to enjoy the beautiful landscape as you paddle through the water. This place is great for beginners and inexperienced kayakers looking to enjoy kayaking and gain more skills. It’s also a great destination for you if you are a seasonal kayaker. You get to enjoy other activities like fishing, swimming, and snorkeling. If you are a more experienced angler, you could also try the aggressive waters and rapids down the palisades. The 8-mile stretch will get you to test your prowess and skill. There are also several stop spots where you can stop and enjoy a snack or rest for a while.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork

The Parklands of Floyds Ford are amazing kayaking and canoeing destination for families. So if you are looking for a way to enjoy an afternoon or weekend with your family, heading to this place will not disappoint. Firstly, the waters flow through highland meadows, bottomland forests, and farms. The whole journey is filled with beautiful scenes, and when you get to the farm before joining Salt River, you get to enjoy a beautiful breeze. The waterways are surrounded by sycamores, buildings, and also grasslands where you can enjoy watching birds.

Tagging your family along will bring out the feeling of togetherness as you make new memories and have fun together. Along the trip, you’ll also turtles, fish, and frogs. You can bring along your fishing equipment, and if you are lucky enough, you can catch a fish or two. However, you need to watch out for the class 1 rapids.

The Green River

The 380 miles long stretch river is a tributary of the great Ohio River. It got its name from a general in the American war of independence. Coincidentally, the water is also green, and most people think this is where its name originated. This river is a historical and cultural site in Kentucky. It is also a great kayaking destination. It houses the largest underwater cave in the world that is over 10 million years old. For a kayaker who loves exploring and enjoys historical sites, this is the place to be.

The green river will help you improve your kayaking skills as you encounter Class 1 rapids.  You also get to enjoy watching the 300 spring waterfall burst from limestone crags and flow down the cliffs. If you are looking for a place to create lasting memories, then this is the destination. The river also houses a great ecosystem of fish, mussels and fish. As you paddle through the waters, you will also spot a few wildlife like deers, otters, foxes, bobcats and birds like bald eagles, turkeys and hawks.

Grayson Lake

Grayson Lake is a human-made human reservoir located in Elliot and Cater Counties. This lake is a perfect destination for family kayaking. You can also take part in picnics, fishing, hiking and swimming. In addition, paddling along these waters will allow you to reminisce with nature since forest trails and state parks surround the lake.

While paddling in this lake, you get to have a relaxed feeling and enjoy spending time with your loved ones. The sandstone cliffs and caves are beautiful scenes you will enjoy as you paddle through the calm waters. You also get to experience the Grotto at Grayson lake. It is a natural sanctuary hidden on the mossy sandstone cliffs. You’ll also see the different formations made by the spectacular rocks. This kayaking journey is best for experienced kayakers since the journey can be quite challenging. However, the challenges are worth the beautiful feel and memories made.

Final Thoughts

There is no better way to spend a vacation or weekend than while doing something you love. If you are a great fan of kayaking, then Kentucky is an excellent vacation destination.  The best part about this is that you can tag your family and friends along for a more enjoyable time. Visiting this place at the right season will leave you yearning for the next vacation. Other than kayaking, you get to enjoy the different sites in Kentucky.

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