1. Ohio River
Kentucky’s largest city lies on the shores of the great Ohio River, and it is the most preferred spot for canoeing and kayaking in the city. Thousands of paddlers of all levels of experience enjoy the river’s beautiful view during the daily trips they arrange.
Choosing the Ohio River could save you much time if you’re close to the city. But if you’d like to use your canoe trip as a way to escape urban life’s stress, within a short drive of the city there are several additional great spots for paddling.
If you are willing to spare the time, there are other options near Louisville and the Ohio River. For example, the Nolin River is another wonderful place to check out, if you don’t mind the idea of going little further from Louisville; the site is an hour’s drive from city center. The river offers an astonishing view of beautiful rock formations, as well as a decent mix of mild rapids and calming stillness.
2. The Red River
The Red River, which provides fantastic canoeing through beautiful, inaccessible woods and stone cliffs, is a must-see for those who are daring in their canoeing. It’s a fantastic chance to see some of the state’s most stunning scenery, with rapids ranging from degree to degree, rocks to avoid, and challenging obstacles.
There are many tours that take you on a headlamp trip into the caves beneath Red River Gorge, where you’ll learn about the cave’s history and why it flooded. It’s a unique experience to paddle through the magnificent caves, the nature around the Red River is magnificent in every imaginable way. It’s not just the canoeing that’ll amaze you.
3. The Green River
The Green River has one of the richest river ecosystems in the United States, with hundreds of interesting aquatic species, breathtakingly green nature and calm waters. The surrounding area is very rich in terms of outdoor activities, including, of course, canoeing. The river system is very long, offers excellent diversity and is very suitable for beginners, as well as more experienced canoers.
Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most special spots on the Green River. Not only is it home to the world’s largest underground cave system, it’s also millions of years old, and explorers continually visiting this place always find out new stuff. You can enjoy the waters, nature and history at the same time here.
4. Floyd’s Fork Creek
Another spot very close to Louisville. It includes four park areas connected through a central path. Due to its closeness to the city, the paddling scene around Floyd’s Fork Creek has been quite active for a long time. It’s the perfect spot for those trying out canoeing for the first time and just willing to give it a go. However, it’s also a place regularly visited by more experienced canoers due to the challenges the creek often offers to paddlers. Overall, it deserves a mention for its popularity within the scene, if nothing else.
5. The Kentucky River
The Kentucky River is a near 270-mile-long tributary of the Ohio River that flows through the heart of Kentucky. It does, however, have a lot of canoeing-kayaking sites that are worth exploring. It’s perfect paddling for beginners and people new to kayaking and paddling because of the still and level water. Fishing is also abundant in the Kentucky River system, making it the perfect spot for such leisure activities.