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Difficulty II(III)
Length 0 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 01/06/2019 4:42 pm

River Description

Considered by many Central Kentucky paddlers to be the finest play stream around, this Madison, County gem will try to wear you out with it’s numerous, surfing opportunities. Flowing through remote, beautiful and rolling Kentucky countryside, Muddy Creek is fed by several, crystal clear underground springs and cascading waterfalls. Providing a nonstop ride with large class III play holes and green glassy wave trains at flood levels, the Muddy serves up dozens upon dozens of side surfing holes and play ledges at more moderate and lower flows. Muddy Creek’s numerous rapids typically offer large wwpaddling groups multiple play spots with no waiting in the eddys! Flowing near Union City, KY in Madison Co south of Lexington, Muddy is often run along with the Otter Creek sections to give a “triple play day” for energetic boaters.

Rapid Descriptions


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9 years ago

Just a 'for what it's worth' . . . Virtually every gauge relies upon having a LOCAL funding partner. This may be a city or county, a utility (power company), or any number of other entities. Virtually all river gauges exist for flood prediction/monitoring, for predicting/managing flows for power generation, and various other needs of these LOCAL entities!. Thus, it is not always Federal budget cuts which affect these gauges. Many of these LOCAL co-funding agencies are suffering major budget crises. As a result, opting to de-fund a river gauge is often one of the easier cuts they can make. So . . . when a gauge (useful for a whitewater river such as this) goes unfunded, don't automatically blame the Feds. Look for some local agency and intitiate a campaign to convince them to continue (or pick up) funiding for the gauge.

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Barry Grimes
9 years ago

Welcome to the new Federal government budget cuts. The USGS has defunded the Muddy Creek gauge and they want $10,000/year to keep it going. This is a great loss for local boaters as now it will take someone having to go to the creek, look at the level and then report it.

No Gage

Gage Descriptions


Muddy Creek is a rain dependent stream. It usually takes a 1-2" rain to make this creek flow, and then it is usually back down within 24 hours.

To find additional recent observations, check the forum of the Bluegrass Wildwater Association: 

There is also a BWA funded gauge camera (installed April 2011) that takes daily pictures of the river right upstream bridge foundation on Cain Springs.

Here is a legend to help interpret runnable levels. 

Directions Description

From the I-75 Richmond,KY exit #90A and follow the Richmond bypass about 3 miles to the turnoff on the left for KY 1986. Follow 1986 past Union City about 3 miles and go right on Cain Springs Rd (just past Willoughby Rd). Follow Cain Springs Rd across Muddy Creek to KY977. Go right on KY 977 for about 3-4 miles and take a right on Oakley Wells Rd. Follow Oakley Wells Rd over the bridge at Muddy Creek and park anywhere along the creek, making sure to keeping all 4 wheels off the pavement and not blocking any gates.

From the putin, retrace the directions above, taking a right at the intersection of Cain Springs and KY 1986 to Doylesville, KY and park anywhere near the bridge over Muddy Creek.

Note:Those wishing to shorten the shuttle and paddle only the top 2/3 of Muddy Creek can use the bridge over the Muddy on Cain Springs as an alternative takeout.

No Accident Reports




Andrew Van Horn




Barry Grimes


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1210799 01/06/19 Andrew Van Horn Updated the take out to the new common one.
1192299 04/19/09 Rob n/a
1195471 06/16/09 Barry Grimes
1200078 05/12/11 Barry Grimes
1198321 10/06/10 Barry Grimes removed defunct USGS gauge
1199804 04/12/11 Barry Grimes gauge info update
1200077 05/12/11 Barry Grimes