Difficulty II+(III)
Length 5 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 05/09/2019 7:33 pm

River Description

Tates Creek is one of the jewels of whitewater filled Madison County, KY. Tates is usually the first or second (after the East Prong of the Otter) creek that should be run for paddlers on a tour de Madison after a big rainstorm as it comes up and goes down very fast - typically only holding its flow for a few hours.

Tates Creek runs along and may be scouted from KY 169. It is essentially a series of non-stop class II-III surfing waves and holes with very few flat sections or defined "drops". At high water levels some of the holes can become quite retentive but are usually easily avoided by the alert paddler.

Rapid Descriptions


No Gage

Gage Descriptions

To find out levels on Tates Creek, a rain dependent stream, check with the Bluegrass Wildwater Association

Directions Description

Put in:From I-75 take exit 90a and go right off the exit onto US25 to the first stoplight. Take a left on Keenland Dr and follow to KY169 (Tates Creek Rd). Go right on 169 for several miles until you come to a small white church at Million on the left at the intersection of 169 and Maple Grove Rd.
Note: Paddlers coming from Lexington,KY might wish to take Tates Creek Rd (in Fayette County) and cross the KY River at the Valley View Ferry which is free and in operation 7 days a week - unless closed due to high water on the KY River. Monday through Friday - 6 AM to 8 PM(as needed) Saturdays - 8 AM to 6 PM(as needed) Sundays - 9 AM to 6 PM(as needed)

Takeout: Follow 169 from the church at Million for several miles until it crosses Tates Creek. Park on the right in the pullout.

In addition to the shuttle description above, which encompasses the entire Tates Creek whitewater run, there are numerous other access points off KY 169 where paddlers may putin or takeout.

No Accident Reports





Barry Grimes


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192300 07/27/01 Barry Grimes n/a
1212296 05/09/19 Barry Grimes updated image position