Falls of Silver Creek (medium flow level)
This section of Silver Creek contains the best whitewater and most play spots. For it's first 2 miles (from the putin on theTaylor Fork tributary to its intersection with KY 876) Silver Creek is class I-II at all flow levels. The best whitewater fun of this reach begins in the last mile just before where Silver Creek runs parallel to (and can be seen from) KY 876. This is the "Park N' Surf" section.
At medium flows there are several outstanding, easily run class II(III) rapids within the Park N Surf stretch which offer hours of fun for the play oriented paddler. At higher flows the Park N Surf approaches solid class IV range with at least one hydraulic, (third rapid downstream of the Park N' Surf putin). A riverwide, very sticky hole must be punched slightly left of center to avoid a thumping. Silver Creek Falls (a 4', creek-wide ledge, seen from the KY 876 bridge) can be run pretty much anywhere but take care at the beefier flows as the hydraulic at the base can be sticky. A 'sneak' tongue forms far left at flows above 2 feet. The Park N Surf section has about 9 rapids / play waves along its mile length to just below the KY 876 bridge and can be run in 15 minutes or several hours depending upon the paddler's propensity for play boating.
Final Rapid below KY 876 Bridge of the Park N Surf section (medium flow level)
Silver Creek boasts the largest watershed of all of the Madison County whitewater streams (112 square miles) and therefore will be most likely to hold its flow after a good rain. When doing a whitewater paddling "Tour De Madison" following a deluge rainfall, it is best to hold off on Silver Creek till the last and check out the other streams nearby first. East Prong Otter, Main Otter, Muddy, and Tates will all come up and drop at much faster rates than Silver Creek. After a moderate rain, when most of the others may not be running, look to Silver Creek first.
Take I-75 to exit #87 and go west (away from Richmond) on KY 876 (Richmond Bypass / Barnesmill Rd.)
Putin for Park N Surf section:
Follow 876 west about 5 miles and look for a curve to the right about 0.5 mile past the entrance to HillTop Acres subdivision. Park along the road across from the guardrail making sure all 4 wheels of your vehicle are off the pavement. Please take care in wet conditions to not tear up the grass - let's keep local landowners happy!
Drop your boats over the guardrail and bushwack a few yards to Silver Creek and the large pool just below a nice segmented wave which forms the first rapid of the Park N Surf section. On busy days when there are many paddlers it is best to not leave your vehicle here but instead park downstream at the intersection of KY 876 and Bogie Mill and walk 5 min back to the top.
Putin for the class I-II section:
Follow 876 west about 3 miles and look for the Corner Store on the left and take the left on Curtis Pike. Follow Curtis Pike to a small, paved road on the left that leads to the dam at Wilgreen Lake. Turn left and park alongside the road. If Taylor Fork looks too low then continue on Curtis Pike till you cross Silver Creek. A putin upstream at Silver Creek will net you 2 additional miles of class I creek making for a total 5 mile paddle to the bridge at KY 876.
Take out parking is best along the roadside anywhere near the KY 876 bridge. While you may exit Silver Creek anywhere after it begins it's roadside run of the Park N Surf section down to the KY 876 bridge, the paddler wishing to gain all of the rapids should paddle the 0.2 mile of creek past the bridge and make the short hike with boat back upstream to their vehicle.
There is parking at the Park n Surf along the road across from the guardrail. Silver Creek Falls have now been cleared of the 2010 flood debris with a restoration of its previous river wide character. Since the flood the Falls are a little steeper and the hydraulic a bit more sticky than before. Good news is that the section below the Falls is greatly improved for surfing opportunities.
There is an awesome wave hole a little ways before the old park and play. Its a big fast hole great for surfing. Its nothing like anything else on the creek, and followed by some 5' high wave train. Good eddy and great surf. You have to put in on the taylor fork to get it.
The park and surf/takeout no longer has an area to park. The road construction is finished and they have put a guard rail all along the road making it more difficult to find parking, though it may be possible to park on the shoulder I wouldn't advise it. Also the 2010 flood has caused the waterfall to be essentially split in two by a large deposit of rocks leaving a fun narrow chute on the river right side and the river left half is basically unchanged
Visual reports from on KY 876 bridge over Silver Creek.
Check with Bluegrass Wildwater Forum for upto date gauge readings.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
on Silver Creek @Curtis Rd.Bridge to KY 876 Bridge (3 miles)
JohnF does SilverCreekFalls
Z does SilverCreeKillerFalls
Silver Creek Park
Silver Creek Falls
Silver Creek Map
KY, Silver Creek Falls
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