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Difficulty II(III)
Length 3.3 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 04/07/2018 3:13 pm

River Description

This creek needs lots of rain to become runnable. There is no gauge on the creek, and you have to check the Hickman Creek Gauge at Veterans Park to see if this creek is running. Jessamine will be running if you see this gauge jump to at least 2.5 feet. At that level, Jessamine is running low. 5.5 feet at this gauge Jessamine is running medium, and anything above that is a high-level run. 

This run offers plenty of play spots at all levels, and at medium and up levels some of the rapids become move into class 3.  The main rapids have been named as well as the land-mark rapids. Don't let the list fool you, it is a very constant rapids spread throughout the creek. On this run, you can see deer, river otters, herons, geese, turkeys, and monkeys. Yes, monkeys. About half-way through this run on river left is the Primate Rescue Center and there are many a cage full of monkeys. It is also important that you DO NOT get out and look at the monkeys, you will get prosecuted. Just enjoy the view from the river. 

This run also boasts a gorgeous waterfall that comes straight out of a cave. This waterfall is one that you can hike up to and go behind. It is very much worth the stop.

The main take-out for this run also features a lovely stone arch bridge and equally beautiful house. The owner is okay with you taking out at the bridge and hiking up to the road to the parking spot. The parking spot is around the corner from the stone bridge. There is a pull off there by an old quarry and right after a small bridge over a feeder creek. Just make sure you don't loiter. They have had problems before with people damaging their property. So, get out, move on the road, and carry your boats to your vehicle. 

There are a couple of alternate take-out points for this run, but they require at least a quarter mile hike to your car up some steep hills. The added miles can be worth it though because you get some great drops. Just be aware that if you make it all the way to the KY river you have an 8-mile paddle up or down the river to a take-out. 

If you see that this creek is running make sure to jump on it. You are in for a treat. Just remember to check for strainers and wood, heavy storms have been known to deposit both in the creek.

Rapid Descriptions

White House Rapid

Class - I Mile - 0.5
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This is a fun limestone bottom rapid that is very shallow at low flows. The main line at low flow is far river left. 

At medium flows and up there are some killer surfing holes to be had on river right and a nice green wave on river left.

Splash Your Face

Class - II Mile - 1.33
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Some fun boogie water that you might be able to get your face splashed with. Pick the line that looks best to you. At higher flows there is a nice play spot that forms here.

Waterfall Rapid

Class - II Mile - 1.5
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Just below this small drop is a waterfall that comes straight out of a cave and empties into the creek. Make sure to get out and hike up to it. It is worth it. 

Jumping Wave

Class - II+ Mile - 1.6

This is a series of drops. The top drop has a great ledge hole that is a blast to surf. There is not any eddy service for this ledge but there is an eddy above it on river right that boats can park in to take turns on the ledge.

Just below that, you can see the waves that gives this rapid its name. It has great eddy service on river right and you can stay and play on the wave all day long. You can play in both the first and second wave most days, at the right flows a third wave forms as well.

At higher flows, there is a good boof on river right straight into the eddy. At medium flows Jumping wave can get 3 to 4 feet tall. Also at higher flows the current is fast so make sure to hit the eddy at the top or you will miss it all together.

Look Out for Cars

Class - N/A Mile - 1.75

Not much of a rapid just a way point. This is the best visual gauge on the creek. When the white rock on river right is covered or almost covered the creek is running. 

This is also the ford for the creek and is fun to drive through and marks the half-way point for the run.

Bend Right

Class - II Mile - 2.25
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The creek starts a bend to the right here. It has some good hit on the fly surf waves and at bigger flows forms some big waves.

Slanted Rock

Class - II+ Mile - 2.4
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This is a fun rapid to run at all levels. At low flows, the only line is far river right straight into the slanted rock. At medium and up flows the bottom after slanted rock becomes tricky with some good cross currents. This line also upgrades to a 3 at bigger flows. 

When the water is at a medium level a river left line opens up. Just make sure to scout for wood because the left line catches it. It is a steep 8-foot drop that must be followed by a quick left turn to avoid hitting the cliff. It meets up with the current on the river right line and can be very tricky. 

If you swim here at higher flows The only good eddies are on river left and it is about a tenth of a mile before you come to it.

Monkey Droppings

Class - II Mile - 2.6
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The Primate Rescue Center can be seen on river left here. You can see the cages best from river right. There are two drops to this rapid and each can be run anywhere you please.


Stone Bridge Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - 3.25
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This is the last drop before the takeout. At big flows and up this rapid can pack a punch. There are some great surfing waves to be had half-way through this rapid. There are also several nice boof lines to take at high flows. 

At high flows this rapid can upgrade to a 3 and will have some nice holes that you will need to avoid or punch through. 

Also, make sure to take out before the bridge. After the bridge is a low head dam. When you take out move quick. The land owner is okay with boaters hiking up to the road but does not want them to hang around. I find it best to move off of his property before dropping boats to get cars. 


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Andrew Van Horn
4 years ago

This is one of my favorite quick runs. It takes about 45 minutes to run and is perfect for the middle of the day. I took my two boys, 10 and 6, down it on the 13 of May 2016 and they loved it. If you want to see some of what it is like you can watch these two videos that I made of the run.

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Jason Bailey
17 years ago


5/9/03 at 7:00pm

On the Frankfort Ford to 1268 section of the Jessamine creek at the end of the blind "s" turn rapid there is a fairly large tree down that is now a river wide strainer. Be very carefull and scout this rapid until you hear otherwise.

Be safe


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Jason Bailey


Andrew Van Horn


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1193682 01/16/03 Jason Bailey n/a
1207716 04/07/18 Andrew Van Horn
1207533 05/14/17 Andrew Van Horn adding pictures to rapids