This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-III
Length 3 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 03/02/2020 7:54 pm

River Description

Pitman Creek offers different experiences at different levels.  Its a nice long canoe run at low water, a class II run with some water in it and Class III play creek at high water. Pitman creeks is realtively hazard free and its only hazards are usually washed in wood and one undercut ledge on river right at the gnar only at certian levels.  Usually if Pitman is being ran at high water play levels its by Somerset locals or people driven off other regular runs that are too high. There are usually many other whitewater options within an hours drive of Somerset if Pitman is running.  

Its classic central Kentucky creeking, a hybrid of sorts. Pittman Creek has the shelf rock ledges as well as the occasional small boulder rapid. Many rapids are typical of Kentucky shallow rocky creeks while others are the same as the rock shelf ledges of Madison County. The first mile or so of the run is basic class II downriver fun. Once you see a pipe on the left from the water treatment plant and the drain affectionately known by local boaters as the Somerset poop chute you begin the fun. Immediately down stream on the other side of the riverwide strainer is the first surfing rapid appropriately named Turd Surfers. A sharp turn in next bend below the cliff wall is a sign the rapids will continue.

The first rapid you come to after the cliff wall is split by an island. The left side is probably the best surfing spot on the river at lower levels while the right side, while currently strained out, is the most creeky with a good 4 foot creek style drop on rocks.

After that a couple of class II rapids brings you into the best playspot out there, named Kiddy Pool it is a great slide hole for 360s and surfs. On down stream is the best stuff where the old Parkers Mill used to be is the best rapid on the river. Tagged "gnarr" by the locals it is a technical Class III with some manuevering needed, but the danger level is increased by the undercut rock walls at the bottom on the right. Down stream is the take out.

In December of 2006 there was a run made at low water while the lake was down for Dam repairs and several (5-6) rapids. Once again the rapids were rock strewn and somewhat technical. The "Mud Canyon" was the most bizzare sight as the creek had carved out a narrow, fast moving path through the sediment. Most of the technicality of this run goes away at higher water levels but uncovered is one of the most playful creeks in Kentucky. With its too numerous play waves and holes this run is comparable to Otter creek in Madison county.

by Duane Cottle:

Pitman flows into Lake Cumberland near Burnside. You cross it when traveling on US 27. It's C1-2 for most of its 99 mile journey and does its dropping in the last 1-2 miles.

We put in at a bridge on Route 1247, which is a left-hand turn off southbound 914 Bypass, that connects E 80 and 27 S. With the lake at summer pool (~720 ft.) we take out right about where the creek meets the lake and hump up the ridge trail. At lower lake levels, we paddle a mile of flat water to Somerset Yacht Club off of Boat Dock Road. There are pics: but none do it justice... yet.

Rapid Descriptions


Class - Mile - 0
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Put in near Somerset at a bridge on Route 1247, which is a left-hand turn off southbound 914 Bypass, that connects E 80 and 27 S.

Turd Surfers

Class - II Mile - 1
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Great for surfing at levels. It is immediately downstream from the poop chute and poop pipe.

Kiddy Pool

Class - II+ Mile - 2
Small surf and 360 wave/hole at low water. Best playspot on the river at highter flows

Parkers Mill

Class - III Mile - 2.5
Technical fun at lower water. Big water boogie at higher flows. Watch the undercut shelf on river right at the bottom.


Class - Mile - 3
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With the lake near summer pool (~720 ft.) take out right about where the creek meets the lake and hump up the ridge trail below Parkers Mill Rapid. At lower lake levels, we paddle a mile of flat water to Somerset Yacht Club off of Boat Dock Road.


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Mitch Hughes
4 years ago

The gate down the hill to the club and ramp is locked for members only. I went to scope out the take out yesterday and it was awful. The trail off boat dock road leads down to big pile of floating trash, logs and algae. It was disgusting. The lake level was right at 720 ft like Duane mentioned. I didn't stray along the shore but it looked like you could see where the creek pooled into this. If you're willing to carry a kayak up the cliff trail then backwooding around this mess would be the easy part. I wouldn't plan on getting out at the ramp though for sure.

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Nick Lawhon
9 years ago

Does anyone know if there are any rapids above the putin for this section?

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10 years ago

All due respect to prior contributors, but a bit of clarification. The Green near Bowling Green has it's headwaters just west of Hwy.27 up near Halls Gap. Coming south from there, if you follow Hwy.501 to Duncan, then 837 thru Walltown, Mt.Olive, Argyle, Mintonville, and to Hwy.80, that route runs the ridge which separates the watersheds (west of that route lie tribs of the Green, while east of that route lie various creeks tributary to the Cumberland River). So, while there may be some Pitman Creek which is tributary to the Green, this one is not. It is tributary to the Cumberland River. The other reply is accurate, but could be mistaken to imply extending the reach of this stream a bit too far north. As stated, it does, indeed, start SOUTH and WEST of Orans Truck Stop. FWIW, just to be clear, ditches and creeks "in Eubank" (and Floyd and Estesburg) run to Briary Creek, to Buck Creek (the next watershed to the east of Pitman Creek).

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scott loveless
10 years ago

pitman creek starts in eubank south of orans truck stop pitman creek drains central and eastern pulaski co. its about 35 to45 miles long

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11 years ago

A tributary of the Green river in Bowling Green I believe!

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11 years ago

I know that I risk intense scrutiny here, but I am a local of Burnside (where Pitman flows into the Lake) and I am curious as to where exactly Pitman Creek originates. Is it spring fed, or does it come off of another river? If someone can clarify I would be greatly appreciative.

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Jason Foley


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1214475 03/02/20 Jason Foley updated stats
1194415 09/19/06 Jason Foley n/a
1208885 02/07/18 Jason Foley
1208883 02/07/18 Jason Foley
1208884 02/07/18 Jason Foley