This is only runnable after a good heavy rain. The put-in is below the dam on KY 157 and the takeout is located at the bridge on KY 421.
Robert Ellstrom provides (2006-03-15): Ran this stream in winter 2005. The bottom can be scrapy and grabby limestone at low levels. There is a landfill near the river that can effect the olfactory pleasure of a portion of the trip. Overall, however, this can be a fun float at moderate levels. There are several river-wide drops of one to three feet, and several areas where the river drops five feet or so in a short distance. There are also several tight turns with drops that can be challenging without being overwhelming. A recreational kayak could make the trip with a reasonable paddler. This river would probably be a poor choice for a novice paddler. A dam needs to portaged about two-thirds of the way down. It becomes obvious, as there is a bridge immediately after it. From the water, the fairly large bridge appears to be only a few feet above the water. The portage is to river right. There was one large downed tree at the end of what promised to be the best rapid on the trip. It was after the dam. The very large root ball virtually obstructed the channel on a nice 100' chute that turns to the right, channels the entire river, then turns left. It could be missed with skillful handling. Scout first. In all, a good float provided there is plenty of water. Thanks, Robert!
Chris Stoops (4/20/2011): I wanted to catch this creek for some time, and we had a big rain storm the night before. I noticed the Harrods Creek gauge was at 1000 CFS which was a great sign that the creeks in that area were running. We got to the take-out and couldn't find a place to park, and so we asked a store owner who lived right next to the creek if we could park there and he said yes. My brother said the creek looked a little high, I disagreed and said the creek looked a little low. To get to the put-in we decided to drive to the dam and scout as much of the creek as we could, and we noticed a small dam on the river left side of an island we wanted to avoid. We got to the put-in and found a place to park. We paddled to the dam. It looked easier to portage on river left(we had checked it out earlier during our scouting and there was a trail there) and since there wasn't much flow we opted to do that. We ferried in front of an island, and then had a tricky time getting out of the creek due to a overhung mud bank. We got to an island and remembered to go right in order to avoid the other dam we saw from the road earlier. The first rapid we got to was a diagonal wave which flipped us many times(0:30 - 1:30 in the HD video below). The small dam we saw earlier was on the other side of the island and since that side was barely running any water we decided to run it(1:40-2:40). We came out of the woods in to an awesome green pasture. There were some horses looking at us like "what are those humans riding now". They ran along the fence as we passed by and then looked at us some more, like what a couple of dogs would do. Right after that we found a cool little surf wave(3:06-3:33). Finally we struck gold, a rapid with a great surf wave on river right and a smiling hole on river left(3:34-10:34). We stayed there for hours and had an absolute blast. I uploaded some photos from our trip(one of them is a gauge with the level that we ran it at), and here is the HD video: www.youtube.com/watch
The fun begins at the dam on SR 3175 and ends at connector road bridge about 7 miles downstream. This is also the confluence of Hardy Creek, which is pretty intense at high water. About 1 inch of rain will bring both up to fun levels. An alternate put-in/take-out is at the 421 bridge. A few good wave trains and a couple of nice holes can be found on medium levels, where bigger wave trains are present at higher water. Check out all the other creeks in the area that flow into Little Ky. River, as many I have not been able to catch just right. Corn Creek, Georges Creek, Buck Creek, Daugherty Creek, and Mellins (?) Branch are just a few.
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Right place right time
A random little drop
Spring time on the Little Kentucky River
Smiling hole and surf wave
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