As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.

5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Kentucky

By Jesse Logan Houk

5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Kentucky

Alexey Stiop/Shutterstock.com

Whether you are just beginning to kayak or want to teach others, you can learn a lot on Kentucky waters. There are plenty of beginner-friendly, public-accessible waterways to explore. Many of these areas even have local rental companies that offer guided tours to help you get your feet wet. Here are five excellent spots for beginners to get started on their kayaking adventure. 

1. Elkhorn Creek, Frankfort, KY

Elkhorn Creek is a fantastic place to begin honing your kayaking skills. Many seasoned kayakers take to Elkhorn Creek on a regular basis, as well. Small-mouth bass are abundant here, so you might want to bring your fishing pole with you when you come paddling if you feel comfortable doing so. There are several chances here to learn to kayak in some whitewater rapids as well as learning wet-exiting techniques in your boat. If you’re not feeling the more aggressive waters, there are plenty areas of the creek for a more leisurely experience as well.

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2. Little River Kayaks, Cadiz, KY

This is the best place to get your feet wet. Little River is a full-service outfitter, bringing beginners everything they’ll need and more to get in a kayak and out on the water. Little River offers rentals and lessons, so don’t worry about having your own equipment. Providing all the necessary training, you can partake in Little River’s guided tours before you really start exploring. 

3. Drake’s Creek

Located in Bowling Green Kentucky, Drake’s Creek Canoe offers rentals of canoes and kayaks to those in the Drake Creek area. For an excellent beginner experience, take part in their $40 per kayak Half Day Adventure. Lasting around 3-4 hours, this is Drake’s most popular trip. Kayakers will explore six, easy miles of Trammel and Drake’s Creek, and will eventually end up at Phil Moore Park.

4. Kentucky River

Canoe Kentucky is an excellent rental company that allows paddlers to rent kayaks and canoes for the Kentucky River. Canoe Kentucky offers trips on the Kentucky River six days a week. According to its site, these trips are ideal “for those wanting a short day on the water,” with its calm and protected waters. The Kentucky River is described as a very beginner-friendly body of water, with its depth only reaching about 10-15 feet. 

5. Mammoth Cave Canoe and Kayak

If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous, Mammoth Cave is your spot. Mammoth Cave Canoe and Kayak offers several trips through Mammoth Cave National Park. Now, these trips range from three-hour journeys to full-on, three-day camping adventures. The shorter, three-hour trip is 7.5 miles and is perfect for those with less-experienced paddlers. Rates go at $60 per canoe or double kayak and $50 per kayak. 

As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.