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Green River in Kentucky

Trip Overview

I have been paddling the Green River in Casey County since January 2012. I like paddling this river for several reasons:

First, it's a great river for the novice because the many bends in the river coupled with the challenges of deadwood and strainers enlists the use of basic kayaking skills; however, sufficiently spaced stretches of flat water allow ample time to enjoy the surroundings.

Second, while the river is primarily class 1 water, there are some places where it elevates to class 2, in my opinion, depending on the river flow.

Third, I think anyone interested in enjoying the abundant wildlife, fishing and scenic views should consider paddling this river.

I ported in river left from Green River Valley Road at 3:35 pm. The river was swift and a bright emerald green, the sky was cloudy and a light sleet peppered the river. According to the McKinney gauge the river flow was 1.48 feet while the Green River Lake gauge indicated a river flow of 668 feet. The flooding of the river the week prior to Christmas had removed much of the deadwood and some of the strainers that were challenging on previous outings on December 9th, and 16th.

Cranes, owls and other native birds nest in the trees along the river. This trip I noticed beaver activity along the river bank. I ported out river left below the Red Hill Bridge near Dunville at 4:50 pm.


The Royal Inn Express motel is located in Liberty. Other accommodations are available in Russell Springs.


No fees or permits.


Green River Valley Road is approximately 8 miles south of Liberty and 3/10's of a mile south of the Bread of Life Restaurant on US 127 in southern Casey County. This is a county gravel road that diverges from US 127 for approximately 4/10's of a mile to the river.


The Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer

Liberty to Houchens Ferry Topographic map.

Google Earth maps

A Caneoing & Kayaking Guide Book to Kentucky by Bob Sehlinger and Johnny Molloy (Menasha Ridge Press).

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip