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Green River in Kentucky

Trip Overview

Green River - Lock #5 to Young's Ferry Rd.

It was an untypical warm sunny day for February in Kentucky so a friend of mine and I decided to try a fairly short trip on the Green River. We put in at Arrue Young Boat Ramp about a mile down from Lock #5 and had our other shuttle vehicle at the end of Youngs Ferry Rd which ends at the river. The boat ramp makes it very easy to put in and take out.

The current was fairly strong as we tried to paddle up to the lock but decided against it after a few hundred feet. Because the swiftness of the water it was a very lazy paddle. I probably only made 100 paddle strokes the entire trip most of which were to correct when the current tried to spin us. The river has some awkward hydraulic movement from the terrain below the water. It would split straight down the river as one side the water went down stream and the other side the water went up stream.

This time of year, with all the leaves off the trees allows us to see all the nice cliff ledges along the way. About half way through the trip there is a section where the cliff face is about a mile long on the water with a nice waterfall empting into the Green. There are some nice ledges that allow you to get underneath with some very interesting rock formations to view right on the water. Given the depth of the water it would make a nice place to park and jump off some of the cliffs in warmer water conditions.

The wildlife on this short stint is extensive. We witnessed river otter and many beavers. Once we realized there were beavers we began to paddle very quietly and able to get with 20-30 feet of them before they slapped the water and dove for safety. The banks were marked up with deer, coon, and coyote tracks so there is obviously an abundance of animals in the area.

Just before the take out at Youngs Ferry is an inlet off to the left that was my favorite part of the paddle. We made it up 3/4 of a mile before the water-level shallowed out to the point you could not venture any further up the stream. There were towering cliffs and overhangs that show thousands of years of erosion in the area. Stunningly beautiful.

We exited the inlet and made our way to the pull out which was 4.2 miles down stream from Arrues Ramp. The current provided a relatively short trip. 2 hours and 15 minute total on water time.

A future trip is from Arrue Young boat ramp to the end of KY HWY 263 which is 12.4 miles. The back roads to set up the shuttle cars are easy to venture and provide a beautiful Kentucky view in itself.






Take KY 185 to KY HWY 1749. Arrue Young Boat ramp is off 1749.

To get to the boat ramp from Arrue Young boat ramp, go back to 185 and head south, toward Bowling Green. At Lodge Hall Rd turn right. Lodge Hall road ends in a T at Thrickel Ferry Rd, turn right. There's a fork in the road stay to the right as this is Youngs Ferry. Drive it all the way to the river.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip