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Green River/Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky

Trip Overview

Did an extended trip on the Green River in South Central Kentucky. Started in Munfordville, Kentucky on the 27th, got down to the river bank and we witnessed 3 river baptisms. We put in mid afternoon and enjoyed a hot but pleasant float past the I-65 bridge and found a gravel bar on the right to set up camp. Throughout the night we heard the clip-clop of Amish buggies.

Second day we started out a bit late and cruised down till ominous clouds appeared out of the west. Luckily we saw a stream converging on the right and found a blue hole with a small cave to take shelter in. It was gorgeous, sand banks covered both sides at least 2 stories high. The water was a chilly 50 degrees, and a beautiful light blue color. We rode out the summer storm in the mouth of the cave. After the rain had passed we continued paddling and paddled late into the night. We found a gravel bar on the left just passed the park boundary. At this point we were getting sick of those hard gravel sleeping spots, and everybody was kind of grumpy.

Next day we started really late (headache). We were in Mammoth Cave Natl Park at this point, we spent part of the morning paddle perched on a sand bar beneath the sycamore trees fishing for small-mouth and shad. Heath and I both caught one they were over 15 inches so we were doing good. Had a leisurely paddle down to another gravel bar on the left just past the 3 sisters island chain. Firewood was plenty, and the fish we had caught was very good.

Set off early and stopped at Green River Ferry, one of our party was leaving early, but before he left he took one other companion and went up to the park store and filled up our water coolers and got some other supplies. We paddled down to sand cave and set up camp on the sand bank, best night sleep we have had in a long time, the sand was powder soft. There was a nice sycamore right by the shore that was a perfect perch and swimming spot. Great night!

Got out late the next morning, the Green is really slow through this section and we had to paddle hard to keep the wind from turning us back. We stopped for lunch on a big island bar on the right and found trash everywhere. These amateurs even left their tent and remnants of a burned out sleeping bag. We packed out two bags full of trash. We found a sand bar about 2 miles down from this and found this to be paradise. Sand crept up into the woods and we found a shady soft comfortable spot. Great night.

Last day we paddled two-three miles to Houchins Ferry and pulled out. We were sun burned and tired. Awesome trip. Easy float, class one all the way, no difficulties at all.


We utilized Big Buffalo Canoe for shuttle service.


Whitewater 16 and Old Town Guide 147


No Fee back country permit, fishing is free in the park


Nat Geo Topo maps
  • Duration: Extended Trip
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip