Red River in Kentucky

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

April 16th we ran a trip down the Red River at Red River Gorge near Slade Ky. We put in at the first concrete bridge at the place where Hwy 715 crosses the Red River. There is a canoe launch area here. The flow was 45 CFS and the stream gauge was 1.63. This is at one of its lowest points for not dragging the bottom in places, much lower than this and you will be dragging in certain places.

We ran down to the new camp ground that was put in called Jonathon Swifts lost silver mine. The people that put this in are fantastic. They have a good place to take out, and you can park there and they will watch your car for $5. This is just past the intersection of 77/715.

The trip was nice, the weather was great. This is about a 9 mile trip and we did it in about 3 hours or so. There were 3 logs across. We had to portage 2 of them but Kayaks were crossing them with little difficulty. If the water had been just a little higher we could have made them easy.

There is an outfitter that rents canoes on this stretch called Red River Outdoors. They rent most any Saturday or Sunday in the spring until the water level gets too low to run. This is a very nice run with a lot of slow water and mostly class ones and a couple of class twos. The park is beautiful and one of my favorite parks in Ky. We do this trip several times a year. I will try to give trip reports for different times of the year and conditions.


Run this in early spring for best results. It gets pretty low to run in June if it turns hot and dry.


Two campgrounds.


Only fee is for camping overnight.


Mountain Parkway to Pine Ridge Exit near Slade KY. Take Hwy 715 through park to first concrete bridge where the road crosses the Red River.


Delorme KY Atlas

Trip Details

  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location