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Rockcastle River in Kentucky

Trip Overview

Upper Rockcastle River

Put in at I-75 bridge, paddled 10-11 miles to KY1956 bridge. USGS Billows streamflow gauge said stream height of 2.2 feet and flow 198 cfs. This float took about 4 hrs of paddling time and there were plenty of attractive places to stop and goof off which added another 1+ hours.

Wildlife was abundant. There were adult and young herons all over the place; occasional wood ducks and red-tailed hawks; two deer waded out in front of us on a gravel bar; the kids caught (& released) tadpoles, minnows, and crawfish.

The water was mostly flat. We scraped a few times and mis-read one rock that stopped the bow and spun us. There were a couple of sections of Class II+ where gravel bars pushed the full river through a sharp curve. Other sections of fast water where the river narrowed.

There is a stretch of cabins along KY1329 downstream of I-75. Past that it's wilderness.

Our party was one adult and three kids ages 9-14 and it was an ideal paddle for us.


Rockcastle Adventures provided shuttle service, drove us & our gear in our car to I-75 then drove the car back to their location at KY1956 bridge and locked the keys up. A+ service.


None at I=75 bridge

$5 per boat put-in/take-out fee at Rockcastle Adventures.


I-75 bridge put-in: US25 south of Livingston, turn west on KY1329, can't miss it. Take-out is private property of Rockcastle Adventures on KY1956 just east of the Rockcastle River.


USGS topo map.

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

Locations on this Trip