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Upper Cumberland River in Kentucky

Trip Overview

3 friends and I just bought our own kayaks. We'd only been in kayaks 1 other time, but loved it. We bought Perception Swifty's. They're recreational, but stable. No skirts on this trip. We did the Upper Cumberland; 17 miles and the water was at 2000 CFS on this trip.

The water was moving steadily all day. Not many good places to take out for a break. The banks were usually too steep for an easy take out. There were 4 sections of what I'd call class II rapids. There were some good size waves that had us all nervous. 2 guys fell out on one rapid, but we managed to keep the boats above water for the rest of the trip.

A very wide river, but without the rapids, it was a little monotonous. 17 miles got to be a little long by the end. We did the trip in 6.5 hours, including breaks.

Takeout was at the Cumberland Falls parking lot.
Put-in was at Red Bird bridge, next to the church.

Outfitting:

Sheltowee Trace Outfitters provides trips on this river.

Fees:

None

Directions:

Check out the "Canoeing and Kayking Guide in Kentucky" by Sehlinger and Molloy. Use that along with Google Earth and have a good time.
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip