Our Favorite Paddles

Cave Run Lake

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Near Morehead, KY -- about 1hr 15 min drive from Lexington

The best times to go out paddleboarding on Cave Run Lake is when the waters are more calm (sans motorized boat activity), which occurs early morning or weekdays. However, if you don’t mind a bit of rocky waters, the weekend is also quite pleasant. There are several (many!) boat ramps on Cave Run Lake.

Our two favorites that have bathrooms (primitive but existent) are the Alfrey Boat Ramp and Claylick Boat Ramp. Because the lake and subsequently the boat ramps are on the property managed by Daniel Boone National Forest, you will need a day pass for parking. No worries, stop at Crash’s Landing to get a day pass, they are approximately $3 or get one here in Lex at J & H Outdoors.

If you do decide to go out on a weekday, Scott Creek Marina will be less busy and would be a great choice for putting in.

Little Sandy

at the Newfoundland Boat Ramp near Sandy Hook, KY (1hr 40 min drive from Lexington)

Standing with your back to the boat ramp with the overpass above, you should hear the reverberations of a small, gentle, waterfall straight ahead. That’s when you know you’ve arrived to the right place.

To find more of these little gems, continue to the left (if your back is to the boat ramp) winding down the little sandy through the palisades.

At the right time of day, the sun bounces off the water and the rocks look like they are dancing.

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Kentucky River

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from Ft Boonesborough (On google find Boonesboro Boat Ramp, about 30 min drive from Lexington)

Facilities at Ft. Boonesborough are currently closed, so you’re on your own to find a bathroom. However, the Kentucky River in this area is quite compelling, which has added this location to our favorite paddles. Despite the “Deliverance” feel, you can often hear a banjo being played while paddling down this section.

With the boat ramp at your back there’s a dam to your right so your only real option is to go left. If you have two cars, park one at Proud Mary’s BBQ, for a long paddle with an excellent reward. Check their open hours.

The route is about 6 miles. That will take an average paddler approximately 3-4 hours. Bring your kayak conversion kit to make quicker time.

Mill Creek

at Natural Bridge State Park (About an hour drive from Lexington)

Heading to Natural Bridge State Park and looking to paddle around a bit? This local spot has some kayak and SUP rentals on site too. Mill creek is not a large body of water, a paddler could discover most of its coves within an hour. No bathroom facilities on site but not far from other state park facilities.

The creek views provide a beautiful change up in perspective, looking up at the towering red rocks, which is why it makes our list.

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