PLACES TO GO ON LAND
PLACES TO GO ON WATER
Monday, October 18, 2010
I love coming back to
It’s a beautiful location at the convergence of the
and the Kentucky River,
and it’ll always hold a special place for me. In 2007 I
attempted a complete navigation of the
but I decided to hold the suspense of seeing this city until I’d actually
paddled all the way down to it - I wanted to do the river in sequence.
Problem is, I failed that year. It would have to
Well, the next year I was able to finish but it
had taken me so long to reach this point that with each successive day that
passed I was more and more anxious to see it, and when I finally arrived it
definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s been a favorite ever
since. The thing I love about this community (more info at (http://www.carrolltontourism.com)
is that the people who live here really seem to enjoy it.
When I drove out at dusk I think that everyone in town must have been out
walking the streets or strolling down by the river. I love to
see that kind of spirit in a town!
You can easily reach
via Interstate 64 between
but I drove in from
decided to go through
If you, too, are driving from Lexington and come this way you won’t find
that it costs you any extra time following these back roads and lemmetellya – if
you’re looking for one very pleasant drive this is it, especially
in the fall. You won’t believe how beautiful it is (full
Anyway, once I arrived I got on the water and
paddled down to
to begin. Brooksburg is a very small community, but what
distinguishes it is that there’s a day marker here (550.9 as per the charts)
amidst the line of houses (along with a couple ramps that looked private).
Also interesting is that it looks like there’s a boat repair place here
too and you can see a very old towboat up on shore along with a couple old
barges. This could be Adam’s Marine which the charts indicate
is at this point. Kelly’s Landing is also here, but I can’t
seem to find out any more on these places other than that.
Definitely the most interesting thing I saw today
was across the river on the
side. It caught me completely out of the blue!
Someone had made a… Uh… I don’t
know how to describe it, but I thought it was awesome!
Someone had taken the time to collect all the toys out of the trash on the river
and make a work of art out of them! The scene reminded me of
of Misfit Toys
from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!
This section of the river is, as you might
expect, almost all farmland and
route 56 will follow the river in
route 36 doing the same in
I was really impressed by the shorelines in this section too.
The ones in
Indiana were nicer
this time in terms of trash, but almost every inch on both sides was gently
sloping with a fairly large sand/pebble beach. In fact, it
appeared as if one community at mile 548.9 was actually called Sandy Beach.
I’m getting ahead of myself, though...
First, the Indian Kentuck Creek enters the river at mile 550.5, and this
creek looked very popular today. In fact, the only power
boats I saw in the area made their way directly to this point and there was also
a fisherman on the shore when I arrived, so I decided against paddling in this
time. Maybe on the next downriver section I’ll be able to
rectify this and relate what it’s like.
From this creek I soon came upon another little
line of dwellings (again in
where there were a couple more seemingly private ramps. One
of the homes here really stood out. Resting atop a hill above
the beach, the embankment in front of it seemed to be reinforced with a very
large number of what I think were railroad ties. It also had
one of those cool looking circular stairways which extended down to the beach
Just upriver from this point on the
side at about mile 549.5, the Locust Creek enters. This is
one I did paddle into, getting about 500 yards before I was blocked at a KY36
bridge which had too much deadfall debris under it to be passable, and once back
on the river two towboats passed me in quick succession. The
first was Marathons’
is an old friend now! I encountered the vessel in my Markland
Dam to Warsaw,
The C.J. McBride was the second.
It was much smaller, carrying a single barge, and while I couldn’t find
any ownership info on this one I do see from the towboat gallery website (http://www.towboatgallery.com/C_J_McBride.php)
that it’s 61 feet in length and 22 feet in width. A great
sight on the river, this boat was a very interesting contrast to all the larger
ones I’d seen!
Anyway, at about mile 549 you’ll find that
Kentucky Route 36 will begin to crop in toward the river and the farmland will
disappear, to be replaced with a backdrop of forested hills (not to worry, the
farmland will continue on the Indiana side!). Meanwhile,
remember the beaches I described on the
shoreline and how gently sloping they were? Well, ever since
I’d been noticing what looked like a vehicle path, and just prior to reaching
the aforementioned community of Sandy Beach, Indiana I found that it was being
At one point I got out of the boat to stretch and
get some pictures, you see, and once I’d gotten back in again I saw a gentleman
in a golf cart come down the Sandy Beach ramp and drive down to about the point
where I’d gotten out. Methinks I’d been watched!
Sandy Beach is distinguishable by the painted rocks you’ll see at the end
of the ramp and they also have a sign which designates the community’s name at
The Notch Creek enters in
at about this point (unnavigable under a culvert) and there was another green
day marker as the river began to curve left, heading toward
Also interesting further up along this side was that someone had gotten
into the Halloween spirit and left a jack-o-lantern out on one of the tree
stumps down by the water. I got pictures but they
unfortunately all turned out blurred.
Next up was the Little Kentucky River at about
mile 546.5 and I found this one to be really nice, getting in about 1 ¼ miles
thanks to someone’s consideration. There was a large fallen
tree maybe a few hundred yards in, you see, and had it not been cut at the end I
wouldn’t have been able to get back as far as I did. As it
was, I was able to continue paddling, first passing under another KY36 road
bridge before I was blocked by low water at the second of two large shoals.
It was as I was looking down a straight section
on my return paddle that I espied AEP’s (http://www.aepriverops.com)
Capt. Gerald Boggs vessel up ahead on the
and the Paul Striegel (also an AEP vessel) was trailing right behind it, empty.
I’d not seen this before, but I’m sure it must be a pretty common sight
I remember from working in the moving and storage
industry that if a semi goes to a location which is less than optimal for making
another pickup, the truck has to either wait for one or has to go to another
location – empty – and pick one up. Regrettably, the trucker
isn’t making any money during this time, and if they do decide to relocate for
cargo, that drive is called a “dead-head”. It means (or
meant) that the driver would have to absorb the cost of making that empty drive
to the other location. I wondered if the situation was the
same for these vessels as well…
Anyway, the charts indicate that the Green Valley
Creek enters in
Indiana at about
this point, but it wasn’t navigable today. The community of
was here too. I couldn’t see too much of it besides the
houses along the shore, but I certainly could see the Barbara H
According to their website (http://www.hspsi.org/barbara_h/home.html)
the Barbara H is the oldest operating sternwheel boat in the nation, and I was
lucky to have the pleasure of seeing it in action on the
last year. It’s such a beautiful sight that I'll have to find
that picture too and put it up.
was next, but I passed it up today since I’d already explored it previously.
I can tell you, however, that the
is a great experience to paddle and it really gives you a feel for the flavor
and the history of the areas of the state through which it flows – including the
capital of Frankfort.
If interested, I’ve made a complete photo-documentation of this 250+ mile
river along with detailed directions to a majority of the put-ins and, should
you have any questions about it or any of the things on this site, please don’t
hesitate to ask. My address is on the “Who I Am” page.
is to the downriver side of the
mouth and Carrollton
is on the upriver side. While the former is a bit too receded
from the shoreline to see much of it,
is right there! Since this was to be my end point for today
and it was early (I thought that it would take me a bit longer to paddle the
Little Kentucky River) I had some time. I decided to paddle around
for a while.
In doing so, I noted that
(where I put-in) is really pretty large. In terms of
shoreline it almost seemed to make up 1/3 of the town!
There’s also a ramp which descends from the heart of the city about another ½
mile up from the park and you could use this one if you wanted, but it looks a
bit easier at the park. There are also a few more ramps here
over on the Indiana
side, but they’re almost surely private along a very nice line of houses.
Anyway, when I finally arrived back at the ramp I
had the pleasure of talking to a couple gentlemen, both a father and his son who
appeared to be a toddler. This was no ordinary toddler,
though! This one was a trophy fisherman, and he was actually
fishing from a stroller! According to his father, this little
guy had once caught a prize fish out here in the presence of a game warden.
I was pretty amazed by how relaxed he was too! Most
kids his age just can’t keep still! The father was
interesting too - he looked to be fishing with a cylindrical net, maybe a couple
feet in diameter and a few feet in height and although he didn’t seem to be
having much luck, I do hope that changed once I left.
It seems to me there’s no better sight to see
than a father out enjoying the peaceful sport of fishing with his kids.
In fact, as I think about it now I’ve got to believe that at such an
impressionable age, this young man will now be instilled with the quality of
peace and will be able to call upon this spirit within himself whenever he most
needs it - later on in life. My father took me fishing too.
Maybe that’s why I so often seek peace.
At any rate, a couple more towboats passed before
I left and, of course, I had to stay and get some more pictures!
The first was the same Paul Striegel (AEP) vessel that had passed me at
the mouth of the Little Kentucky earlier in the day, without barges.
He now had some. It occurred to me that he must have
picked them up somewhere close and that I’d probably see where on my next
upriver excursion. Marathons’ Garyville passed right behind
him, but you’ll note that both pictures below are of the Streigel because I
believe that they were the best shots I got. I also feel they
give you a good idea of the kind of pleasant scenes you’ll see when you visit
is directly accessible from
via Interstate 71. Just take the KY227 exit and head north.
Then, once you hit the dead-end you'll take a left on US42.
The park with the ramp (
be on the far side of town on the right just before you go over a bridge.
You'll see a sign for it.
As far as what I did from
I first went to
Frankfort and then
headed north on US127. Then, just past
I took a left onto KY355 and followed it and the signs to the
(they indicate that it’s 25 miles up ahead) in
The farms in here will stun you in the fall with their beauty, and you’ll
also go through the communities of Gratz and
(you can stop at the News Café in Gratz or the Fairview Restaurant in
if you’re hungry).
KY355 will eventually dead-end (in a little less
than 20 miles) and you’ll make a left on KY227 and follow it all the way (past
which also has a restaurant – Two Rivers) until it, too, dead-ends at KY42.
Make another left, go through town, and then just before you go over a
bridge you’ll see a sign for
on your right.