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Canoeing and kayaking near Lexington

Whatever floats your boat, we’ve got a roundup for the best canoeing and kayaking spots in the area.

water and cliffs

The ecosystem around the Kentucky River Palisades is ~450 million years old. | Photo by LEXtoday

Table of Contents

We’re just days away from pools across the city opening for the season and, in our minds, it’s officially summer.

But today, we want to explore a few more adventurous watering holes in the Lexington area — where to canoe and kayak near Lexington.

Unique Kentucky waterway facts

If you haven’t ventured out to explore any of Kentucky’s waterways, check out these unique facts about our region:

  • Next to Alaska, Kentucky has more navigable miles of water than any other state in the US.
  • Kentucky is the only state to have rivers that border three of its sides — the Mississippi to the West, the Ohio to the North + the Big Sandy to the East.
  • Kentucky has the largest artificial lakes east of the Mississippi — Lake Cumberland in volume and Kentucky Lake in surface area.
a lake

The calm waters of Jacobson Park make for a great spot for beginners. | Photo by The LEXtoday

Places to paddle

  • Jacobson Park, 4001 Athens Boonesboro Rd. | That’s right, you don’t have to leave the city limits for this one. Lexington Parks and Recreation even offers boat rentals.
  • Laurel River Lake, KY 192, London | Hop on I-75S for one hour to discover what our reader Andrea W. calls “some of the cleanest and prettiest areas around.”
  • Ft. Boonesboro State Park, 4375 Boonesboro Rd., Richmond | Head down to launch from this state park’s boat ramp. Paddle six miles downstream to end your float at Proud Mary’s BBQ restaurant.
a waterfall

“The Grotto” is as majestic as it gets. | Photo by The LEXtoday

Readers suggestions

As we wait for our first public river park, Kelley’s Landing, to add more canoeing and kayaking options to the area this fall, we asked our readers where they like to splash around:

  • Elkhorn Creek in Frankfort — Readers Jill D. + Scott W.
  • Herrington Lake in Harrodsburg — Sue I.
  • Canoe Kentucky in Frankfort — Emily S.
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