Canoeing and Kayaking near Lexington

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

We’re just under three weeks away from Memorial Day — when pools across the city will open 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. That’s right — we’re talking about where to canoe and kayak near Lexington

Unique Kentucky waterway facts

If you haven’t ventured out to explore any of Kentucky’s waterways, you’re missing out. 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 MississippiLake Cumberland in volume and Kentucky Lake in surface area. 
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
a lake
The calm waters of Jacobson Park make for a great spot for beginners. | Photo by The LEXtoday

Pro tip: The city is hosting an Intro to Canoeing class this week at Jacobson Park on Fri., May 13 from 3-4:30 p.m.

Ft. Boonesboro State Park, 4375 Boonesboro Rd. | Head down to Richmond 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