Yes, you can carry your canoe or kayak down and put in at the ferry. Just don’t interfere with ferry operations. There are a few parking places at Donaldson Park you can use.
You can almost see Dam 9 downstream of the ferry, so the easiest paddle is upstream. There are several small palisades and one long one in that direction, and you can go up Tates Creek a little. After the big palisade, it pretty much flattens out into farmland.
To me, the more interesting paddle is downstream. Dam 9, since a new dam has been built slightly upstream of the old dam, is the only dam I’ve come across on the Kentucky River that you can portage easily. At least at low river levels. I wouldn’t recommend doing it solo, but there is a decent place to take out on river right, and there is a retaining wall on just on the other side of the dam that can be used as steps down to pool 8. You get good views of the dam, Marble Creek and several palisades. It is the best scenery in pool 8.
– Don Perkins