A privately owned fee ramp ($4 per canoe or kayak in 2016) in Jessamine County allows access to the lower part of Pool 7 on the Kentucky River and to the Dix River below Herrington Lake. Pool 7 contains the most spectacular palisades on the river. This area has abundant wildlife.
Safety Considerations: Check river levels before attempting to paddle the Kentucky River or Dix River. Always wear a properly sized PFD/life jacket. Bring drinking water, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
Activities: Facilities: None
Facility and Trail Map
|▬▬ Upstream to Dix River and Dam||Up to 8 miles|
|▬▬ Upstream to Rookery||9 miles|
Upstream to Dix River and Dam: Spectacular palisades greet you right off the ramp. Pass the Dixie Belle paddlewheeler at Shaker Landing, go under High Bridge, then turn right into the Dix River. More palisades, a waterfall that mostly flows all year long, and abundant wildlife will be visible on the Dix. At normal river levels, you’ll eventually run into a rapid. If you paddle or portage the rapid, you can extend the trip another mile by going up to the dam. Note that if they release from the dam, you’ll only have about a 3 minute warning from a horn blast. From near the dam, you can see an arch up on a palisade to the right. There are quite a few houses in the High Bridge area, but only a few on the Dix.
Upstream to the Rookery: Keep going up the Kentucky past the Dix River. More palisades are visible. At about 4.5 miles you’ll see a 60+ nest Great Blue Heron Rookery on the left. This is active from late February until mid-June. Pool 7 is 22 miles long, so you can continue paddling as far as you’d like.
Head into Wilmore on KY 29 and keep going straight all the way out to the High Bridge community. Before you go under High Bridge, turn sharply right onto Lock 7 Rd. When you get to the bottom of the hill, go through the stone gates and the ramp is immediately on the left.
The boat ramp at Shaker Landing is about a 1/4 mile upstream. A fee, parking pass, and signed waiver are required to use their ramp, and you may have to get the key to unlock the gate on the road down to Shaker Landing.
For More Information
Kentucky River Navigation Charts (Ramp is on Chart 17)