John Nickell Ramp

A public ramp in Jessamine County that allows access to the lower part of Pool 8 on the Kentucky River.

Safety Considerations: Check river levels before attempting to paddle the Kentucky River. Always wear a properly sized PFD/life jacket. Bring drinking water, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Activities:   canoeing      Facilities: None  

Facility and Trail Map


▬▬ Downstream canoeing ModerateModerate 7 miles to Sugar Creek and back

12 miles to Dam 8 and back

▬▬ Upstream canoeing Moderate 6.8 miles to Hunters Ferry Rd and back

Trail Descriptions

Downstream: Fairly remote section of the Kentucky River with just a few houses. Can paddle up to 6 miles down to Dam 8 and back (12 miles total), with an optional side trip up Sugar Creek which is about 3.5 miles from the ramp on the left. You can usually paddle about 1/2 mile up Sugar Creek.

Upstream: A more developed area of the river with many houses and docks. Its 3.4 miles up to the Hunters Ferry Rd, but you can continue much farther. Dam 9 is maybe 11.5 miles up from the ramp.


From Nicholasville:  Take KY 39 east at the courthouse all the way to the river. Parking lot is on the right.

Buckeye Ridge Ramp is directly across the river on the Madison / Garrard County line.

Google Maps Driving Directions

For More Information

Kentucky River Level in Pool 8

Kentucky River Navigation Charts (Ramp is on Chart 21)