The ferry ramp can be used to carry down canoes or kayaks for launching, as long as you don’t interfere with ferry operations. Its at the intersection of Fayette, Jessamine, and Madison counties. Its on Pool 9 which has a few palisades, and if you portage Dam 9 you can get to the upper part of Pool 8 which has even more.
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.
Facility and Trail Map
|▬▬ Downstream||7.5 miles to the Nicholasville water intake and back. Must portage Dam 9 which can be dangerous.|
|▬▬ Upstream||6 miles to end of palisades and back, plus an extra 1.7 miles can be added by paddling up Tates Creek.|
Downstream: After you pass the old Riney B Railroad bridge supports, Dam 9 soon blocks the river. Portage on the right. There are a few houses on the very upper part of Pool 8, but after a palisade on the left its a very remote section of river. The entrance of Marble Creek, which you can explore a little, is about 2 miles from the ramp. Another nice palisade, containing a landmark known as Devil’s Pulpit is about 2.75 miles from the ramp. The Nicholasville water intake is about 3.75 miles from the ramp (7.5 mile round trip). You can continue paddling, but there are few landmarks past this point until you get to Stoney Fork which is 6.75 miles or a 13.5 mile round trip.
Upstream: Several palisades are within the first 3 miles from the ramp, then the river goes through mostly farm land for many miles. Tates Creek is on the Madison County side just up from the Ferry. Its can usually be paddled about .85 miles.
From Nicholasville: Take KY 169 (Richmond Rd) east from downtown. Turn right on Tates Creek Rd (still KY 169) all the way to the Ferry. There are a few parking places in Donaldson Park near the Ferry.
Google Maps Driving Directions
For More Information
Kentucky River Level in Pool 8
Kentucky River Level in Pool 9
Kentucky River Navigation Charts (Ferry is on Chart 23)