Raft Through The Kentucky Wildlands

From challenging Class V rapids to narrow river passages surrounded by beautiful, undisturbed forests, one-of-a-kind whitewater rafting experiences await you in The Kentucky Wildlands. Enjoy family-friendly light rafting while soaking in the natural wonders around you. Create whitewater rafting thrills along pristine rivers, streams and creeks. With so many areas to explore, you’ll discover countless rafting adventures as you traverse these waters.

Experience Thrills at Russell Fork

For intermediate thrill seekers, Russell Fork Gorge is the ideal rafting spot. Located in Elkhorn City, this destination is popular for experienced whitewater rafters. Every autumn, rafters from all around come to take on the waters of Russell Fork and view the spectacular fall colors. Begin your journey with mild Class II and Class III rapids before experiencing back to back Class IV and V rapids. Looking for extra adrenaline? Try El Horrendo, a heart-pumping Class V drop considered to be one of the most challenging rapids east of the Mississippi. For more intense drops, check out the legendary Fist and the 80-foot-long Hyperslide.

Catch Summer Sun at Cumberland

Looking for an escape from the summer heat? Try rafting the Cumberland River, open from May to September. Enjoy relief from the southern humidity in this dam-controlled river, which provides reliable flows for a long rafting season. Difficulty level ranges from Class II to Class III. Perfect for beginners and families, this makes for a great introduction to whitewater rafting. The run begins at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, where you can extend your stay with an overnight camping trip. Catch beautiful views of Cumberland Falls as you paddle downstream to your first big drop of whitewater waves.

Flow Along Elkhorn Creek

If you want an exciting rafting trip for everyone to enjoy, make your way over to Elkhorn Creek. The season opens from mid-March through Labor day, leaving plenty of time to plan your trip. A tributary of the Kentucky River, this free-flowing creek is both mellow and scenic. Have fun discovering all the beauty this 99-mile creek has to offer. View 200-foot limestone bluffs as you paddle through the flowing waters. You may even spot some wildlife, like the Rio Grande wild turkeys who populate the locale. Ready to kick it up a notch? Put your raft skills to the test on the Gorge section, categorized as Class II and III. Try to stay afloat as you speed through these rapids.

Explore Little Sandy River

Surround yourself with gorgeous landscapes as you make your way through Little Sandy River. This perfect rafting gem starts off slow with quiet flatwater before eventually picking up with Class I and Class II rapids. Treat yourself to a day trip or turn it into a multi-day adventure to further explore all the river’s features. Don’t have much rafting experience? No problem. This river is great for those who are novice or intermediate. Pick from sections that are more quiet and peaceful for a relaxing day of rafting, or paddle over to the rapids for some blood-pumping fun. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to take some time to see all the beautiful mountain vistas and caves throughout your whitewater journey.

Hidden Gems in the Kentucky Wildlands

Liberty Park Veteran's Wall

The Veteran’s Wall is a memorial dedicated to all U.S. Service Members from Liberty...

Asher Hunting Access Area

This area is open to hunting for statewide regulations and rules and regulations in...

Zilpo Road National Forest Scenic Byway

The Zilpo Scenic Byway is a gently curving eleven mile road with a travel time of...

Worth Adding to Your Kentucky Bucket List