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Paddle your way through the Bluegrass

KENTUCKY HAS MORE NAVIGABLE MILES of water than any other state in the lower 48. It’s second in the United States only to Alaska. So, where does a paddler begin in a quest to explore these great outdoor opportunities in the Bluegrass State? 

That is the question I asked when my wife suggested getting a kayak to take on our camping trips. Her interest was piqued by a sign we encountered near one of the campgrounds at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. The Water Trail sign marked a public access point for kayaks and canoes. 

The water trails there include 300 miles of undeveloped shorelines as well as a few small inland lakes. Visit www.landbetweenthelakes.us/watertrails to find an interactive map and descriptions of the access points along the trails. I have been in some of the locations designated as water trails myself while fishing over the years, and I look forward to going back to paddle. 

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has put together the Blue Water Trails series of articles and videos, which outline many great streams and rivers in Kentucky that are suitable and safe for paddling by canoe or kayak. 

This series is loaded with information like put-in and take-out locations and safety precautions to consider. Find the series at www.fw.ky.gov by searching “Blue Water Trails.” The articles profile more than 30 floats, and each article includes the history of the waterway and area, as well as a map of the route. Also, for anglers, the articles include species to be found, where to look for them and what to use to catch them. 

If you are looking to get into paddling or if you are a seasoned paddler looking for some new waters to explore, be sure to check out these water trails in Kentucky. It’s a great way to enjoy the great outdoors—and maybe I will see you on the water.

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