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Whitewater Rafting Guide To River Trips


In a state known for its Jim Beam whiskey and southern accents are three outstanding rivers for whitewater rafting. Kentucky whitewater rafting trips are located within a few hours from major urban areas such as Knoxville and Lexington and they are offered May through October.

Cumberland River Rafting Trips (Class II-III):
From May to September, Cumberland River rafting trips float through the Class II and III rapids on the Cumberland Falls run. Rafting on the Cumberland River is easily accessible from the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, less than two hours from Lexington and Knoxville. Cumberland River trips are a good way to learn the sport of whitewater rafting.

Elkhorn Creek Rafting Trips (Class II-III):
The Class II-III Gorge section of Elkhorn Creek is a great beginner whitewater rafting trip. Just 45 minutes from Lexington, Elkhorn Creek rafting trips are easy to access, have fun rapids, and are suitable for the whole family.

Big Sandy River Rafting Trips (Class V+):
The Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River is one of the most daredevil commercially run stretches of whitewater in the United States. With multiple Class V+ drops and rapids that look more like waterfalls, Russell Fork rafting trips require previous Class IV experience.

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More About Rafting in Kentucky

Most Kentucky whitewater rafting trips are one-day in length, but they range in difficulty level from mild float trips on Elkhorn Creek to some of the most challenging whitewater in the United States on the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River. During the summer months, rafting is a cooler alternative to hiking and bike riding for visitors of one of Kentucky’s many State Park Resorts. In the fall, Kentucky whitewater rafting trips offer a great way to enjoy some solitude and see the spectacular autumn colors.