Paddling is one of the most fun activities you can do in Louisville during the warmer seasons, and you should definitely give it a try if you haven’t yet this summer! We have some beautiful places to explore, all of which are less than a half hour away from the city. If you don’t own a kayak or a canoe, don’t worry– there are plenty of places to rent them in town. Check out the list below to learn more about these 8 perfect places to paddle in Louisville.
1. The Ohio River
The Ohio River waters are often calm and smooth, making it easy to paddle through. The width provides ample space for large groups of paddlers to use. This photo of the Louisville Canoe and Kayak group was taken near the McAlpine locks.
There are plenty of amazing places to explore out on the Ohio River. Six Mile Island is an interesting stretch of land to explore, as is Rose Island around Charlestown State Park. Serious paddlers even go as far as Cincinnati along the Ohio River, which takes a three to four day journey.
2. Long Run Park
This beautiful park is filled with still water, perfect for gliding quietly across on your kayak. This large park also has a picnic area and grills where you can enjoy a nice lunch before or after heading out on the water.
Long Run Park is located at 1605 Flat Rock Rd., Louisville, KY 40245.
3. The Falls of the Ohio
Paddle over fossil beds covered by the Ohio River waters at this scenic location. There are some fossil beds that can't ordinarily be reached on foot that you can only find by water! Launching your kayak or canoe is easy to do at many points of the park.
4. Tom Wallace Lake
Located in the amazing Jefferson Memorial Forest, Tom Wallace Lake is the perfect place to paddle beneath the green trees that tower over each side of the lake. The lake is also regularly stocked with trout, sunfish, and catfish for those who love fishing.
Tom Wallace lake is located at 11311 Mitchell Hill Rd., Fairdale, KY 40118.
5. Deam Lake
Deam Lake is a lovely little spot near Louisville right across the state line in Indiana. It's only a 30 minute drive from the city, and has a swimming beach as well. Deam Lake is great place to paddle, swim, or simply sit and relax.
Deam Lake is located at 1217 Deam Lake Rd., Borden, IN 47106.
6. Harrods Creek
There's a free launching site in Harrods Creek Park, just a short walk away from the parking lot. For those who don't have a canoe or kayak, but would like to give it a go, you can rent boats from Nachand Canoe & Kayak for $30 and have a couple hours of fun on the water.
Harrods Creek Park is located at 6530 Montero Dr., Prospect, KY 40059.
Nachand Canoe & Kayak is located at 6313 River Rd., Prospect, KY 40059.
7. The Parklands at Floyds Fork
Floyds Fork is a 62-mile-long tributary of the Salt River in Southeast Louisville. There's some beautiful Kentucky nature to explore through this waterway, and many access points are provided by the park along the the Fork. Blue Moon Canoe & Kayaks provides rentals from April through October here. For more information on water levels and gauges, click
8. McNeely Lake Park
McNeely Lake Park is one of the closest locations that you can paddle in Louisville. It's located only 20 minutes from downtown Louisville and offers a range of activities to enjoy with the family in addition to paddling and fishing. The trails here are just as beautiful to enjoy on foot as the waters are by canoe or kayak.
McNeely Lake Park is located at 10500 Cedar Creek Rd., Louisville, KY 40229.
Have you ever gone paddling in a canoe or kayak, and how was your trip? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook! If you’re a fan of the water, check out
this article about the best lakes in Kentucky.
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