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Book Excerpt Below
A Canoeing & Kayaking
Guide to Kentucky
Canoeing and kayaking rivals horses and basketball as a way of life for Kentuckians. Okay, that may be an exaggeration. Nevertheless, paddling the Bluegrass has a rabid following that increases on a yearly basis. The first edition of this book, written by Kentucky native Bob Sehlinger, has become a classic and helped propel paddling to the forefront among outdoor enthusiasts throughout the Commonwealth. Since 1978, untold Kentuckians have used this various editions o this book as a river resource. And as one paddler brought another one into the fold — passing down the paddle if you will — this book has been the standard, opening new rivers and streams to those who ventured forth with excitement that is only found when your boat curves around a new bend of a new stream offering new scenery and new opportunities. As Kentucky outdoor legend Arthur B. Lander, Jr. wrote in the original introduction to this book, whether you are “drifting down a lazy, meandering river, or maneuvering a canoe or kayak through a jumble of boulders on a roller coaster of whitewater, is not only great fun, but a genuine mental and physical challenge. Americans are adventuresome by character, and are quick to seek the exhilaration that only life in the outdoors can bring.”
Waterfall on the Green River
That statement is no less true today than it was back then. Since this book was first printed, a whole new class of paddlers has emerged, the “steep creekers.” These people paddle small creeks with limited drainages that flow perhaps a dozen times per year, taking hair-raising trips and challenging the heretofore limits of the Kentucky whitewater realm. Advances and variations in boat designs have gone far beyond what paddlers of the 1970s could have even imagined. Today we have modern canoes of varied plastic composites that range from heavily rockered whitewater boats to long and deep touring boats designed for extended trips. And kayaks have changed more. Today we have bombproof boats designed for maneuvering heavy whitewater and short, squat “play boats” used by paddlers to “surf” one single rapid for hours.
This book attempts to inform paddlers of paddling opportunities in the Bluegrass State, especially as the sport has advanced and many new streams are being explored. New watercourses have been added to this latest edition. This guidebook is the product of scouting miles of river, and hours of map work and research writing. Along the way, many memories were made. We hope you will make some memories of your own, paddling the streams of Kentucky.