- Kentucky River
Kentucky River, KY
Pool 4 (Lock Dam 5 to Lock Dam 4)
In 1780, several pioneers from Bryan Station camped on a gravel bar in a double bend in the Kentucky River, about a mile upstream from where a large buffalo trail crossed the river at Leestown. The pioneers were bound for Mann’s Lick in Jefferson County to make salt.
Their camping spot was a ford for crossing the river just upstream of the the mouth of Benson Creek at Devil’s Hollow in what is now Franklin County. A marauding band of Native Americans ambushed the campers, killing pioneer Stephen Frank. This shallow bar proved a popular crossing spot on the Kentucky River for travelers coming from Lexington bound for Louisville.
The infamy of Frank’s murder resonated with the early settlers and they began to call this crossing “Frank’s Ford.” The name stuck and the city that grew up around Frank’s Ford is now the capital of the state of Kentucky.
Those who want to see the capital city from a unique perspective and enjoy the sights of the Kentucky River should plan to float Pool 4. This section of the river attracted some of the earliest settlers in Kentucky and holds the last of the soaring Kentucky River Palisades. (KYFWR)