- Licking River
Licking River, KY
Blue Water Trail (Upper Blue Licks to Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park)
The Licking River derives its name from the many salt springs and licks that attracted extinct prehistoric beasts such as the woolly mammoth, giant mastodon and later animals we know such as elk, white-tailed deer and bison.
Two of the most famous licks along Licking River, the Upper and Lower Blue Licks, start and end two good floating opportunities for canoeists, kayakers and owners of john boats. This area literally drips with frontier Kentucky history. The remoteness of this part of the Licking and the deep gorge its water carved through the ages make the paddler feel they are in the age of Boone.
The first float begins at Upper Blue Licks in Nicholas County. Upper Blue Licks lies near the eastern edge of Clay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and once served as the southern terminus of the Cabin Creek War Road. This ancient road served as a highway for Native Americans from north of the Ohio River to hunt the animals drawn to the salt licks at Upper Blue Licks. The road also served as an entry point into the interior of Kentucky for pioneers. (KYFWR)