- Tygarts Creek
Tygarts Creek, KY
Blue Water Trail (Olive Hill Depot Access to Highway 9)
Moving water throughout the millennia left an indelible mark on Carter County, Kentucky. Water flowing through the ground melted the porous limestone bedrock prior to the creation of the Ohio River, creating a series of labyrinthine caves. The most scenic and unique of these are now contained within the boundaries of Carter Caves State Resort Park.
Through time, flowing water cut down into the bedrock and created the spectacular Tygarts Creek Gorge, rivaling anything found in Kentucky. The sheer slate gray bluffs of the gorge that rise straight from the banks and tower above you, the mild rapids and blue-green water draw paddlers to Tygarts Creek from all over Kentucky and surrounding states. A 12 ½ -mile float showcases the Tygarts Creek Gorge. This float is suitable for beginners and families at normal water levels, but grows more challenging at higher water.
The float begins in downtown Olive Hill at the Olive Hill Depot Trailhead and Campground Access on Tygart Street, near the KY 986 Bridge over the creek. The take-out is at the KY 182 Bridge at Carter Caves State Resort Park. To reach the take-out, take U.S. 60 north out of Olive Hill to a left on KY 182. The parking area lies on the right just before you reach the bridge and entrance to the park. (KYFWR)