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Elkhorn City, Kentucky - Kentucky's Appalachians

Elkhorn City, KY 41522

6.5 miles, Class V+ paddling in some sections, other sections with class I-III rapids, fishing for smallmouth bass and rainbow trout, access from several points, Breaks Interstate Park and Elkhorn City, Sheltowee Trace Outfitters provide rentals and shuttle services during October season
  • Water Adventures
  • Hunting / Fishing

The Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River is arguably the top paddling destination, not only in Kentucky, but the entire southern United States. With Class IV to V+ rapids in certain sections, the Russell Fork has long attracted the best kayakers in the country and the world. If world class paddling with a high level of danger isn't your thing, don't worry, there are plenty of stretches along this river to suit all level of paddler. Paddlers can find anything from relatively flat Class I shoals, to technical and challenging Class III rapids. There are several access points so trips can be taken to best suit the individual's skill level. The Breaks Canyon is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the south, and those that have seen it can attest to its magnitude and beauty. With all the great scenery and paddling, it is easy to overlook the fishing opportunities of the Russell Fork. Smallmouth bass are prevalent in this mountain stream, and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife regularly stocks trout. Breaks Interstate Park provide great accommodations, and Sheltowee Trace Outfitters offer rafting trips during the annual October water releases from Flannagan Dam in Virginia. During these times, paddlers from all over the country descend on Elkhorn City and Breaks to experience all that the Russell Fork has to offer. Arguably this is the most scenic paddling not only in Kentucky, but the entire Southeast United States.