Flat Water Paddling the Green River in Munfordville and 300 Springs Waterfall

Kentucky is a water lover’s paradise, and the Green River could be considered the jewel in the paddling crown. The river gently flows through some of the most pastoral, lush, and picturesque landscape there is. It also happens to be one of the most biologically diverse rivers in the country, with over 150 species of fish and 71 species of mussels (some considered extremely rare) calling its clean, green waters home. The wildlife along the bank is just as abundant, so be on the lookout for deer, beavers, fox, otters, bobcats, and wild turkey. Hawks and bald eagles screech above while ducks swim effortlessly alongside kayaks. Sparrows and swallows flit amongst the cliffs and great blue herons look for fish along the banks.

What Makes It Great

There are many sections of the river that could be considered a highlight, but one standout is paddling past the 300 Springs Waterfall. The land around the falls is private, so the only way to see the falls is by boat. This keeps the day hiker crowds down and adds an Indiana Jones feel to the place. From seemingly out of nowhere, multiple streams burst dramatically from the craggy limestone and elegantly cascade down the moss-covered cliffs. It feels more like Borneo or the Amazon than Southern Kentucky. Make sure to get out of the boat and explore a bit, as it’s a once-in-a-lifetime photo-op. If you’re feeling brave, stand under one of the springs for an invigorating experience.

What the river lacks in high-speed rapids, it makes up with jaw-dropping, majestic scenery. Expect to canoe past tall karst formations, towering cliffs, cold springs, fascinating caves, and deep gorges.

Anglers have plenty to do to keep them busy, whether just for the day or on an overnight trip. Fisherman come from far and wide hoping to reel in catfish, bluegill, perch, and muskie, and the Green River is absolutely epic when it comes to largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. Multiple put-in and take-out points make this a very user-friendly body of water. Whether you’re looking to go for just a few hours or a few days, there is a stretch of river tailored to the task.

Who is Going to Love It

Beginning canoeists and kayakers find the Green River perfect to gain more experience, learn to read water better, and dial in gear choices. Families and anybody hoping for a casual, laid-back experience, rather than white-knuckle whitewater action, find themselves at home here. And although fairly popular, with the numerous islands, sandbars, and secluded nooks and crannies, visitors looking to get away from it all on a multi-day expedition will love it. On average, the river runs about 200 feet wide, which is plenty of room to navigate and explore.

Some of the biggest fish in the state have been pulled from the waters of the Green River, so fisherman should come prepared.

Directions, Parking & Regulations

If camping within Mammoth Cave National Park, a free backcountry permit is required. Camping outside of the park boundary is limited to river banks, sandbars, and islands, and not within 300 feet of any ferry.

A Kentucky fishing license is not required if you’re only fishing within the park boundary.

To access 300 Springs Waterfall, contact Big Buffalo Crossing Canoe and Kayak at 270-774-7883. 

Written by Abbie Mood for RootsRated in partnership with Kentucky Tourism.