This is a beautiful area of eastern Kentucky and not too far from the Grayson Lake area. I have heard numerous accounts from locals on Tyrarts Creek and it's been on my wish list for at least three years. This is an excellent opportunity for a safe, managed, and guided trip on moving water. There will also be a side trip into one of Kentucky's largest natural limestone tunnels.
This trip will be under the guidance of the staff at Carter Caves State Park and not under the overview of Tri-State Kayakers. There are several steps you need to take individually through the park in order to participate in this event. These steps are indicated below.
This is the link to the information from Carter Caves State Park, which is what was originally posted:
Water Conditions - With this being Kentucky, water conditions can change significantly if there is rain which can lead to rapid runoff (this is why Grayson has so many waterfalls). And if there is not enough water, the creek will dry up making passage not possible. The park guides will be on top of this, so the water will dictate go/no-go based on the water.
Water Condition Update - I will stay in touch with the park and provide an update on the water conditions on Friday afternoon March 22nd.
Skill Level - This is not a flat-water lake float. You will be in moving water in somewhat tight, restricted areas. If you can handle the Little Miami or Whitewater Rivers on Morgan-type floats, you should be fine. But then again, you might get wet.
Time on Water - The park says to expect about 3.5 hours. Adding shuttle times plus load / off-load makes this a full-day event.
Where to Meet - Carter Caves State Park at the Welcome Center on the way up the hill into the park.
When to Meet - The park has participants meeting at 10:00 AM. Plan to be there at 9:15 to allow for transit issues, breakfast along the way, restroom before shoving off, and getting your gear together. You will also have some paperwork to complete while all of this is going on. Get there early.
Reservations - You must make your own individual reservations with the park at [masked]. This is the only way that you will have a spot for your boat on their trailer and a seat in their shuttle van.
Reservations Update from the Park - As of Monday March 11th at 1:00 PM there were only four remaining spots. Do not count on making your reservations on the day of the trip.
Reservation Cancellation - If the park cancels due to water conditions, they will notify you individually and will grant you a full refund. If you decide to cancel for your own reasons, this must be at least 48 hours in advance of the trip to get a refund...that's 10:00 AM on Thursday morning. Otherwise, you will probably have the satisfaction of knowing that you've contributed to the support of Kentucky state parks.
Cost - $25 per person. The park accepts credit cards through their toll-free number above.
Weather Forecast - As best known on Thursday evening with an update to attendees within 24 hours or the night before if things get really shaky. If it's simply raining but the water conditions remain good, the park will go with the trip and you should dress accordingly.
Driving Time - Expect about 2.5 hours from when you cross the Ohio River in the Cincinnati area. You will be on some twisting and winding country roads so add an hour for everything that can possibly go wrong.
Driving Directions - Get on the AA Highway heading east. Exit at SR 2 / SR 7 and head south. Where SR 7 splits off to the left (toward Grayson) keep going straight. Where SR 2 meets SR 474, turn left on SR 2. AT SR 182 / Carter Caves Road, turn left. This will lead you to the park entrance.
What To Bring - Your boat (they do not provide rentals), all your usual gear, PFD, sun hat, cool-weather clothing, water, lunch or snacks, sun screen, flash light for the cave, and shoes with solid tread (more so than typical water shoes). And if you get wet, some dry clothes in a water-tight sack would sure be a good thing to have with you.
Restrooms - At the Welcome Center and when you return. Otherwise, in the woods.
Camping - Carter Caves has a very nice state-park campground with typically excellent facilities. The campground opens for the season on March 15th so you can make reservations. Tom and Gen will make this decision on camping based on temperature and weather conditions. Otherwise, make your own decision and reservations and if it looks favorable, maybe we can share a site with a gathering around a fire. All of this is to be determined.
Post-Paddle Sustenance - The park is isolated in the hills of Kentucky so heading into town is not a likely option. However, inside the park is Tierney's Cavern restaurant. The hours are not posted on the park web site, but lunch and dinner is served. Or we could manage a sort-of picnic pot-luck near the Welcome Center.
Liability Waiver - As always, by joining in this event you are acknowledging that you have read and agree to abide by the Tri-State Kayakers liability waiver. You can find this waiver in the Files section of the Tri-State Kayakers web site. Also expect to sign off on the park's own liability waiver.
If the locals are right
this should be an excellent trip