DAM RELEASE PADDLE - Barren River

Join us for this beautiful and swift run down Barren River. The dam for Barren River Lake is releasing water in the fall and especially in November. This makes our paddle a fast moving 15 miles that can be completed in about 4.5-5 hours!

We will picnic in the scenic Tailwater Park area of Barren River Lake before setting off. This location only has port-a-pots open at this time of the year and a nice boat ramp for putting-in. We will take out at Martinsville Ford. We'll lunch at the picnic tables before setting off.

This paddle is a class I, suitable for paddlers who are comfortable on class I and experienced paddlers. This trip can only be done this quickly when the dam is releasing - so don't miss it. Meet-up location information: The Tailwater Park entrance road is at the south end of the dam. Follow signs into recreation area. Approximately 19 miles from Bowling Green, KY.

**NOT A SUITABLE TRIP FOR 1ST TIME PADDLERS OR CHILDREN. EVERYONE MUST WEAR THEIR LIFE-VEST THE WHOLE TRIP.


DISCLAIMER: Canoeing and kayaking are inherently dangerous sports. This website’s information is provided with the understanding that the providers are not engaged in rendering advice on technical matters, equipment performance, safety or any other aspects of the sport. The advice or recommendations made by any other visitor to this site may not reflect the opinions of the site providers.

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of Bowling Green Canoe and Kayak, in regard to any meeting, gathering or excursion arising from the activities of Bowling Green Canoe and Kayak are not responsible for the safety of any participants in such meeting, gathering or excursion. Participants in such activities are solely responsible for their own safety. By utilizing the services of this website and participating in any activities resulting there from, you agree to release the providers of this website and the organizers and members of Bowling Green Canoe and Kayak from any and all liability for loss or injury.

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  • Maryellen S.

    Great paddle, great weather, great folks...what more could you ask!?!?! Made some new friends camping and kayaking; always fun! Camping was a little nippy at night (low 30's) and frosty, misty mornings, but the warmth of the campfires, some of the best beef stew ever put in my mouth (courtesy of Jacqueline), scrumptious sausage/egg burrito (courtesy of Dick & Bubba D Duane), gravy & biscuits and hot coffee (courtesy of Uncle Don), and 48 do-nuts (courtesy of Kirk & Tim), made for an excellent campout at the tailwater for 2 nights! Coyotes got a little close on Saturday night but they feasted on whatever they were catching and stayed away! Eagle sighting before taking off down the Barren made my day...saw a few hawks, cows, and there was some seriously "funny" water, lots of squirrely swirlies! Thanks everyone for a safe and fun day on the Barren!

    3 · November 11, 2013

    • Jacqueline R.

      You are too kind! I am ready to do it again...isn't a kayak camp trip in order soon!!!!

      1 · November 23, 2013

  • Duane L B.

    Another great day on the water with some great people. Met some new friends and enjoyed the camping at the tail waters in addition to the paddle.

    4 · November 10, 2013

    • Jacqueline R.

      I loved that campground and looking forward to the next adventure!

      1 · November 23, 2013

  • Gail T.

    weather was perfect.

    November 14, 2013

  • Kevin

    Okay, when you say "chidren" i assume you mean < 12 years old. i am planning on bringing my 13 (almost 14) year old son. Will probably use my two seater. This will not be his first paddle.

    1 · November 6, 2013

    • Kevin

      Thanks Maryellen! I will!

      1 · November 11, 2013

    • Maryellen S.

      And bring your son :)

      November 12, 2013

  • Tim R.

    An excellent day on the water with some excellent people

    November 11, 2013

  • John B.

    Back and legs aren't working well. Using my walker.

    1 · November 8, 2013

    • Maryellen S.

      Oh, John, so sorry. Was looking forward to seeing you!

      November 8, 2013

    • Maryellen S.

      Thanks, John, for coming to see us off! Wished you could've come with us...it was a fun paddle with NO mishaps, even though there were several places where there could've been! :)

      1 · November 11, 2013

  • Jeramy R.

    gonna have to cancel out on this one, church duties. Maybe next time.

    1 · November 8, 2013

  • Mike M.

    Great paddle, thanks to Joe and Duane. My GPS said we went 17.05 miles.

    3 · November 9, 2013

    • Maryellen S.

      The GPS on Ahyoka Ama said 17.35, and I stay pretty much in the middle unless there's an obstacle in the middle LOL, so I'm sure they quote it as 17.50 :)

      November 11, 2013

  • Jerry H.

    Hate to miss this paddle. Best time of the year to be outdoors. Got a HOT date with my wife, Patsy, for our 42 nd anniversary. Everybody have a blast and someone take my place and help L A U N C H mike for me. Stay dry.

    2 · November 8, 2013

    • Deborah P.

      Happy Anniversary!!!

      1 · November 9, 2013

    • Maryellen S.

      Hope you two did what makes you Happy, Happy, Happy! :) Missed ya!

      November 11, 2013

  • matt w.

    Everyone have fun in the Morning. It is the opening weekend for Deer season(rifle) so I will be hunting with my son instead of paddling ! Be careful as you may not want to wander too far from the river. Bullets will be flying !

    1 · November 8, 2013

    • Maryellen S.

      Ya, we heard them!!! Hope you bagged one! :)

      November 11, 2013

    • Maryellen S.

      Dan, love venison...bring it!!

      November 11, 2013

  • Chris O.

    Joe & Duane-thanks for a great paddle, what a blast! Always love seeing peeps I haven't paddled w/in a while, & meeting new ones! Had a great time camping both nights & Jacqueline, it is indeed a small world! Thanks Maryellen for letting us share your campsite! (You didn't snore that loud!) And Duane, Pete & I had a great paddle on the Barren Lake the next day as well, couldn't have asked for a better weekend! Can't wait to see you guys again!

    1 · November 11, 2013

  • Teri

    Sounds like it was a good time for all. I had a wonderful time; paddling and meeting new people. Let's do it again!!!!

    3 · November 10, 2013

  • Jacqueline R.

    I had a wonderful time on the paddle but, It's always a plus to meet new people who also share a mutual love for kayaking!!!

    6 · November 10, 2013

  • Powell A.

    great paddle! good to have some new folks, and to see a few we have not seen in awhile

    3 · November 10, 2013

  • Ann

    Great paddle today. Awesome weather and great company.

    2 · November 9, 2013

  • Jonathan R.

    Just FYI: I measured the distance from the Tailwater putin to Martinsville Ford as being about 17.5 miles.

    1 · November 8, 2013

  • Tammy Willinger F.

    Have fun!!

    November 8, 2013

  • Andrea W.

    I will meet you all tomorrow at the put in! Have fun tonight!

    2 · November 8, 2013

  • Powell A.

    Got word that there are plenty of available campsites.

    1 · November 8, 2013

    • Jacqueline R.

      That's great. I'm packing up now.

      1 · November 8, 2013

    • Maryellen S.

      Packed and ready to rumble!!!!! Hope to get there to at least get my tent up before dark...otherwise, that's what headlamps are for...no worries.

      1 · November 8, 2013

  • J P Morgan S.

    Thought I was signed up for this paddle,but I won't be able to make it, will be out of state for a week.

    November 6, 2013

  • Joe M.

    Weather is looking fantastic for Saturday! While it's going to be 60 outside, you still need to dress appropriately for the water temperature. I'm only going to suggest no cotton clothing. If you get wet in cotton clothing, you get cold very fast!

    3 · November 4, 2013

    • Jason S.

      Allie as it says in the paddle description - "**NOT A SUITABLE TRIP FOR 1ST TIME PADDLERS OR CHILDREN. EVERYONE MUST WEAR THEIR LIFE-VEST THE WHOLE TRIP."

      November 6, 2013

    • Maryellen S.

      Allie, this annual paddle has never been a beginners' paddle or for children. I haven't checked on how much water is being released, but the current can be very fast and make the water levels much higher than normal, making any type of rescue very challenging. The weather is going to be nice but the water is about 45-50 deg. and the outside temp is at the high going to maybe reach 60 deg. and potential for hypothermia quickly setting in a very real concern. That's why it is not a suitable trip for first time paddlers or children.

      3 · November 6, 2013

  • Deborah P.

    What's the weather going to be for Friday ???

    October 31, 2013

    • Jacqueline R.

      See.... It's has changed for Sat since last evening!!

      November 1, 2013

    • Jacqueline R.

      Woo Hoo! Weather is looking fabulous for the entire weekend! I camped three nights on The Piney two weeks ago and it was soooooo cold I used an entire rick of wood those days. This girl cannot get enough camping!

      1 · November 6, 2013

  • Don A.

    I just drove by and Obamas administration has reopened the Tailwater Campground and launching ramp for free use.

    2 · October 27, 2013

    • Duane L B.

      that is correct Jacqueline

      1 · November 3, 2013

    • Jacqueline R.

      Good deal & thank you, Duane.

      November 3, 2013

  • Allie P.

    Would anyone have an extra kayak they wouldn't mind renting out? If not, we will just use Gander mountains loaner

    November 3, 2013

    • Jason S.

      Allie: Matt Woodring has rental boats you might check with him.

      November 3, 2013

    • Allie P.

      Tnx!

      November 3, 2013

  • Allie P.

    10-12 foot

    October 31, 2013

  • Allie P.

    Ohbummer hits the nail on the head! That's the best one I've heard since Nobsmma!

    1 · October 30, 2013

  • Allie P.

    Is this near Baileys Point? Thinking setting up camp the night before would be really fun with a good fire!

    2 · October 10, 2013

    • Ann

      Wish it was this weekend

      October 28, 2013

    • Ann

      The Beave strikes again huh

      October 29, 2013

  • Joe M.

    Looks like we have another TN invasion coming for this paddle :)

    1 · October 29, 2013

    • Allie P.

      Yea but I know you can handle it mike

      October 29, 2013

    • Allie P.

      Joe rather, sorry about that

      October 29, 2013

  • Allie P.

    Wet suits really are hot in this area with the temps this warm! Good for whitewater!

    1 · October 28, 2013

  • Jacqueline R.

    Looking forward to this paddle! Last month while everyone else was at GAF I was in BG at the Corvette Plant for an event and drove across The Barren River at sunset on a dinner drive & it was absolutely gorgeous.

    1 · October 28, 2013

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