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Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Kentucky 2021

Kentucky SUP

1: Laurel River Lake

Laurel River Lake SUP

Located next to Corbin, Laurel River Lake is a large 5,600-acre reservoir with 206 miles of shoreline full of campgrounds. Giant Candian Geese and Bald Eagles make their home here in the winter, while everything from tranquil Deer to the Black Bears roam around as they’re beginning to repopulate Kentucky.

Large Black Bass, Rainbow Trout, and Catfish are just a few of the fish that frequent the water, and thanks to local lighting and the clear skies, day and night fishing are popular among visitors. With several guided tours and paddle rental options, stop by Laurel River Lake if you are in southern Kentucky.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 201
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Corbin
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

2: Red River Gorge

Red River Gorge SUP
It’s a bit of a drive from Lexington, but if you can make the journey, you will be amazed by the beautiful sights that await you at the Red River Gorge. If you strap on a headlight and bring the right paddleboard, you can paddle through underground caverns, reaching out to touch the limestone walls that surround you.

If you prefer something less claustrophobic or would rather not be greeted by the Kentucky Brown Bats that live in the area, you can paddle along the Red River itself for a fun and smooth experience. Rainbow Trout have a habit of following paddleboards that drift into the gorge, so even if you aren’t fishing, you’ll get some incredible sights by just looking into the clear water.

For paddlers who like to wander off the beaten path, we highly recommend the Red River Gorge.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 211
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Lexington
Motor Vehicles Allowed: No
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

3: Grayson Lake

Grayson Lake SUP
The 1,500 square acre lake is a popular destination for those visiting the northeast section of Kentucky, with the lake being a part of the greater Grayson Lake State Park. This lake is one of windier, choppy lakes in the state, making it great for surfers and wind foilers looking for some waves.

Grayson Lake is well stocked with fish and is a haven for those interested in taking home a Largemouth, Smallmouth, Hybrid, White, or Spotted Bass. It’s a bit up the reservoir and away from the traditional launching points, but there is also the Grayson Game Refuge Area that will let you get up close to a variety of animals.

Given the sights you’ll see on and off the water, we recommend thinking about paying a visit to Grayson Lake while you’re visiting Kentucky.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 160
Distance to Major Cities: 15 Minutes to Grayson
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

4: Taylorsville Lake

Taylorsville Lake SUP
The 3,000 acres Taylorsville Lake is among the most popular lakes to visit in Kentucky, primarily due to it being the best waterfront for those living in Louisville. Between the weather, the popularity of the water, and the silt that washes down from the Salt River, Taylorsville Lake is traditionally pretty murky when you visit. However, the water is warm and inviting to swim in, and you’ll find it filled with Largemouth Bass, Drum Perch, and Shad if you want to fish.

Blue Heron, Turkey Vultures, and Red-Tailed Hawks will frequently dive down and grab fish from the water, so bringing a camera is a must for those who profess to be bird watchers. If you have a fast paddleboard, you will be interested in the manual Taylorsville Lake Paddle Battle. It is a large event put on for kayakers and paddleboarders held in June.

Whether you’re visiting for fun or competing, definitely consider visiting Taylorsville Lake if you’re in the Louisville area.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 195
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Louisville
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

5: Cumberland Lake

Cumberland Lake SUP
Last but not least, those who are down south in Kentucky will want to stop by massive Lake Cumberland, which features more than 65,000 acres of water to explore along with 1,255 miles of shoreline.

This is one of the top fishing destinations for the state, with record 30+ lbs Sturgeon and 50+ lbs Bass caught at this lake. More than a dozen paddleboard instructors and vendors make their rounds at this lake, offering tours and lessons to new, intermediate, and advanced paddlers alike. While your typical assortment of birds and mammals frequent the shores, bears and bobcats are known to wander around as well. Due to its size, you’ll likely spot something new every day you paddle Cumberland Lake in southern Kentucky.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 194
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Russell Springs, Monticello
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

Conclusion: Plan Your Paddle Board Trip and Have Fun!

Thank you for visiting our top recommendations for paddleboarding in Kentucky! We hope that our list has been helpful. We haven’t had the chance to visit every destination personally. As such, we rely on the advice and reviews of other paddlers and would like to receive your feedback. If you have been to one of these locations or have another spot in Kentucky, let us know by leaving a comment below or sending us an email with your thoughts.

While you’re here, you can also read our latest paddleboard reviews, our instructional guides, and SUP gear recommendations, or visit our top 15 destinations to paddleboard in the United States. We are also posting videos at our SUPBoardGuide.com Youtube channel, so subscribe to that for our latest in-depth paddleboard breakdowns as well!

Bring your sunscreen and stay safe as you have fun paddleboarding in Kentucky!

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Heyo! At SupBoardGuide.com we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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