Link to the Kinniconick Creek Natural History Article
May 29, 2013
Reading this article motivated me to take my kayak out on Kinniconick Creek.
I discovered that like most other creeks in our area, much of Kinniconick Creek is interrupted by
shallow stone rapids that require portage of the kayak. I did find a really nice area with long stretches of
2-4 feet deep water about 4 miles upstream from Garrison. It's the Blivens Corners area. The creek passes through
a wonderfully natural area with little creekside development. The water appears very clean and the air smells of
wildflowers. In a 1.5 mile trip upstream from a little county park swimming beach, I portaged about 5 times. The
portage distances were only a few yards, so it really wasn’t bad at all.
The creek drops in tiers, with stretches of wide deep water in basins created by the gravel moraines/bars. Each
stretch of deep water is about 150 yards (or more) long. The botton is composed of rocks, some quite large, with no
apparent accumulation of sand or mud. The water is moderately clear and water temperature is very pleasant. This is a
very enjoyable area. Bring your swim suit ;)
My last stop was at Garrison. Garrison is on the Ohio River and has a formal boat launching area about a half
mile from the confluence of the Kinniconick and the Ohio. From the boat launch to the Ohio the creek is wide and
deep. Sadly, Ohio River water backs up into the Kinniconick and brings its industrial water quality with it.
As you may know, because the Ohio has been extensively damned and locked, its water level is about 20-30 feet deeper than
it was in its natural state. As a result, the lower Kinniconick is inundated by Ohio River water and is
much wider and deeper than in pre-European times.
While it is easy paddling and there are many large trees along the banks of this part of the creek, it's
really not a very pleasant area to kayak through. The water has kind of an off odor to it and is relatively turbid.
To add a little interest to the trip, I decided to kayak across the "Great River" to the Ohio side. There was a little wind
and it kicked up some moderate chop, but I never felt any danger going or returning.
Next time I'll bring a copy of this article and take some photos of the sights that the author mentioned.
This is a very historic creek and it deserves all the care and recognition that we can give it.
John W. Grace
Carter City, Ky.
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