New chartered Kentucky River riverboat tour available in Clark County

Published 11:30 am Monday, June 24, 2024

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In places like Frankfort, chartered riverboat tours along the Kentucky River have long been promoted as tourist or recreational opportunities. 

A new one is now being offered for Clark Countians. 

The first and—to date—only chartered river tour of the Kentucky River Tour off Lock 10, also known as Ford Pool, is now available at Three Trees Canoe & Kayak rental service at 300 Athens Boonesboro Road. 

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The tour is available courtesy of Nathan and Jessa Turner, owners of HomeGrown HideAways in Berea. They have a 30-foot pontoon boat with a capacity for ten passengers, five if fishing. 

“Boonesboro was the closest [ramp] that we could get the boat in and out of the water, and then going down, we saw this place, and we said. ‘Oh, maybe we [should] rent dock space; that way, we don’t have to haul the boat back and forth from Berea,’” said Jessa Turner. “We can go between Boonesboro [State Park] and Valley View [Ferry], and if you want to do the whole round trip, it’s [going to] take at least five to six hours.” 

The available excursions can be chosen for anywhere from four to eight hours, while the opportunities for what to do are flexible. 

“We don’t have a set route or destination…if you want to stop and fish or swim or pull over and fish, or if you just want to cruise…you make the call,” she said. “We’ll just chauffeur you.” 

More information, including how to sign up, can be found at 

Navigator Nathan Turner has taken boater education and safety courses for traveling up and down the Kentucky River, which he estimates could reach about 16 feet deep at its center. 

As one travels, there’s much to experience. 

The land offers a rich history, and various animal life—including coyotes, deer, turtles, herons, vultures, and more—can be observed. 

Numerous creek entrances, utilized for paddling, canoeing, and other outdoor activities, are frequently found. 

“You can get out and walk up the creek and fish…that’s where the trout are,” said Nathan Turner. “Boone Creek Outfitters [has] ziplines that run through here, and they also do trout fishing so that you can hire a trout guide.” 

Science enthusiasts can enjoy the sights and smells emanating from air shafts in locations historically used for limestone mining, along with other geological data. 

While the boat travels well below different roadways, individuals can still pass by locations such as Proud Mary’s BBQ in Lexington as they enter Fayette County river property. 

Bathrooms are on the boat, though individuals are encouraged to utilize them beforehand. 

Other amenities are also available, such as life jackets, fishing poles, bug spray, and sunscreen. 

The variety of opportunities offers plenty of satisfaction, which the Turners look to pass on. 

“I just like being on the boat,” Jessa Turner said. “It’s [a] place where I don’t work.”