Elkhorn January

Posted by Spalding Hurst

January 30, 2024

After weeks of heavy rainfall, Elkhorn Creek in Frankfort, Kentucky, was an irresistible call to adventure for any kayaking enthusiast. This January, I joined members of the Viking Canoe Club for a remarkable journey down the creek. The rains had pushed the water levels to about 4,000 cubic feet per second, creating perfect conditions for some exhilarating creek surfing.

Our group met early in the day, the air filled with a mix of excitement and the crisp freshness of a warm winter morning. As we geared up, there was a palpable sense of camaraderie among us. The Viking Canoe Club is known for its passionate paddlers, and today was no exception. We shared tips, checked our equipment, and discussed the potential surfing spots we’d encounter along the creek.

Launching our kayaks into Elkhorn Creek felt like entering a different world. The swollen, lively waters were a stark contrast to the quiet, winter-bare trees lining the banks. The recent rains had washed away built-up wood and debris, leaving the creek clear and inviting.

As we paddled downstream, the creek presented us with numerous surfing opportunities. Each spot had its own unique challenge, but the thrill of successfully surfing these natural waves was unmatched. The creek’s flow was strong, yet manageable, allowing us to navigate and play in the rapids with a sense of controlled exhilaration.

One of the most memorable moments was when we reached a particularly inviting wave. We took turns surfing it, whooping and cheering each other on. The sense of community among the club members was strong; we were competitors in spirit but supportive friends at heart.

The journey down Elkhorn Creek was not just about the physical challenge and the thrill of the surf. It was a day of connection – with nature, the water, and fellow kayaking enthusiasts. As we concluded our adventure and pulled our kayaks ashore, there was a shared feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. This trip down Elkhorn Creek was more than just a day of kayaking; it was a testament to the joy and adventure that can be found in the heart of Kentucky’s natural landscapes, even in the depths of winter.

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