Russell Fork with the Vikings

Posted by Spalding Hurst

October 16, 2005

IMG_1712


Russell Fork River

Release level ~800cfs

Jay and I went to the Russell Fork with the Viking Canoe Club and had a great weekend.  On day 1 we ran the Pound and Upper Russell Fork at the standard release level.  There were about 25 Vikings in the group.  A very strong showing.  It was fun to run a rapid then turn around and get to see about 20 more runs of what you just did.  We camped at the Breaks Interstate Park ($9 per night), we were off by ourselves there in section B.  The camping down at Ratliff Hole ($10 per night) looks cool too.  This is where the gorge runners camp.

Jay first drop


The upper has some really good technical rapids. I always forget the order and how far until 20 Stitches each time I go. But after the Railroad rapid there is one more rapid and then you are at 20 Stitches. It’s right after a big turn in the river. Afterwards there are 3 or 4 more good class II-II+ rapids.

After our run down the upper we hiked into the gorge and checked out El Horrendo and Triple Drop.  We hiked in from the Garden Hole side. I think hiking in from Garden Hole or the road close to the gorge take out are about the same in time walking the tracks.  The more I look at the gorge section the more I start to think I can run it. But I ain’t going to. Yet.

IMG_1802


On day 2 we rant the Lower Russell Fork, putting on above Rat Hole which is a pretty good surfing spot.  The damn released water didn’t reach the lower section until 12:45 so we had to wait for that.  It was cool to watch the water rise so fast and I was able to get 6 kayaks onto my truck. A new record.

Meat Grinder on the lower section was the scariest rapid.  It turned out to be pretty easy, but it was exciting to run.  I guess it shouldn’t be rated higher than 20 Stitches, but it looks like it should. I have video of my run through on it here.

Awesome trip.  I hope to do the Russell Fork every year in October.  Great weather and a great river that’s only 4 hours (from Louisville) away!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…

Elkhorn January

Elkhorn January

After weeks of heavy rainfall, Elkhorn Creek in Frankfort, Kentucky, was an irresistible call to...

Fishing at Lynn Camp Creek

Fishing at Lynn Camp Creek

Discover the enchanting outdoors at Lynn Camp Creek, Kentucky. Despite elusive trout, high waters, and the allure of fly fishing, the magic of nature calls, inviting you to join its embrace.

Reflection From the Lakes

Reflection From the Lakes

Rediscovering the Great Outdoors: A Reflection from Land Between the Lakes As I recently camped...