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Explore the Outdoors

Kentucky River Adventures

Explore the natural beauty of Kentucky on your own boat. Travel from Carrollton, KY through the locks of the Kentucky River to Frankfort.

2024 Lock Schedule

Open Weekends May 24th – October 27th, weather permitting.

Lock 1: Fridays-Sundays and holidays 10:30am to 6:45pm

Locks 2-4: Fridays-Sundays and holidays 10:am to 7:15pm

Holiday Lock Openings: Mon May 27, Mon July 4, Mon Sep 2

  • Lock 1 – Carrollton, KY
  • Lock 2 – Lockport, KY
  • Lock 3 – Monterey, KY
  • Lock 4 – Frankfort, KY – portage available

Beginning September 6th, 2024, locking hours Friday-Sunday will move back one hour and will be Lock 1 – 9:30am and Locks 2-4 from 9:00am to 6:15pm

Learn more from the Kentucky River Authority.

Free Public Docking
  • River View Park- 200 ft dock
  • Blanton’s Landing – 30 ft dock
Boat Fuel

Fuel is available at:

Benson Creek Marina  

Frankfort Boat Club Dock

101 Riverboat Landing, Frankfort, KY 40601

(502) 330-2411
Downtown Accommodations for Boaters

Boater’s rate is available at the Capital Plaza Hotel, with pre-arranged shuttle service available between the hotel and the marina.

Boat Tours on the Kentucky River

Catch the Bourbon Boat

Experience the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® by boat – a unique way to learn about the Kentucky River’s influence on the history of bourbon. Hop aboard the “Trace of Kentucky” or the “Bourbon Belle” and come see why early whiskey distillers cherished this river and decided to build their fortunes on its banks. Reservations required.

Bourbon Paddle Tours

Canoe Kentucky’s most popular tour, the bourbon paddle tour, is a guided paddle down the Kentucky River through Lock 4 with a stop at Buffalo Trace Distillery for a tour and tasting. There is nowhere else in the county that offers a look at the bourbon distilling industry the way that this tour does! Lunch included.

Rockin’ Thunder

Departing from Madison and heading up the Ohio River to Carrollton, KY then up the Kentucky River through remote and scenic canyons, you’ll find yourself in Frankfort Kentucky where you’ll tour the historic district, visit unique shops, and maybe even catch some live music. After a night’s rest at the Capital Plaza Hotel and a tour of Buffalo Trace Distillery you will head back down the river to Madison Indiana. Reservations required. 

Elkhorn Creek Adventures

The Elkhorn Creek is the most popular paddling stream in the state of Kentucky. Whether you are looking for whitewater, remote scenery, small mouth bass fishing or family floats, the Elkhorn is the perfect stream for you.

Canoe Kentucky

Canoe Kentucky also offers rentals (canoes, kayaks, SUP boards, and rafts) as well as fully guided adventures for you and/ or your group.


River View Park

Elkhorn Creek

Salato Wildlife Education Center

West Sixth Brewery Farm

Public Boat Ramps

Benson Creek

Old Lawrenceburg Road

Frankfort Boat Club

Hiking and Camping Adventures

Frankfort Trails

Josephine Sculpture Park

Vaughn Branch Nature Preserve

Fort Hill in Leslie Morris Park

Riverview Park

Lakeside Park

Thorobred Trail

Buckley Wildlife Sancturary

Cove Spring Park

Salato Wildlife Education Center

Capital View Park

West Sixth Brewery Farm

Learn More


Elkhorn Creek RV Park

Kentucky River Campground

Still Waters Campground

More Outdoor Adventures in Frankfort


Liberty Hall Historic Sites

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Castle & Key Distillery

Kentucky State Capitol

Bourbon Blazer

Frankfort’s very own beer bike! Join The Bourbon Blazer for a fantastic 2-hour tour exploring downtown Frankfort. Perfect for up to 13 people.

Frankfort Trolley

Ride the Frankfort Trolley! This FREE transportation operates April – October, Tuesday through Saturday. The narrated ride is a 45-minute loop that goes from the Visitor Center in historic downtown Frankfort, to the Kentucky Capitol and Buffalo Trace Distillery.


Josephine Sculpture Park

Public Art Downtown

Public Art Walking Tour


Kentucky State Capitol Grounds

Bourbon & History Walking Tour

EHT Audio Tour

Historic Frankfort Walking Tour

Learn More