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Kentucky

Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway

The Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway is located in south-central Kentucky. It includes 29 miles of the Green River and 7 miles of the Nolin.

photo: Paddlers on the Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway

Length: 36.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: National Water Trails Syst
Agency: National Park Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Boating, Motorized
Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Camping
Fishing
Heritage and History
Wildlife Observation

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Location: The Green and Nolin Blueway are located in Mammoth Cave National Park, the Nolin River Lake Tailwater located in the Van Meter Recreation Area and Edmonson County in South Central Kentucky.
State(s): Kentucky
Counties: Hart, Edmonson
Longitude: -86.048835
Latitude: 37.217735

Driving Directions

All of the public river access points for the Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway are located within 30 minutes travel time from I-65 and can be accessed from seven public access sites near the towns of Cave City, Horse Cave, Brownsville, Park City, Glasgow, and Bowling Green and from public rive access points inside Mammoth Cave National Park and Nolan River Lake Tailwater.

Description

The Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway, mostly inside Mammoth Cave National Park but also within Edmonson County and the Nolin Lake Tailwater in south-central Kentucky, includes 36 miles of navigable waterway and 7 public access sites. The 36 miles of navigable waterway and 7 public access sites of the Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway are located predominantly within Mammoth Cave National Park and Edmonson County including the Nolin Lake Tailwater.

Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is heralded as Kentucky's oldest tourist attraction and serves as an anchor for this first segment of a wider regional blueway proposed along the upstream and downstream mileage of the Green River from this project. The purpose of Mammoth Cave National Park is to preserve, protect, interpret and study the internationally-recognized biological and geologic features and processes associated with the longest cave system in the world.

Recreation
The park’s caves, scenic river valleys, bluffs, forests, and abundant wildlife draw visitors to the park. The park offers ranger-led cave tours and surface walks, camping, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, scenic drives, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, accessible trails and picnicking. This breadth of activities is available because Mammoth Cave National Park is a park on two levels – a reclaimed hardwood forest and riverways above and complex cave systems below.

The seven public access launches for the Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway offer the paddler several amenities. These include camping, picnic shelters, public restrooms, wildlife observation, fishing, hiking, and information signage. All sites include boat launches and parking.

Green River
The Green River is the most biologically diverse branch of the Ohio River System, and one of the most biologically diverse rivers in the United States. The largest river basin in Kentucky, the Green drains an area of more than 9,200 square miles as it meanders from east to west for more than 300 miles in south central Kentucky. The flowing water of the Green River is the most dominant force in shaping the regional landscape, characterized by deep valleys and well-incised meanders cutting through the terrain. The Green is an ancient channel, predating the earliest cave development. Ultimately, water in the caves drain to the Green River, creating important streams. Those cave streams inside the park and the park’s underground drainage basins are designated as Outstanding State Resource Waters. The Green River is designated an Outstanding State Resource Water and a State Wild River, providing significant scenic and recreational opportunities.

The Green River is the master stream controlling the geologic development of Mammoth Cave and its world-class karst ecosystem. Springs along Green River provide opportunities to experience the intersection between surface and subsurface environments. Within the park, the Green River bisects two physiographic regions and supports one of the most biodiverse aquatic communities in North America.

Nolin River
The Nolin River is a 104-mile-long tributary of the Green River in central Kentucky in the United States. Via the Green and Ohio rivers, it is a part of the watershed of the Mississippi River. The Nolin River is formed in western Larue County by the confluence of its short North and South Forks, both of which flow for their entire lengths in Larue County; the North Fork flows past Hodgenville, Kentucky. The Nolin then flows generally southwestwardly through or along the boundaries of Hardin, Grayson, Hart and Edmonson counties located in Kentucky. It joins the Green River in the western part of Mammoth Cave National Park, about 2 miles northeast of Brownsville.

Ecological Significance and Abundance of Wildlife
The Green and Nolin rivers possess some of the most diverse fish (more than 80 species) and invertebrate fauna (more than 50 species of mussels, including 7 federally-endangered species) populations in North America. The combination of the topographic variety associated with the karst landscape and the temperate climate of the region provides a number of ecological niches that support an exceptionally diverse assemblage of more than 1,300 vascular flora species, including unusual communities.

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: Water, moderate moving
Water, slow moving
Grass or vegetation

Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:
2021

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip N3 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip N2 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip N1 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip L2 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip L1 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip H3 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip H2 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip H1 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip G4 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip G3 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip G2 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip G1 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip D5 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip D4 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip D3 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip D2 overview
Brochure: Overview of the entire Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip B1 overview
Brochure: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway - Trip D1 overview
Brochure: Nolin Education Photo Sheet
Brochure: General Management Plan 1983
Other: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway Access Points
Other: CREP 2013 Annual Report - condensed version
Other: Recreation information near the Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway
Other: FONSI - Green River Ferry Improvement Project
Other: Foundation Document - Mammoth Cave National Park
Other: Motor Boat Usage on the Green River in 2019
Other: Camping use at Houchin Ferry in 2019
Other: River Camping on the Green River in 2019
Other: Paddling use in Mammoth Cave National Park in 2018 and 2019.
Other: Nolin Tailwater Recreational Use 2015-2019
Website: Cave County (updated link)
Website: Green & Nolin Rivers Blueway

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Deryck Rodgers
Park Manager
Nolin River Lake, USACE
PO Box 339
Bee Spring, KY 42207
(270) 286-4511
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Will Cannon
Edmonson County Judge Executive
Edmonson County Fiscal Court
P.O. Box 353
Brownsville, KY 42210
(270) 597-2819
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Eddie Bruner
Board Chair
Cave Country Trails
P.O. Box 3
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259
(270) 537-5651
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Barclay Trimble
Superintendent
Mammoth Cave National Park
P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY
(270) 758-2180
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Barclay Trimble
Superintendent
National Park Service
P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259
270-758-2185
[email protected]

 

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