Kayaking Harrods Creek in Louisville, KY

Harrods Creek in Louisville, KY
Harrods Creek

Trail: Harrods Creek

Trailhead: 6530 Montero Dr, Prospect, KY 40059 – Harrods Creek Park

Fees: Free to launch your boat here

Miles: Depends on water levels but normally up to ~5 miles

Kayak Trip Tips: No shuttle needed as the creek is calm enough for a paddle back up stream. Multiple launch sites but today we are focusing on Harrods Creek Park

This past weekend was Derby Weekend in Louisville, KY and we lucked out with a beautiful two days for being out at the track or in our case, hitting the water for our first kayak outing of the year. The girl and I loaded up the gear, corralled the Pomeranians and headed to Harrods Creek.  To me Harrods Creek is the easiest way to get out for a scenic paddle in the Louisville Metro area.  

We accessed the creek from Harrods Creek Park which is located in the Hunting Creek neighborhood.  After following directions through the neighborhood there is a small sign for the park turnoff. Drive slowly down the 1 ½ lane road to the parking lot. There you will find a small parking lot and a bathroom. I have been to this park many times and have never seen the bathroom open though.

Harrods Creek Park Parking Lot
Harrods Creek Park Parking Lot leading to the boat launch

After unloading your boats and gear in the parking lot you have an approximate 150 yard walk to the boat launch site.  They recently paved most of this path and there are signs to clearly mark which way you go. There is a very nice concrete boat launch site here.

Boat Launch for Harrods Creek from Harrods Creek Park
Boat Launch for Harrods Creek from Harrods Creek Park

After the launch you can either turn left and head upstream or right and head downstream.

If you head left you can paddle ~ 0.8 miles before you hit shallow areas that you can either walk your boat across or I most often just turn around and head back down river.  It gets progressively shallow and walking becomes more frequent the further upstream you head. We headed up river today in hopes of seeing Great Blue Heron. I have had a growing interest in birding over the past few years and find the long waterbirds to be majestic. Great Blue Heron are known to nest here in the Spring. We happen to see two heron and a Great Egret on today’s trip. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a good photograph.  

The Girl and the Poms enjoying Harrods Creek
The Girl and the Poms enjoying Harrods Creek

We headed back downstream passing the launch site. The combination of tree coverage, partly sunny skies and a calm breeze made for a wonderful day out. As we lazily paddled, the dogs enjoyed the breeze through their hair and we took in the sites of many deer, countless turtles, some beautiful woodpeckers and a generally beautiful setting.  

A small turtle sun bathing in the afternoon sun.
A small turtle sun bathing in the afternoon sun.

After being out for about 3 miles we decided to head back and call it a day. On the way back we quickly took an offshoot and headed up Wolf Penn Branch.  This creek narrowed substantially and after only 0.2 miles the path was blocked by several downed trees. I will be checking this out again as it was stunningly beautiful.

Wolf Penn Branch just upstream from Harrods Creek
Wolf Penn Branch just upstream from Harrods Creek

The rest of trip back upstream to the launch site was uneventful with the exception of a few sprinkles that started to move in. We loaded up our gear, and the dogs passed out for a well-deserved nap as we drove home. If you are looking for an easy paddle around the Louisville Metro area, check out Harrods Creek. There are other launch sites which I will be covering later so be sure to check that out.

One of many deer seen along the banks of Harrods Creek
One of many deer seen along the banks of Harrods Creek

Have you been out on Harrods Creek? If so, let me know what your thoughts are. I love to hear about all of your adventures. Thank you for taking the time to read about mine.

The Girl and Pomeranians on Kayaking on Harrods Creek
Everyone happy out on Harrods Creek

* An Aside: On the more upstream stretch of the creek there is a waterfall that you may hear people talk about or you may see people get out and hike up to. Please note the waterfall is on private property and the property owners have made it clear that they do not want paddlers on their land. They use to allow people to hike up to the waterfall but there was significant littering and disregard for their property. So now it is off-limits, please respect that.  

Published by Natural Wanderer

NaturalWanderer.com

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