Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway designated as Kentucky’s first national water trail

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 1:33 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Kentucky’s reputation as a hot spot for outdoor adventures turns up a notch!

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announces 10 new national recreation trails in eight states, including Kentucky’s Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway. On its path through Hart County, the Green River includes stretches of springs, blue holes and the dramatic 300 Springs Waterfall, which is only accessible by boat. Kentucky’s first national water trail also flows through Mammoth Cave National Park and parts of Edmonson County.

The newly designated trails join a network of more than 1,300 existing national recreation trails, which can be found in every U.S. state. “As COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and our nation takes a collective and cautious sigh of relief, we need recreational resources now more than ever to strengthen physical, social and mental health across our country,” says Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “National recreation trails boost local economies and provide communities with safe, equitable access to the outdoors.”

The Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway includes 36 miles of navigable waterway and seven public access sites. The Blueway offers paddlers the opportunity to explore the biological and geological wonders offered by the national park and surrounding area. “When it comes to outdoor adventures, it doesn’t get much better than canoeing and kayaking in Kentucky, especially along the cool waters of the Green River,” adds Horse Cave/Hart County Tourism Executive Director Sandra T. Wilson. “To help plan canoeing and kayaking experiences this summer on the Green River, Big Buffalo Crossing Canoe and Kayak and The Lone Wolf offer rentals, fishing supplies and planning advice.”

Cave Country Trails Project Director Rachelle Wright led the submission process for the national designation, “So many locals consider Green River their backyard, including my family. As a Hart County native and the Project Director for Cave Country Trails, it has been a years’-long dream for the Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway to be recognized nationally as a recreation water trail. Being the first in the state to receive this distinction adds to the excitement!” Horse Cave/Hart County Tourism is a partner in Cave Country Trails - along with Edmonson, Barren and Warren counties.

“When the national trail system sets aside a trail as saying this is, you know, worthy of national attention. We will receive more travelers to the area for recreation, as well as giving our locals just a sense of pride,” said Wright.

The national recreation trails program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, in conjunction with multiple federal and nonprofit partners. A database of recreation trails across the country is maintained through American Trails, a nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests, including hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, water sports, cross-country skiing, trail motorcycling, ATVs, etc. Horse Cave/Hart County Tourism and Cave Country Trails make it simple to plan a trip on the Green and Nolin Rivers Blueway. Several river trip options may be found on and

About Horse Cave/Hart County Tourism – Hart County, located in south-central Kentucky, is dotted with gently rolling hillsides and steep “knobs” in the county’s rural countryside, as well as caves, sinkholes and underground streams. A dream for water adventure lovers, Nolin River forms the western boundary of the county, and the Green River winds through the center, flowing east to west in a series of loops and bends. Hart County contains five of Kentucky’s ten largest springs, including Gorin Mill Spring, the largest in the state. To learn more about Horse Cave / Hart County, please visit, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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