Beargrass Creek & Paddle Safety


With a few precautions the lower reaches of Beargrass Creek is a safe and enjoyable paddling location.
  • Follow recognized safety procedures: Wear a life jacket, watch the weather, and don’t paddle alone. Click here for a Paddlers safety check list,
  • Avoid going into the commercial boat channel on the Ohio and do not paddle while the river is in flood stage. 
  • Water Quality: Beargrass Creek is an urban stream, and as with all urban streams it is polluted. The MSD – Project Win (Waterway’s Improvement Now) maintains a website to inform the public of current conditions. They use a three color code system:
    • Green = conditions are normal
    • Yellow = somewhere in Metro Louisville there are water quality problems
    • Red = due to heavy rains, the streams are more polluted

All streams are more polluted immediately following a heavy rain, MSD advices citizens that it takes 48 hours after the rain stops for conditions to return to normal. Check the website before you go exploring. While paddling on urban streams be careful not to splash water on each other, do not drink the water and make sure you thoroughly wash your hands before eating or drinking.

For more information on Beargrass Creek, check out the stream’s "report card”