“Beyond Hidden Cove” Carter County Outdoors by TIM & AMANDA GRIGSBY



Over the past few years the Hidden Cove waterfall on Grayson Lake has gained heavy popularity for kayakers from all around… even as far away as England and Japan!

As mystifying and gorgeous as this hidden waterfall is, we’d like to highlight some other Grayson Lake hot spots for kayakers to add to their priority trip lists!

Grayson Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes we’ve ever experienced, and we are proud that it is practically in our backyard. It surprises us how many county natives have never even visited this magical body of water! This needs to change.

Grayson lake is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington district, and their cooperation and support have allowed us to maneuver the lake and continue to find  something  new every time we visit! 

Grigsby Outdoor Adventures has explored most corners of this lake, and we have compiled our favorite attractions from each lake access point or ramp.

BRUIN RAMP: paddle to the right into the no wake zone. Lake waters end into Bruin creek and there are several cozy coves to venture into for a swim, fish, or lunch! Look for Triangle Rock and take your photo with it in the background. This is the area we conduct our moonlight paddles because if you go at night, the moon raises above the hillside to create the perfect glow! Check with us on upcoming moonlight paddles! If you go to the left from this ramp you can eventually reach the famous Lick Falls but caution to kayaking this way during summer months because it is full wake area and boat traffic is heavy. Experienced paddlers only.

CANEY CREEK RAMP: we love this ramp so much! It’s easy access and if the weather is right you can find several waterfalls along the shoreline including a very large waterfall referred to by some as Crane Falls. There are also clues to Native American civilization and the famed Swift Silver Mines sprinkled through this area. Fascinating! If you paddle far enough you’ll see what some call “Rock House” which is a tall pillar of stone that you can paddle around. High clifflines surround you at some points. Caney creek is off of Ky Rt 504. You can cross the road from this ramp and traverse into the other side, where you can find a waterfall and some ancient rock carvings and signs of old mining evidence. Another great fishing spot.

CLIFTY CREEK RAMP: most know this ramp as the path to the beloved Hidden Cove waterfall … a breathtaking cove lined by cliff with a waterfall flowing down its center. Also from this ramp you will pass V Falls and smaller waterfalls to enjoy. Be sure to paddle under V Falls for good luck! Refreshing! 

There are also a few great spots to swim and have lunch. When coming out of Hidden Cove, look over to the right Cliffline and see how many “faces” you can spot. We found 12 ! There are a few walk down trails from the road above (986) that lead you to swimming and fishing access… even a geocache! We’ll be leading an exciting Glow Paddle from this tamp on July 20th. Look the event up on Facebook. The event is being held by the Army Corps of Engineers, Carter County Tourism, and Elliott County Tourism. 

NEWFOUNDLAND  RAMP: a great trip to here can be experienced leaving from Laurel Gorge in Elliott County. There are gorgeous high Clifflines accessible from this ramp as well! Paddle to the left to reach Newcomb Creek and access to “Killer Falls”… another must see.

DEER CREEK: this ramp  offers a peaceful no wake area for fishing and swimming. There are also many private coves to claim for an afternoon! 

THE SPILLWAY: just below the dam you will find picnicking, playgrounds, fishing and kayak ramp access to the Little Sandy River which can be paddled from this point to a take out on Rt 7, or all the way to Grayson Walk Park or Sports Park if your adventurous for a longer trip. There are a few trails here too. We personally love  the river trail here and there is more geocaching to be had… also a visit to our Friend “Herman”, a VERY VERY old tree on a small path just past the stairs on the river trail. Our wellness hikes are often offered on this trail where one can learn about the benefits of nature on your health and overall life satisfaction. 

SKAGGS FLAT RD ACCESS; a safer and shorter access to The Big Gimlet area (still wake zone though) where you can view Lick Falls. There is a parking and fishing area here. Many go to swim for the day. Paddling to the left will take you to headwaters and creek like setting.

LAUREL CREEK ACCESS/RAMP: this ramp can be found at Laurel Gorge in Elliott County and makes for a fantastic trip to the main lake or Newfoundland ramp.

You can also reach Killer Falls from this route. Beautiful when water is running steady. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here