Troop 868 in Action

GREEN RIVER CANOE TRIP (April, 2003)

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A planned 4-day, 45 mile float during spring break had to be shortened to a 20 mile weekend trip when one of the Assistant Scoutmasters became ill.  But things worked out fine as overcast skies, cooler temperatures, and rain took their toll.  By the time we reached the take-out point on Sunday afternoon, everyone had had enough canoeing and was ready to go home for a nice, warm shower! 

The troop's first stop on Saturday morning was at the Visitor's Center to obtain a back-country camping permit.  The unit then put into the Green River at Dennison Ferry just inside the boundary of Mammoth Cave National Park about 10:30 AM.  A comfortable first day float downstream included a lunch stop at one of the several islands and ended with a stop at Cave Island about 3:30 PM on Saturday afternoon.  The group had initially planned to camp on this island, but decided the rocky/sandy/muddy ground and lack of any significant wind break were less than ideal.  So we rowed across and established camp on the riverbank across from the island.  After a hearty dinner of beef stew, the entire group was in bed and asleep by 8:30 PM!  Total distance traveled was about 7 miles.

Sunday morning included breakfast and worship before breaking camp and continuing downstream.  The first half of the 13-mile trip was characterized by chilly wind and the last half by rain that alternated between light sprinkles and steady showers.  The take-out  was at Houchins Ferry, still within the boundaries of the Mammoth Cave National Park.

The trip was fun, but exhausting.  The cliffs along the riverbanks were spectacular and included numerous caves and overhangs.  There were also several small caves at water level that we were able to row into.  We observed wild turkeys, hawks, blue jays, deer, frogs, a snake, and water turtles.  Being early spring, we weren't bothered by any flying insects.

While totally navigable, the banks of the Green River were fairly steep and places to put in or take out were few and far between.  More experienced canoeists (or those seeking more challenge) could put into the river at the US Hwy 31 bridge near Munfordville.  The float from that point to reach the national park boundary is about 18 miles.  For novices (or those seeking less challenge), we'd recommend launching at Dennison Ferry (as we did) then ending at the Green River Ferry (just past Cave Island) and within walking distance (about 1 mile) to the Mammoth Cave Visitor's Center via the Echo River Trail.  This trip would be about 7 miles and could easily be done in one day.

Philip and Mr. McClure have it all under control. Alex and Flo not far behind.
Chris and Paul pull up to the island to eat lunch. Scoutmaster Bob Meek and Philip pose for a Kodak moment before lunch.
Flo gets his tent ready for the night. Shane and Tyler fashion an open shelter using ropes and a plastic tarp.
Tim's better side! Alex shows that the bowman pulls his weight, too.
Mr. McClure and Philip supervise as Shane fills in the fire pit used to cook Sunday lunch.  Tyler stands ready with another pot of water and Paul brings a trash bag. Who says you can't turn 5 canoes into a raft?  Would that be Scoutmaster Meek in the middle boat wearing the straw hat?  (Photo by Dave)