MOREHEAD, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you like water, Cave Run Lake, south of Morehead, is a paradise.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created Cave Run Lake over nearly a decade between 1965 and 1974, damming the Licking River to fill it in. The water covers 8,000 acres. There's plenty of room for boating, fishing, water-skiing, tubing, or a little low-key fun.
"For me, it's the peace and quiet. It's the wind-down," said Lawrence Hackworth, owner of Cave Run Lake Kayaking Adventures.
"I started this five years ago to bring something to the area that people could afford to do. It's $5 per hour, per person. Children 12 and under are free in a double kayak with an adult," Hackworth said.
Hackworth takes first-timers to an area called Ramey Creek. It's an offshoot of the lake with quiet, calm water and plenty of room to learn.
"Usually, where I set up, it's very quiet. They like the relaxation. They like little to no boat traffic. The boat traffic scares them. They assume they're going to flip in the kayak. I usually put first-timers in a really safe kayak. That way they can feel comfortable. I give them some instructions. I make sure they're comfortable before they go out," he said.
A lot of people come first for the kayaking but then discover that sightseeing is excellent as well.
"For some people, they like to look for wildlife. I had some people one time that seen a bear. They were within a hundred feet of the bear. It was eating blackberries, and they got photos of it. They slowly backed up, went away after they got their photos. It's all in what you're looking for," he said.
Kayaking is the kind of thing Hackworth says everyone should be able to experience.
"I grew up in a family of seven kids, so there were nine of us. It was hard for my parents to afford things for seven people to do. I feel like, even if you've got a family with seven kids and you want to come for an hour, that's $35. It's really important to me. We come from Eastern Kentucky, and there's a lot of low-income people here that can't afford things. I want it affordable to everyone. I don't want any child to think 'I can't afford this. My parents can't afford this', because, at $5 an hour, I feel like everything is affordable," he said.