Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony today, marking the reopening of the Nolin River boat ramp near the tail waters of Nolin Lake.
Almost all of Nolin River has been inaccessible since November of 2016 when Lock number 6 and dam breached. Once the dam was removed, the water level dropped tremendously in the Nolin, which caused dozens of trees to fall into the river as the root systems fell victim to erosion.
According to Deryck Rogers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the river is now accessible thanks to the efforts of USACE team members, who provided the labor and resources to clear the debris and downed trees along the river.
"We estimate there were hundreds of trees and thousands of saw cuts that were required to get those trees out of there," said Rogers. "We knew that as soon as the Lock and Dam number 6 were removed that the demand for water recreation here was going to be huge, so we had to figure out a way to make that happen."
He said the National Park Service partnered with the USACE, which allowed the work to be done.
As a result, the trees were cleared and the river is now accessible once again for canoers, kayakers, and those in small boats, as celebrated today with the cutting of the ribbon at the boat ramp.
Refreshments were provided at today's event by the Friends of Nolin Lake.
Chamber Director Rhonda Clemmons said it was a team effort and the Chamber is happy to part of the ceremony.
"This is a great move forward for Edmonson County Tourism's efforts in becoming a Trail Town," she said. "We anticipate a large crowd for Saturday's Trail Town Day. The Chamber is proud to help celebrate this reopening and we look forward to seeing water recreation happening again on the Nolin River.