Indian Creek, back the way it used to be…

                               at least that’s what they said they were doing.


Indian Creek, in the Red River Gorge, was at one time a stream wild and free. There were folks that lived back there in the woods and even moonshiners that made their “shine” in caves near the creek.

 Indian Creek Riffle - Parham P Baker Photography
                                          Indian Creek Riffle
Then the area along the creek was “tamed.” In an effort to create pools and facilitate driving back along the creek, two low water dams that also served as bridges for road 9B along the creek, were constructed.  This made for a few nice pools, but made it difficult for fish (the stream is stocked with trout) to move upstream.

In 2015 it was announced by KY Fish and Wildlife that improvements were going to be made… and now, in 2017, they are completed.


Maybe yes, maybe no.

The Fish and Wildlife Department did remove the dams, and now the stream once again flows free and oh so very wonderfully clear.  The trout (which I saw many of on the trip this image was made) will once again be stocked and have unfettered access to the upper reaches of Indian Creek.    There are two nice meadows created by the work they did which I wish they would leave as meadows. On my last visit there were crews planting hundreds of trees.  I’ve seen turkey in the meadows.  Oh well.

Ring-Necked Snake - Parham P Baker Photography
         Ring-Necked Snake
They have added port-a-potties, bear proof trash units, and several formal camp sites complete with graveled parking spots.  Folks do camp all up and down both forks of the Indian in open places along the creek, but for me, I would have rather not had “improved” campsites.   Leave it natural I think. There needs to be space we don’t interject ourselves in… that we leave it like we found it, camping or not.   Take only photos and memories, leave only…  the promise to return to a place untainted.

Indian Creek is a very scenic area, loaded with wildflowers and wildlife.   This same trip I saw three flighty wood ducks, a rare find for me.  I’ve found a rather interesting snake as well, a ring-necked snake.  This little guy is very shy and rarely seen.  The one pictured was a mere 4 or 5 inches long, and a bit disturbed that he was, well, disturbed.   Indian Creek is a gem.

Ok..  in defense of, sort of but not really, port-a-potties. One trip in the spring our photog crew ventured to the end of road 9A to shoot a small ephemeral stream that meanders down a little valley into Indian Creek.  There’s a very nice little waterfall, water permitting, at the head of the valley.  When we arrived, there were dozens of full sheet paper towels, obviously used as toilet paper, blowing nastily all over the small valley area.   There was a group camping below, nearer Indian Creek.  We were disgusted that these campers didn’t know more about both proper manners, and about proper camping protocol.  Never “do it” near a creek or stream and, well.  Folks, if you know, you know.  If you don’t, then don’t go (camping or.. um, otherwise!)


So anyway.  The creek flows free.  The trout have a way to frolic in the cool clear waters once more, and we who enjoy a clear cool stream and the wildlife there

will enjoy it once again!


                         Indian Creek, back the way it used to be…

and the way it should be, and is, mostly.


As a photographer and a hiker, I love making images of the natural world. I'm also and avid scuba diver and wannabe chef.

Related posts

1 thought on “Indian Creek, back the way it used to be…”

  1. Well written essay with a nice balance of sentiments.

Leave a Comment