Valley View Ferry (KY 169)

The Valley View Ferry carries KY 169 across the Kentucky River between Fayette and Madison Counties in Kentucky.

Predating Kentucky’s admission to the Union in 1792, the Valley View Ferry was established in 1785.1 John Craig, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, acquired land in the area in 1780 through a military warrant. The Virginia General Assembly granted Craig a franchise to operate a ferry at Valley View in 1785.2 which was operated as a private enterprise for over 200 years. It passed through seven generations of families until 1991, when the ferry was purchased jointly by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and Madison and Jessamine Counties for $60,000.1

In 1996, the weight of heavy snow sank the ferry boat. It was replaced soon after by the “John Craig,” aptly named after the ferry’s original owner.4 The Valley View Ferry was closed in 1998 for a renovation that included the construction of four 55-foot concrete anchor towers for the ferry. Previously, the ferry was anchored to the rusting piers of the former “Riney-B” Railroad Bridge that was dismantled in 1942.2 In 2000, a new boat was purchased that allowed the ferry to transport three cars over the river instead of two.5

The Valley View Ferry is a free service funded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and transports 250 cars a day on average.3 It is the commonwealth’s oldest remaining business.