Valley View Ferry (KY 169)

Valley View Ferry (KY 169)

The Valley View Ferry carries KY Route 169 across the Kentucky River between Fayette and Madison Counties in Kentucky. The Valley View Ferry is a free service that carries 250 cars per day on average and is the Commonwealth’s oldest remaining business. 3

The Valley View Ferry was established in 1785, predating Kentucky’s admission to the Union in 1792. 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 and 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

The weight of heavy snow sank the ferry boat in 1996. It was replaced 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

A new boat was purchased in 2000 that allowed the ferry to transport three cars over the river at a time instead of two. 5


  • State: Kentucky
  • Route:
  • Type: Ferry
  • Status: Active - Automobile
  • Truss Height:


  1. Poor, Chris “The Return of the Valley View Ferry: Oldest Business is Back in Business”. Herald-Leader (Lexington) 28 July 1991. 27 Feb. 2009.
  2. Historical marker.
  3. Hammond, Claude. “A Kentucky Ferry Tale”. Herald-Leader (Lexington) 1 March 2004. 27 Feb. 2009.
  4. Martin, Kimberly N. “Boat Damage Sinks Historic Ferry Service: 2-Month Shutdown Inconveniencing Passengers”. Herald-Leader (Lexington) 17 Jan. 1996. 27 Feb. 2009.
  5. Partridge, Wayne. “Ferry Good News for Commuters: Valley View Gets Federal Grant to Replace Barge”. Herald-Leader (Lexington) 4 April 2000. 27 Feb. 2009.

Leave a Reply