Kentucky lies entirely within the drainage basin of the Mississippi River, which borders western Kentucky. All the major rivers in Kentucky eventually flow either northward or northwestward to the Ohio River, one of the major tributaries of the Mississippi River. The Ohio joins the Mississippi at the point where the state lines of Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri meet. Along the northern rim of Kentucky the state line follows the north bank of the Ohio River.
Within Kentucky are sections of the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, two of the chief tributaries of the Ohio River. The Cumberland River flows through southeastern Kentucky before passing into Tennessee, re-entering Kentucky in the southwest prior to joining the Ohio. The other principal rivers in Kentucky are the Big Sandy, Licking, Kentucky, and Green rivers.
There are no large natural lakes in Kentucky. The largest lakes are reservoirs behind dams. Chief among these are Kentucky Lake, on the Tennessee River behind Kentucky Dam; Lake Barkley, behind Barkley Dam on the lower Cumberland River; Lake Cumberland, behind Wolf Creek Dam on the upper Cumberland River; and Buckhorn Lake, behind Buckhorn Dam on the middle fork of the Kentucky River. Other lakes include those behind the Rough River, Nolin, Barren River, and Green River dams, all of which are on the Green River or its tributaries. The oldest reservoir is Herrington on the Dix River, a branch of the Kentucky River. "Kentucky" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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