Buck Creek - Springfield Play Park (PnP or 5.1 miles)

Buck Creek, Ohio, US


Springfield Play Park (PnP or 5.1 miles)

Usual Difficulty II(III) (varies with level)
Length 5.1 Miles
Avg. Gradient 10 fpm
Max Gradient 10 fpm

Buck Creek at 4.3

Buck Creek at 4.3
Photo taken 06/11/10 @ a good level

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Buck Creek Approximation
virtual-49471 300 - 2000 cfs II 01h06m ~ 213 cfs (too low)
Uncertain. Probably good beginner play. WE NEED YOUR INPUT! Add a comment or report. Gauge subtracts Mad River gauges upstream and downstream of Buck Creek to get reasonable approximation of Buck Creek flow. See 'Flows' tab for more info.

River Description

A fine just-over 5-mile run may be done from just downstream of the C.J.Brown Reservoir and dam. A few fine rapids are scattered along the run, with a fine finale as one gets to Snyder Park. The Buck Creek White Water Project involved removal of a low-head dam directly behind the Springfield Museum of Art (in 2009) and removal of a second low-head dam on the east side of Snyder Park (in 2010). In their place, 'rock arch rapids' were engineered to create a whitewater park. Indeed, many boaters may prefer the convenience of skipping the need for a shuttle by just doing a PnP (park-and-play) at the park.

Nearby amenities:

Buck Creek State Park

Buck Creek Trail

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-08-21 00:48:05

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-1.0Buck Creek State ParkN/A
-0.4Buck Creek TrailheadN/A
1.0Confluence, Beaver CreekN/A
1.9Transverse LedgeN/A
2.8Simon Kenton Trail BridgeN/A
2.8Kenton DropII+Playspot
4.3Art Museum RapidIIPutin Playspot Photo
4.4Art Museum Second DropIIPhoto
4.7Buck Creek Trailhead / Plum StreetN/A
5.0Snyder Park Drop #1IPlayspot Photo
5.1Snyder Park Drop #2IIPlayspot Photo
5.1Snyder Park Drop #3II+Playspot Photo
5.1Snyder Park Drop #4IIPlayspot Photo
7.1Mad River confluenceN/A

Rapid Descriptions

Chutes (Class III)

The natural limestone chutes are the most difficult rapids on this river.

Railroad (Class N/A, Mile 1.6)

Just past a railroad bridge, expect to find some minor rapids.

Kenton Drop (Class II+, Mile 2.8)

A man-made rock-arch rapids.

Art Museum Rapid (Class II, Mile 4.3)

Museum DRop

Museum DRop
Photo by Mari Reeves taken 12/24/11

This small sliding drop unfortunately tends to pick up some wood. When it is open the drop is an easy class II.

Art Museum Second Drop (Class II, Mile 4.4)

Rapid #2

Rapid #2
Photo taken 06/12/11

Snyder Park Drop #1 (Class I, Mile 5.0)

Snyder Park - Drop 1

Snyder Park - Drop 1
Photo by Scott Puthoff taken 06/03/11 @ 4.20 ft

This is a small drop that provides very limited surf opportunities, but does have a decent eddy line for eddy line moves.  Also a good place for beginners to practice ferries, catching eddies, and peeling out.

Snyder Park Drop #2 (Class II, Mile 5.1)

Doug Joos

Doug Joos
Photo taken 06/10/10 @ a good level

Hole wave that provides opportunities for many hole moves at higher water and spins and low angle cartwheels at lower flows.  At some flows, the wave is very close to the concrete which can result in a mean head hit to the concrete/rock that creates the feature.

Snyder Park Drop #3 (Class II+, Mile 5.1)

Snyder Park - Drop 3

Snyder Park - Drop 3
Photo by Scott Puthoff taken 06/03/11 @ 4.20 ft

This drop tends to be much faster than all the other drops in Snyder Park.  Flushy on either side of the smaller sweet spot for surfing.

Snyder Park Drop #4 (Class II, Mile 5.1)


Photo taken 02/20/11

Drop 4 is an easy surf wave, but it tends to be very flushy and not all that grabby.  However, the real challenge of this wave is if you flip:  there are whirpools galore downstream that show the paddler any flaw in their roll technique!

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
November 6 2017 (438 days ago)
SporkFingers (158845)
Ran Snyder Park drops and Museum drops at 5ft on the plum street gauge on 11/4/17. Overall, there
was excellent play opportunities. The museum drops were incredible. The first was a very fast
wave,excellent for carving. The shoulders were shallow and retentive holes, especially the left
side. The second drop was good for flat spins and a better kayaker than I could probably throw a
loop here. The first and last Snyder park waves were washed out. The last one had a swirly eddy
line with lots of boils below it. The second drop was a retentive hole on the left side and a nice
green wave on the left. It was very convenient to surf the green wave and carve into the hole to
try to throw a move. Easily deep enough to throw ends or loops here. There were whirlpools and
boils downstream of the drop, but they weren't an issue. The fourth drop was almost washed out, but
was good for front surfing. The whirlpools downstream of this drop were a bit intimidating. They
formed almost immediately after the wave and pulled my entire kayak under a few times. Probably not
best for beginners. Overall good time.
April 27 2016 (996 days ago)
gkarjala (157749)
Was there Sunday 4/24/16. Parked and paddled up to Art Museum with 12 y/o grandson. Got footage up
there, paddled down to the Snyder Park 4. Great fun though low flow.( 200 fps or so) . Went late
last year too, always play-boaters there so, if you're in the area drop by and put-in!! When flow
picks up, I hope to do the 5+miles trip, Mad River near by too. Hit me up if you'd like a local
gkarjala@gmail.com. Oh,and no wood in the current @ this time either. eddies have gathered a
little, not a prob. Crime not an issue for us either time but be mindful. There's stuff to do
around the area, again, hit me up, be glad to help.
July 20 2011 (2739 days ago)
das20121 (153337)
While I've only been boating here at Springfield for a little while, I suggest everyone lock their
doors and WATCH their cars while they're paddling here. Not only was my car broken into and a
significant amount of stuff stolen but after hearing what happened to me enough other people told
me similar stories to make me mad. Just make sure to watch your stuff. The playpark was a great
addition to the area for playboaters or boaters of any skill level!
July 7 2011 (2752 days ago)
430 cfs was an awesome play level for the second hole. The wave on the third drop is fast but
stable. 410 cfs. The second hole was ok but not as stable at 430 or 170. It allows for some loops
but overall it is less sticky. The third wave is fast and more stable than at lower levels. 182 cfs
the second wave/hole is just a wave but the third wave is a stable surf. 172 cfs is ok with plenty
of spin action on the second hole and the third wave is a very fast surf/blast. (This is only true
if Beaver creek is adding water) 162 cfs without flow from Beaver Creek. There are no holes but the
waves can be surfed. The last three are quite stable but it can be boring if you want much play.
150 cfs was still a good play level for the second hole. The wave on the third drop is less
stable.(This is only true if Beaver creek is adding water)
February 20 2011 (2889 days ago)
joe_helle (152633)
Was there February 19th, 2011 with my packraft. Water level was at 3.9, and was plenty fun. This
was my second time down there, and the packraft definitely turns alot of heads! Was lots of fun at
this level, and was somewhat surprised that more people weren't here with the nice weather and
great water level.
July 10 2010 (3114 days ago)
ScottK (152096)
I was there on 7/9/10 and the plum street gauge read 3.4. The second feature was a great slow surf
wave could spin on it. The third wave was faster and much easier to spin on, but too shallow to
throw ends.
June 10 2010 (3144 days ago)
Daniel CusickDetails
On 6/10/2010 Level was at 4.3 and an excellent level for the hole and wave, Spins were easy could
cartwheel in a spud boat. Lower wave looked good also. Nice features at this level only 2 of the
Features are good for play. The First Drop hardly has any play potential at any level but good to
practice ferries and such the 2nd feature is a Play hole and is usually good to go from levels as
low as 2.5 for spins and side surf as the level gets up to 4ft some can cartwheel. The third
feature is a wave with good front surf and spins depending on level. the last drop is usually good
at lower levels for flat spins and such.
June 6 2010 (3148 days ago)
Use the Plum Street guage since it takes incount for the dam plus natural flow from Beaver Creek.
Low level is 2.5 feet and perfect level is 3.5 to 4.5 feet for most. Highest level I been there at
was 5.3 and still great but bigger and stronger eddies. Link to Plum Street gauge