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Difficulty II at this flow (II(III) normally)
Length 5.1 Miles
Gauge Buck Creek Approximation
Flow Range 300 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 day ago ~ 259 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 08/21/2017 12:48 am

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

Rapid Descriptions

Buck Creek State Park

Class - N/A Mile - -1
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Buck Creek Trailhead

Class - N/A Mile - -0.4
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Class - III Mile - 0
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The natural limestone chutes are the most difficult rapids on this river.

Confluence, Beaver Creek

Class - N/A Mile - 1.02
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Class - N/A Mile - 1.63
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Just past a railroad bridge, expect to find some minor rapids.

Transverse Ledge

Class - N/A Mile - 1.86
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Simon Kenton Trail Bridge

Class - N/A Mile - 2.75
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Kenton Drop

Class - II+ Mile - 2.8
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A man-made rock-arch rapids.

Art Museum Rapid

Class - II Mile - 4.34

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 - 4.37

Buck Creek Trailhead / Plum Street

Class - N/A Mile - 4.73
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Snyder Park Drop #1

Class - I Mile - 5.04

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 - 5.06

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 - 5.09

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 - 5.12

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!

Mad River confluence

Class - N/A Mile - 7.11
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9 months ago

Ran Buck Creek today at 740cfs. Put in at the Prairie View recreation area and went to Snyder Park. There was a strainer from bank to bank well before the natural chutes in a spot that was difficult to portage. We wound up getting out of our boats in the slower water on the left bank and lifting our kayaks over the tree. Overall, it was a fun ride - the museum drop was intense today and it tossed both of us out of our kayaks. Can't wait to run it again soon!

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Austin Miller
2 years ago

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.

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Greg Karjala
3 years ago

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 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.

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8 years 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)

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Joe Helle
9 years ago

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.

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Scott Knupp
9 years ago

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.

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Daniel Cusick
9 years ago

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.

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9 years 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

Gage Descriptions

The gauge formerly linked to seems to have disappeared (link was broken, and unable to find gauge with internet search).
Folks otherwise refer to a "Plum Street Gauge".

Based on the Plum Street Gauge (in feet):

3.25 and under - beginner friendly with decent play. May be playable down to 2.5 feet.

3.25 to 4.5 - moderate flows and waves have some push for sure.

4.5 to 5.5 - high end of flows. Lots of whirlpools and boils after waves. Wave 3 and 4 have very difficult boils to deal with when rolling up. Rescue of gear becomes increasingly more difficult. Not for beginners.

5.5 and above - starting to become really big. Holes may become grabby. Need more input!

Directions Description

Many folks do this an in-town park-and-play, carrying to the river and carry back to their car within the park.

The directions below are for the full run. You can also use the text-entry box to input your home or other starting location to get drive time, distance, and directions to this location.

No Accident Reports




article main photo

New Hydro Project for Cuyahoga (OH)

Thomas O'Keefe

The Cuyahoga River, the river that burned, played a pivotal role in the birth of the nation's river conservation movement. While restoration gains have been significant, a proposal for a new hydropower project on a dam targeted for removal would represent a signficant setback in ongoing restoration efforts and would delay for at least half a century any effort to bring back the lost whitewater that sits buried behind the Ohio Edison Gorge Dam. Paddler participation at upcoming scoping meetings is important.



Kevin Colburn


Matt Muir


Scott Puthoff


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1197504 04/05/10 Rob Embed one YouTube vid; link to others.
1197448 03/26/10 Rob n/a
1197449 03/26/10 Rob Add basic info.
1197450 03/26/10 Rob Add links.
1197611 05/05/10 Rob minor edits
1197719 05/23/10 Rob Add gauge link.
1197771 06/04/10 Rob Add virtual gauge; minor additional edits.
1197990 07/31/10 Rob Add low-flow info.
1205235 08/17/15 Kevin Colburn
1199542 03/07/11 Matt Muir Added sig photo.
1200234 06/04/11 Scott Puthoff
1208223 08/21/17 Rob fix broken links