Caesar Creek, Flat Fork, Ohio, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||100 fpm|
|Max Gradient||100 fpm|
This short creek runs to Caesar Creek Lake. The gradient is deceiving since it drops about 50 feet in the half mile. Most of this is over tilted riverbed with flat shale. The main attraction is Horseshoe Falls. This small waterfall is the scenic attraction for Caesar Creek hiking trails and is often photographed. The drop is fairly simple with multiple lines. The Flat Fork of Caesar Creek takes a big storm to get enough water to run. I've seen it go from boatable, to huge, to scrapy, and then unrunnably low in about 24 hours. Overall this is probably a draw only for local boaters and it can easily be combined with Caesar Creek Gorge. If the Flat Fork is running then the Army Corps will probably be holding water back on Caesar Creek. Be watchful for strainers.
I ran this after about 2 inches of local rain. The river was bank-full in low flood. The water is
brown but does not smell. There were no river wide strainers. Be careful, however, since there
are trees in the river. Once you get on, the flow is fast and there are a few good wave trains.
The stream picks up speed and hits a few easy class II rapids. However, your skills should
actually rank solid Class III or higher, because if you swim you are not getting your stuff back
till the falls or the lake. Pay very close attention to the cliff walls. Once the massive shale
cliff appears on the left you are a few hundred yards above the big drop. There is a right of way
that crosses where the foot bridge was. I would suggest stopping here. Even if you decide to run
Horseshoe Falls you will want to look. It is easier on the left than the right. The falls at high
water was crazy scary with a MASSIVE hydraulic. The only line was on the far left. After the
falls, the best rapids on the river pick up immediately till the lake. It made me wonder what got
buried in the lake. The takeout is on the left. I did it solo and walked the shuttle. It takes
about 10-15 min.
Enjoy the following YouTube headcam video of the run:
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
Watch for this site. It is the last stop to stop before the falls. At high flows it could be the last eddie you see. You can also hike out here.
Horseshoe Falls is the centerpiece drop for this creek. It is a fairly straightforward ledge.
The big haystacks below the falls
You have to paddle across a bit of Caesar Creek Lake.