Lower Stonelick Creek is a great Class II run with all the features for beginner and intermediate paddlers to hone their skills. At lower water, it's probably less hazardous than O'Bannon but definitely more challenging than the East Fork of the Little Miami, Little Miami, Caesar's Creek, or Todd's Fork. At higher water (5+ feet on the OH 131 gauge), it has a Class III section.
There are two put-ins for Lower Stonelick. The first is the listed put-in, probably room for 3-4 cars. If that is parked up, the other is just past the OH 132 bridge crossing Stonelick Creek (2 minutes back the way you came from the take-out). You'll see a gravel pull-off just behind some mailboxes. Don't block the mailboxes if you park there. Carry down on the downstream side of the bridge through the honeysuckle. While the take-out is on US 50, parking for the take-out is just down the road at the US 50 and OH 222 junction. Tons of parking at the take-out.
The best rapid of the Lower Stonelick is "S-Turn" which runs directly into "Speed Bump". At higher water, it becomes one rapid. At the bottom of Speed Bump, a nice surf wave forms. It's also deep enough behind the wave that you can roll in the event of a flip. Be mindful of getting out of your boat here - the property owner on river right has been known to be unfriendly to paddlers! There's a great covered bridge that you paddle under right after you go through "Dental Plan". It's a great little rapid that can be easily avoided to the left. If you decide to go through, just maneuver through the little boulder garden. Another spot with some play is a hole/wave that forms by "Sycamore Point" (the river bends to the right, with a Sycamore tree hanging out on river left partly in the water). Also fairly deep for rolling, however, be mindful of the sycamore tree downstream. Also a good place to practice squirts.
Take out at the US 50 bridge on river left downstream of the bridge. You can take out on the right, but then you have to cross the bridge to get to your vehicles. There is an alternate take-out at St Philomena Church on Stonelick Williams Corner Road (cuts off about a mile or so of the paddle).
Here's some video taken in 2010 of the run at flows on the low end:
Put-in is right next to the river.
OH-132 bridge is another access point. Walk down as close to the bridge as you can.
A small wave forms on river left just downstream of a house on river right.
Follow the wave train all the way down the left side of this rapids. At higher flows, some pretty nice waves form!
This rapids is immediately after S-Turn. Watch out for a large rock at the end of this rapid. (More of a concern at lower water.) The line is to start center and head to the right. There's a play wave at the end of the drop (on the right) with good eddy service on the right and in the center.
A tight line to run between rocks on river right, but it can be avoided by running to the left at lower water.
At higher water, a wave forms above this little section.
Take notice of sweet covered bridge!
You can take out at the church on river right. I wouldn't park there at 8 am on Sunday though (they have mass then).
A little hole/wave forms near the bottom of this drop with good eddy service on river right. Watch out for the sycamore tree just downstream!
At higher water, features wash out and the area is not as fun.
Just R2’d lower Stonelick. Absolutely not at 2000 CFS as the gauge is currently showing. Lots of rain past couple of days means the East Fork dam folks are letting water out (where the gauge is), but Stonelick drains out in less than 24 hours after big rains, so it’s not suddenly going to magically get good again. The gauge at East Fork lake has literally nothing to do with Stonelick. Flow today was probably on the order of 800 CFS or less. There was wood down in numerous spots, but at this level, it’s easy to see and prepare for. Had to carry twice. Otherwise, it was a fun lower-water run. If you see exposed rock bar at the Rt 50 bridge, it’s probably too low or will be soon.
Checked it again today at noon, approximately 24 hours after observing yesterday’s flow. At the US 50 bridge, Stonelick was down about 3’ below its level from yesterday. For additional correlation, O’Bannon was running at 135 CFS at about the same time today, down from around 1000 CFS 24 hours previously. At midday today, Stonelick would have been barely runnable. Now, a few hours later, it’s definitely too low. The flow info section above, when correlated with O’Bannon, will give you a reasonable guess at flow conditions.
Stonelick doesn't have a reliable gauge. I've been watching this creek for a year and I'm starting to get a feel for what the local rains do to it, which I think is not correlated with the published gauge on the East Fork at Perintown. Currently (11:45 AM) Perintown is showing 3440 CFS. I was just out to look at Stonelick on Rt. 50 and after last night's heavy rain the lower Stonelick is running pretty big. Is it 3440? No, probably not, but that's not surprising considering that the East Fork and Stonelick behave differently after storms. Stonelick right now looks more like 1500-2000 to me, but that's just a guess. Lacking a reliable gauge of any kind on Stonelick, I think O'Bannon may actually correlate a bit better with Stonelick than East Fork at Perintown. O'Bannon peaked early this morning at 00:45 AM at 10,300 CFS. Currently (11:45 AM) it's at 1080 CFS. Stonelick feels slightly bigger than O'Bannon and the storm response is similar. Anyway, I think it's time for a stage measurement to be installed or painted on one of the Rt. 50 bridge piling. Let's see if we can make that happen so we can start getting some more reliable data again. I'l post a picture of current flow under Rt. 50 in the photo section.
The listed gauge is on the East Fork of the Little Miami River, so it doesn't directly reflect the flow of Lower Stonelick. Probably a minimum rating of 1000 cfs after a heavy rain on the E Fork is an indicator that Lower Stonelick is running. However, it's important to be aware of releases from East Fork Lake that will make the gauge show a false "running" reading. Another indicator is White Oak Creek. If White Oak is running, there's a chance Stonelick is still running. Regardless, you'll still have to check the creek out before you hop on it to make sure it's running
When at the take-out, you can look upstream about 100 yards on river right (your left) and see a white PVC drain pipe coming out of the ground. If the level is around a foot below that pipe, that is probably the lowest level I'd run it. Another thing you can look at is the gravel bar directly below the US 50 bridge. If only a small "island" of gravel is showing, you're probably okay. If it's all gravel - it's too low without hitting about every rock on the way down.
The final way to check flow is to look at the OH-131 painted gauge (way upstream). Low end is probably 1.5' and the high end is around 5-6 feet.
Permits are not required for this reach.
See Main page for information about parking at the put-in and take out.
Stonelick Rt. 50 2018-02-25
Class II Fun
Wave at the end of S-Turn
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