Four Mile Creek, Ohio, US
|Usual Difficulty||II(IV) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||13 fpm|
|Max Gradient||13 fpm|
|Sevenmile Creek at Camden OH|
|usgs-03272700||4.00 - 8.00 ft||II(IV)||21h37m||~ 3.42 ft (too low)|
This scenic Class II run flows out of Houston Woods Lake, through Oxford, OH. The run is generally strainer-avoiding Class II, but does have a couple nice surf spots. The Ledges section is almost 1/4 mile in length and has plenty of diagonal ledges for surfing. While most are catch on the fly, several at the bottom do have eddy service on river right.
There are two broken low-head dams on the run. The first is almost immediately after the put-in and should be portaged. It can be run EXTREME river right, but the slot is small and any mistake could have bad consequences. The second dam was altered by ODNR to allow passage, and is best run on river left. The water is very shallow and the hole at the bottom is more bark than bite. You can miss both low head dams by putting in at putting in 1.2 miles downstream at the Oxford Trenton Road Bridge.
This section of river is generally only runnable after heavy rains or sustained periods of moderate rain. It will usually hold adequate flow for a day or two, depending on the amount of rain. The dam upstream no longer has a releasable gate, thus operates as a spillway (passing flow of river at all times).
The listed gauge is for Sevenmile Creek, which should give an accurate indication of whether Four Mile is running. The low and high end of the guage readings are still be worked out (as of the updating of the page, October 23, 2016). I'm fairly confident on the low end, but the high end may be really raging, so use your judgement when you get to the river. Expect Class III (or higher) at high water due to flood conditions.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.2||Low Head Dam||IV|
|1.2||Oxford Trenton Road Bridge||N/A|
|2.6||Lonely Surf Hole||II|
|4.8||Lanes Mill Bridge Ledges||II|
|6.8||Darrtown Rd Bridge Take-Out||N/A|
Put-in on the downstream side of the bridge
This low-head dam should be portaged. It's not a big drop, however (as with most man-made structures) the boil-line is very uniform. It has been run EXTREME river right, along the right bank where there is a break in the dam. However, if you go over in the wrong spot, or fail to punch through and paddle out, you will be caught in the recirculation!
Be safe and walk it!
Run on river left. It's shallow and the hole at the bottom is easily punched.
You can avoid both dams upstream by putting-in here. All the fun without the danger! There is a little feeder stream that you put-in at near the parking lot which is on the upstream side of the bridge.
Nice surfing hole (near nothing in particular), with decent eddy service, good for spins and side surfing.
The Lanes Mill Road Bridge is the signal that you are about to enter a section of maybe 6-8 diagonal holes over almost a 1/4 mile of river. Some are better for surfing than others. The ones at the bottom have some eddy service. There is parking at the bridge, and the river is roadside through this stretch, so these could be done as a park-and-play.
Take-out on river-left at the bridge.