Cuyahoga - G. Fitzwater Rd. to Rockside Rd.

Cuyahoga, Ohio, US


G. Fitzwater Rd. to Rockside Rd. (Rockside Section)

Usual Difficulty I(II) (for normal flows)
Length 4.5 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Cuyahoga River at Independence OH
usgs-04208000 200 - 2000 cfs I(II) 01h14m 637 cfs (running)
Ideal range for upstream paddling

River Description

The Rockside section is a great stretch of river for upstream paddling in fast boats. Some of the attainment moves can be technical and strenuous. It is also a nice place for beginners to paddle downstream practicing basic moves in the small features it provides. Optimal upstream levels are somewhere between 300 - 650 cfs at the Rockside gauge. Although you can still get up the river at higher levels, the pinnacle of attainment moves at the Stone Rd. rapid starts to lose the necessary features above 650 cfs. When paddling downstream at much higher flows, the features in this section seem to wash out and become less interesting. After the take out, just after the Old Rockside Rd. bridge (just downstream of Rockside Rd.)  is a quality squirtboating spot called "The Halls of Parma". It works nicely around 2000 cfs, with around 1000 being a reasonable minimum. 

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-02-14 19:07:53


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
1.0Train wreck N/A
2.0Muscle shoalsI
3.0Thunder islandI
4.0Eagle talonI
5.0Blunt beachI
6.0Stone roadII
8.0Little wave on the leftN/A
9.0Shoots and laddersN/A
10.0Piddly N/A
11.0Upper pipe dreamN/A
13.0Lower pipe dreamN/A

Rapid Descriptions

Muscle shoals (Class I, Mile 2.0)

Now muscles shoals has got the swampers,  and it's been known to sink a boat or two.  When attaining, the first feature you come to is the swampers.  This is a popular squirtboating spot under 450cfs.  Water comes down the shallow shoal and funnels from the sides into a deep groove.   Work from attainer's right towards the center deepest part of the shoal and then right into the eddy.  Before the island, take the attainer's left channel and lay the pedal down towards the hillside move!  The hillside move is the last step up of muscle shoals before calm water, the standard line is to work up the attainer's right eddy and then start working to the left.  A small glassy wave should carry you to the left bank and out of the move

Thunder island (Class I, Mile 3.0)

Thunder island offers enjoyable upstream moves and nice slalom  pivot turns on the way back down.  All the action occurs on the attainer's right side of the island. The final upstream move works attainer's left to right through a decent current

Eagle talon (Class I, Mile 4.0)

Eagle talon is focused around a fallen tree in the deep channel on attainer's left with a shallow shoal to the right.  Start just right of the end of the tree and work left above it.  A small wave should help you on your way

Blunt beach (Class I, Mile 5.0)

Blunt beach is a simple move that brings you up a shallow shoal towards attainer's left into the deeper calm water

Stone road (Class II, Mile 6.0)

Stone road Is the pinnacle attainment on the section.  It begins with a ferry move from right to left.  Towards the end of the ferry, a small wave should carry you left and up into the eddy, then the real action begins... Burst out of the eddy towards the right, staying on the left of the main current.  Try to spot and use the small eddies on  on attainer's left to bring you all the way to the top

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