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Difficulty II-III(IV)
Length 1.5 Miles
Gauge O'Bannon Creek near Loveland OH
Flow Range 4000 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 56 minutes ago ~ 21.2 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 08/12/2017 9:00 pm

River Description

One thing to note about this run is that I wouldn't go with a large number of people.  It is important to keep a low profile on this run.  Per other paddlers, they've been harrassed by the Indian Hill Rangers while attempting to put on/run this creek.  This is description is based off of one run and we didn't encounter any issues with the police when we ran the creek.

There is no gauge for this creek that I know of - just visually look at it to see if it's running.  It's a lot steeper than it looks from the road and most of the bigger stuff is well hidden from view.  We put on at Keller Rd because there was easy parking and access.  Upstream of Keller, the creek is very small and wood is probably a much bigger problem - in fact, just upstream of our put-in was a tree that blocked almost the entire river.

When we put on, Polk Run in Loveland, OH looked like it was too high and O'Bannon Creek was at 7000+ cfs.  This looked like it was on the low side, but still had enoough water to get down.  This creek drops very quickly and we encountered a little scrapage throughout our run.

The run starts out with a couple small ledgey style rapids that are easily moved around by following the main flow.  Be prepared to set up safety almost immediately because the biggest drop is about to happen.  The drop is about an 8 foot (in total) horseshoe double drop falls.  The landing of the first drop is very shallow and at the bottom is a good sized hole.  We decided to walk this because there were just two of us, but there is video of people running it almost straight down the middle.  I think at certain times of the year (when branches aren't an issue) you could likely do a sliding boof off the left.

After that, you've got more boogie for a little while that leads to a 2-3 foot ledge (we ran it off the left).  The river starts to flatten out some here.  Soon, Raiders Run and North Sycamore Creek come in from the left and the river really picks up some volume.  Just before North Sycamore Creek enters, there's a bridge you paddle under and there is a nice (but likely very shallow) surf wave.  More funky water and then a couple bigger volume, Class II wave trains with some surfing and play potential.  The river flattened out from here (probably due to a back-up from the Little Miami River) and it was short paddle past a sewage treatment plant to our take-out and a short walk back to our car parked at the park.

I can't stress enough to keep a low profile here.  This is not a run for big groups - I'd probably keep my max number of people at 4.

Rapid Descriptions

Overview Video

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Sycamore Falls

Class - IV Mile - 0.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Double drop with a shallow landing zone after the first drop and a sticky hole at the bottom.  Left side is undercut concrete.


Class - III Mile - 0.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

2-3 foot ledge with large hole in the middle and lines on either side.

Pipe Dream

Class - II Mile - 1.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Surf wave under the bridge at the confluence of North Sycamore Creek.  Lots of play potential here and downstream.


Gage Descriptions

Visual gauge - it is what it looks like.  Look for O'Bannon Creek skyrocketing over 5000 cfs and you may have a run.  2+ inches of rainfall over the past 12-24 hours.  If O'Bannon Creek is dropping, you are probably too late.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

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.

Scott Puthoff




Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1207505 04/29/17 Scott Puthoff Original Edit
1208186 08/12/17 Rob add HUC, lat/lng, enable shuttle
1207504 04/29/17 Scott Puthoff n/a