Sandusky, Ohio, US
1. Milldam in Tiffin to CR 38
||II-III (for normal flows)
Huss street wave
Huss street wavePhoto of Steve by Dein Higgins taken 01/01/03 @ 9,600 cfs
At the north end of Tiffin on OH-53, there's a BP station and a light at Huss St. Take Huss St.
east to the Sandusky River. Just before the Huss St. bridge, turn right on a residential road
that goes along the river. Stay along river left as you drive upstream, zig here and zag there,
and you'll wind up in Nature Trails Park. Park your car there, and carry your boats across the
grassy park as far upstream as you can go in the park.
You'll put in just below the Pioneer Mill dam. At high water, there's some gentle surf waves
right at the put-in to warm up on. Locals call that the Warm-up Waves.
Photo: Tim from Ohio on the Huss Street wave
Left and right channels merge just below an island, below the Pioneer Mill restaurant (a VERY
good restaurant by the way). Warm up some more, do rolls, whatever, in the eddy off the
Just below the island is a ledge on river right which also has some nice surfing practice at HIGH
water. Then drop down to the broken dam at Huss St. At low water there's fun eddies and little
hydraulics. At high water, there's a big glass smooth surf wave that forms on the tongue of the
current flow coming through the middle of the broken dam. RUN IT IN THE MIDDLE AT HIGH FLOWS!!!!
There are dam hydraulics on river left, so be aware. Really good idea to scout this one from the
Photo: Steve, Jeff and Bernie on the Huss Street wave
Further down there's a river-wide ledge. Locals call this one "Fireball"; At high water
you'll see why. There's a big ball of water where a couple flows come together over the ledge
about 1/3 of the way over from river left. Can crank right through the fireball itself without
much fuss if you're experienced.
Downstream, another stream enters on the right. Long ago, this stream was damned and fed a mill
(the big red brick building about 0.5 mile downstream) via a millrace that paralleled the river.
Now the stream just marks a series of ledges that are just fun - until you get to the houses on
River right, at the houses, is a GREAT surf wave that we used to call "Caboose" because
a landowner on river right had a caboose in his backyard on display. The caboose is gone, but the
wave is still there and is great - sometimes the folks that live there will come out and watch us
surf on a nice day, pulling up lawn chairs and giving thumbs-up to the kayakers.
Continuing downstream, past the red brick mill, and on river left are 3 rocks at low-medium
levels. I forget what we used to call them - maybe "Three Sisters"? Anyway, good eddy
practice until they go underwater at high levels.
Next rapid is "Bend", on river right, on a curving bend to the left. Compression waves
form as the river drops over a series of ledges. Excellent surfing at some levels, though I
always worried that one day I'd see a car tumble into the river while they gawked at us.
You can also go down the left channel behind the island, a bunch of small surf waves, but not as
much fun and log jams are possible.
At the bottom of the island where the two flows rejoin there are also some surf waves at high
Last rapid of note is simply a ledge that (at some levels) offers sidesurfing possibilities. You
can take out there, if you parked your car in the little one-car spot at that point. Otherwise,
continue down to the County Road 38 bridge. Park just downstream of the bridge -- the landowner
that owns the takeout above the bridge is not friendly to boaters.
NOTE: Downstream of the Rt. 38 bridge, there's an eagle's nest near the river. We've been told by
the Ohio DNR that it would be best if we didn't continue below the 38 bridge. We've respected
that, partly because we like eagles and partly because there's not much more to play on. One
river wide small wave about a mile below, and that is it.
The Sandusky River below Ballvile
dam is only 15 min. away and a good run too.
The Maumee River is only 45 min.
away and can be fun too.
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Last Updated: 2009-04-15 22:48:45