Mad River Run is a 4.0 mile stretch from Harshman Road to the confluence with the Great Miami River. Shuttles can be arranged from Whitewater Warehouse, immediately North of the river at Keowee Street. The river is heavily paddled throughout the summer months.
Access this stretch from Eastwood MetroPark (1385 Harshman Rd.). Best access for the full run is just inside the park on the right (near Harshman Road) where there is a changing area. However, most boaters will focus on park-and-play, driving 3/4 mile into Eastwood MetroPark to use the large parking lot (with restrooms) near the main whitewater feature. Access from river-right is also available with limited parking (1401 Harshman Rd.) from the lakeside of Eastwood MetroPark. Again, drive 3/4 mile inside the park to the parking area.
The drop is one element of the Mad River Run project, funded largely by a generous donation from the Rotary Club of Dayton. This was created just below what used to be known as “Bernie’s Hole”, which was formed by the 84” water main pipe that supplies a majority of the water for the city, which is now protected underwater by raising the water level (by the rock damming for the new feature which was created). When funding is acquired, three more drops will be constructed just downstream (no construction is expected in the near future).
There is a low water and higher water feature. The river-left feature is a friendly play wave and designed for surfing in ideal conditions between 300cfs -700cfs. Once the water reaches above 900cfs both eddies feeds strongly back into the river left drop. The river-right feature is designed for higher water and becomes playable around 1200cfs. Information is still being gathered about ideal flow rates. The right side is a tight play feature and seems to have strong eddies on both sides.
Start from the center and work toward the river left side. A gravel bar/island which previously defined this rapid was mined out, and is now reforming back. Wood/strainers often catch on the banks on both sides.
A river-wide feature was constructed here late summer of 2013. River-left is a low water feature that creates a play wave from 300-2000 cfs. At higher water, a feature on river-right creates a tight hole good for loops, etc. There is a portage on the river right side.
Start from between the two right-most bridge abutments to ride small waves, working eddies and pourovers by the concrete revetment under the bikeway.
Head from center to river-right to ride the waves under the tree branches, then sweep into the eddy on the right.
Take-out at river-left, walk up the levee through RiverScape MetroPark to parking spots on Monument Ave in downtown Dayton.
Coming soon play features just below this take out will be two drops put in on the Great Miami River in downtown Dayton thanks to donations made by the community through the Downtown Dayton Partnership. For more information on RiverScape MetroPark visit www.metroparks.org.
Checked out the wave on 11/2/17 at 1100cfs. There were no real play opportunities. The river left wave is totally washed out and the river right feature is blocked off. Not much in terms of play available.
Went on 1/24/17. The river was running ~900cfs. The river right feature was blocked by large rocks with no water flowing through. This looks like a permanent closure. On the far river right, the river has eroded a channel around both features. The river right feature was barely surfable. I was flushed very easily. Just downstream and left of center there is a surfable hole with eddy service on the left. It looks a bit shallow to do anything other than spins.
Scouted last weekend, (4/24/16) but went to Buck Creek due too shuttle issues. Didn't look like play-boat nirvana @ 650 cfs but i ran it late last year @ 800 cfs+ and it was fun, though I'm not a play-boater. Middle slot was closed, maybe permanent, idk. Whitewater Warehouse in Dayton good resource for this run, they have a weekly shuttle thing plus other events, and are a GREAT Outfitter locally, good source for paddle kharma!!! Planning on going soon, tmmrrw even (4/29/16), i'll report if so. Construction at put-in, maybe problem weekdays, i'll report. Looks improved over last year. I'm email@example.com if I can be of any assist.
On 3/21/2014 there was a strainer in the wave train below the main slot. See photo.
The whitewater features are complete went down today 9/26/2013 there are two slots to run today the river was at 383 cfs and was not flowing through the second slot
FYI there is now a whitewater man made feature with a few slots to run river wide I went down to check the progress and they are trying to have it completed 10/4-5/2013 for the Midwest outdoor experience festival this is supposed to be like the features that have been delayed until next year on the Great Miami River check out this video of the progress as of 9/19/2013 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152205934627729
just commenting on the above info
-don't park on the water departments road, you will be towed, they just let bernie run shuttle on that because he used to work there, park in eastwood lake park
-the hole isn't as good as it used to be, but generally 1000 and above is good, close to 3000 it is a workout to get back in the eddy
-it never really turns into a wave, I've been out there at around 8000-9000 and it was still a wave-hole and easy to stay on but you only had one shot
from the OAC list:
"1,400-1,200 lower is just for goofing off. I have seen it at 2,000 and it was very sticky. I have seen it at 3,000 and it became a front surfing wave that is easy to get pushed off of.
2 years ago
by Erik Dahlstrom
Leave a comment about what you find to be the perfect whitewater level.
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Mad River Play Area
Enter on the Mad
Surfing the Mad
Kayaks Lining up on the Mad
Good popup level
River left feature at 650cfs
Bernie's hole at 620 cfs
Bernie's strainer 03/21/2014
A bit dirty but good play
Mad River Play
Mad River PlayHole
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