Stonelick Creek, Ohio, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||31 fpm|
|Max Gradient||64 fpm|
|East Fork Little Miami River at Perintown OH|
|usgs-03247500||1000 - 8000 cfs||III-IV||01h12m||275 cfs (too low)|
Quite easy. From put in on St. Rt. 131 travel west one mile to St. Rt. 132. Turn left (South). Drive about 2.5 miles to bridge over creek.
From the South: Take I275 East to the Rt 50 exit. Turn left(North-west) on 50. Rt. 131 enters
from the right. Turn right onto Rt. 131 and continue several miles to the bridge over the
From the North: Take I275 East to the Rt. 28 exit. Turn left(North-East) onto Rt 28. Continue on Rt. 28 to Buckwheat road. Turn right onto Buckwheat and take it to Rt. 131. Turn left and continue several miles to the bridge over the river.
The first known run of this small but very fun stream was back in 1967. However it wasn't
until the mid 80's that the general whitewater population of the Cincinnati area became aware
The usual put in is under the bridge where State route 131 crosses the river. Please note that this is private land. While there have never been any problems in the past, please be aware that inconsiderate behavior by boaters could result in the loss of this access.
I have also put in right below the dam on Stonelick lake, however access to the river there is poor. This adds about 4 miles of swiftly flowing water to the trip, but not much else.
The first mile or so of the trip is mostly swift current through a winding riverbed with a few nice play waves or gravel bars, depending on levels. Strainers and water flowing through trees and willows are likely, so keep an eye out.
As one approaches the Belfast-Owensville Road bridge, which is at about the 2 mile mark, things begin to pick up. The road can be seen on the steep banks river right, winding down to the river. There are some nearly river wide ledges in this section that can be quite playful at most levels, but can be terminal at very high water. Usually though, some places are quite fun and others quite sticky, so check them out before jumping in.
Below the Belfast-Owensville Road is the best action on this run.
(NOTE: There is good access at this bridge, but it is on private land. When we approached the landowner in the early 80's for permission to use it, he became quite agitated that we even asked. And this is when the creek wasn't running, we were dressed in regular clothes and approached him as friendly neighbors. I don't know if the situation has changed since then, but suggest avoiding using that area as an access)
In this section there are a series of ledges and chutes. The action is non stop except at minimum flows, and can be quite dangerous at high flows. There are at least two 3-4 ft ledges in this section that have a low-head dam quality about them. They should be approached with caution at all water levels. Sneak on extreme river right at most levels.
Strainers can also cause the most problems in this section as, even at low flows, eddies are small and few in number.
After the action starts to ease a little, a little less than a mile after the bridge, be on the lookout Johnson Falls. This 5+ ft drop is named after Mike Johnson, who ran this creek as an adventurous teenager back in 1967 and who showed it to me in 1980. Mike moved away shortly afterwards, never to be heard from again, so I named this drop in his honor. (Mike if you read this, drop me a line!). I strongly suggest first-timers follow an experienced guide or get out and scout it river left. It's a rough scout through poison ivy gardens, but the hole can be quite grabby. Most folks run far right or left.
Johnson Falls @ 1.5 feet. From 1984 "Rediscovery" trip
After a small pool right below the falls, the current splits around a small island and both branches shoot down narrow chutes to the right. This is the beginning of what we call the Gun Club run, as there is a gun club on river right. At times, the sound of gunfire will be constant, but don't worry, they probably aren't shooting at you. This section is constantly changing, so a specific description will not be helpful, but in general there is a small pool or eddy after the chute, then the creek narrows considerably and drops abruptly over a series of ledges. On the first trips we worried about the "hole nobody played", which disappeared and was replaced by the "hole nobody remembered", which has long ago morphed into something unrecognizable now. Just remember there are holes, but they are usually not dangerous like some of the ledge holes above are. However, due to the rapidly changing stream bed, the rocks here are likely to be quite sharp. Flipping is not recommended.
After the gun club run the creek settles down and flows swiftly to the takeout at the State Route 132 bridge. I believe this access is state owned (Land directly under a bridge). People also take out on river right a little upstream of the bridge, but that access is on private property.
The run can be continued for quite some distance downstream, if wished, but the rapids never again come close to matching those upstream and the creek becomes unattractive due to trash and development as one approaches populated areas.
Added by Scott Puthoff, 01/29/12:
Here is some video from a trip down Stonelick Creek