Olentangy - Just South of Delaware to Chapman Rd. pull-off

Olentangy, Ohio, US


Just South of Delaware to Chapman Rd. pull-off

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 4 Miles

Maui Wave at Full Release

Maui Wave at Full Release
Photo of Mark Steinmetz and Dan Downes by Neil Baker taken 07/15/06 @ 4500 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Olentangy River near Delaware OH
usgs-03225500 900 - 4500 cfs I-II 01h12m 15 cfs (too low)

River Description

This class I-II run is of primary interest to Central Ohio paddlers. At high water levels a number of small ledges create playful waves and hydraulics. There are unfortunately few mid-stream boulders and eddies, however, many playspots are serviced by bank eddies.

Characteristics at select flows:
500-900 cfs: runnable but no worthwhile play. Good levels for early ww beginners needing moving water experience;
1000-1300 cfs: the maximum amount of hydraulics appear. Waves are small.
1800-2300 cfs: many enjoyable medium-sized waves. A lot of the hydraulics start to wash out. "House Wave" is nice. Noticeably pushier;
4000-4500+ cfs: large standing waves offer fun surf. Holes are washed out, but many of the waves break nicely. Very pushy and flood-like. Most waves are catch-on-the-fly. "Maui Wave" above take-out is prime.

Hazards: There are two low-head dams to be aware of. The first occurs approximately 2/3 into the run above the US 23 bridge. Portage river right. A second very low small dam is located about 50 yards downstream of the first. It's broken out on river right and easily run there.

From the US 23 bridge which crosses the river south of Delaware, head north several miles up the river right side road. Continue north on the dead-end road leading to a Delaware Water Treatment Facility. Park along the guardrail, just in front of the newly erected fence, looking for a trail in the weeds dropping down to the river.

Take-out: From 23 near the bridge, travel south on Chapman Road, which parallels the river. In less than a mile, look for a red ranch house on your left close to the river. Just past that, once the left side of the road turns to woods, look for two pullouts close-by on your right, the northern one with a mailbox. Park in the southern pullout. A trail leads down to the river where a low-head dam used to be (removed, courtesy "Scenic Rivers" License Plate funds). Removal has revealed a new ledge! Note the area is private, so be in good behavior mode.
Alternate access point under 23 bridge.

StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2007-03-17 22:40:43


Rapid Descriptions

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