Little Beaver Creek - 1. Lusk Lock to Beaver Creek State Park

Little Beaver Creek, Ohio, US


1. Lusk Lock to Beaver Creek State Park (Lusk Lock section)

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 5.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 10 fpm
Max Gradient 11 fpm

Little Beaver Creek

Little Beaver Creek
Photo by Steve Zerefos (KHCC)

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Little Beaver Creek near East Liverpool OH
usgs-03109500 300 - 5000 cfs I-II 01h02m 448 cfs (running)

River Description

Little Beaver Creek runs from the Lisbon area generally eastward to the Ohio River near East Liverpool. It is the site of the Sandy and Beaver Canal from the canal boom in the nineteenth century and the remains of dozens of the old stone locks are visible from the creek. Beaver Creek State Park, near Elkton, has a rebuilt lock and grist mill, as well as several other restored historical buildings. This park is helpful to the paddler, providing access and parking, camping, and a phone-in water level gauge. Another recreational possibility to be aware of is the North Country National Scenic Trail, which passes through the park and along the creek.

The character of the creek is basically gentle, with slow current and little depth at normal paddling levels. The stream bed is mostly rocky, with serious strainers being a rare occurrence. Class I riffles are found along the length of the creek, with a few places that may approach class II at some water levels. There is only one serious rapid, a class II that approaches class III at higher water levels, found just downstream from the Fredericktown access. This is a good stream for beginner kayakers to learn their water reading skills and to develop the basic surfing/ferrying skills, as well as getting the feel of easy rapids.


The start of this section is from Lusk Lock, a part of Beaver Creek State Park located about 5 miles from the main body of the park. To get to Lusk Lock get off route 11 at the route 154 exit and head east towards Elkton. Just past the Elkton post office (on the left), route 154 turns to the left. Go straight here, down CR 419 and continue about 3 miles or so. There is a brown state park sign saying ?Lusk Lock? on the right side of the road by a narrow gravel drive. Turn here and follow the drive till it ends at the parking area. The easiest access to the creek is down the trail leading out of the parking area to the left. Note that it may be possible to extend this section upstream by putting in where the creek goes under route 11.

The take-out at the State Park can be reached by turning to the right when leaving Lusk Lock and continuing down CR419 till you reach the stop sign at route 7. Turn to the right onto route 7 south, and continue about a mile. Turn to the left up a steep hill at the intersection with the brown and white state park sign pointing towards camping. Follow this road up the hill, past the campground on the right, and another mile or so till it comes to a stop sign. Turn to the right at the stop sign, following the gravel road back down the hill. The state park is immediately across the bridge at the bottom, with the painted on gauge on the far side of the bridge, left hand side. There is parking all along the bottom here, and access is easy.

In the summer of 2003 the state park opened a new paddlers access area, just past the start of CR419 from route 154 in Elkton. The parking area is about 1/8 mile up on the right. There are NO rapids from here to Lusk Lock, but it's great for birdwatching.


There are only a few items to mention on this section of the stream. The first is a possible hazard just past the first bridge. A landowner in the past has strung a wire across the river here at near head level. High water has washed it out, but be aware in case it has been restrung. The biggest rapid on this section occurs just past the second bridge (route 7). It is a class I that can be an easy class II at water levels around 800 cfs at the online gauge. There is usually a strainer at this bridge, but normally the right side is open enough to float through. The other riffles in this section can be fun to play on, but mostly vanish as the water level raises towards 2 feet at the painted gauge at the state park.

Note: High water from the remnants of Hurricanes Ivan & Frances brought water levels here up past 7 feet on the state park gauge. There are now several trees in the creek where for many years it had almost none.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2004-12-23 00:42:36


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
September 7 2007 (4148 days ago)
x (1)
I was on the river right around the same time you were, however, i was kayaking, and i will agree
the water was very swift. My father and i started at the state park and took out at fredericktown (
we ran eagle rapid and played a little then walked back up stream) we had no mishaps. it took us a
little less than 2 hours to complete this run (usually taking 3-3 1/2 hours if not more) anyways,
the river was a blast and wished it ran at these levels year round, but take caution as the
previous comment stated, you will need to have some experience when the river is flowing at higher
August 27 2007 (4159 days ago)
Bruce & Ruth MartinDetails
My husband and I canoed Beaver Creek when the USGS gauge was about 1600 cfs. We are
novice/intermediate paddlers using a 16' Old Town Penobscot canoe. We put in first at Lisbon about
1/4 mile from the Rt. 30 bridge below Willow Grove Park (beware lowhead dam in park) --east side of
Lisbon. Very swift water calling for quick judgment to avoid small hazards. One very low bridge
about mid-town, had to bend over to go under. Waterway would be impassable at higher levels because
of this. One downed tree across entire creek west of town. Another downed tree east of Lusk Lock.
Ended at State Park. Put in a second time (same day) at Fredricktown. Menacing waves for the less
experienced as we went under the Fredricktown bridge. We were not able to stay upright for Eagle
Rapids and tipped. Swift water, took ten minutes to reach shore. Remainder of the trip to the Ohio
River was fast, but no mishaps. At this water level, a person definitely needs to be able to read/
judge the rapids on this last section of the river.