Little Beaver Creek, Ohio, US
1. Lusk Lock to Beaver Creek State Park (Lusk Lock section)
||I-II (for normal flows)
Little Beaver Creek
Little Beaver CreekPhoto by Steve Zerefos (KHCC)
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