A tributary of Stonelick Creek which was one of the first of the steep creeks discovered in Southwest Ohio. Brandon Roy and I got the first descent on May 8, 1998. And if we would have run it with another six inches of water in it, we could've gotten in serious trouble. It was full of very bad strainers, and we ran it just above minimum. We cleared it out since then, only to have it fill up with wood even worse the next spring. Then it cleared out partially again naturally in the big spring 2003 flood. It is only 20-30 feet wide and twisting with ledges sometimes coming one right after the other. Things happen very quickly.It is little, tight, and in southwestern Ohio terms, it's full on steep creekin'. It is almost 1 1/4 miles long and drops 180 feet. You put in and go through the tube under the road and over a 4 foot ledge. Then it's just easy downhill about 200 yards into strainers which may be boofed. Two huge trees (no limbs) lay across the creek but can be easily boofed at flows of two foot or more. Then it's boogie water for a ways. After this you will reach the first few ledges, which are fairly small.The first big ledge you get to, Church Pew, is 5 feet, and once you get to it, all hell breaks loose. This ledge is likely to get very sticky at higher flows. Just below that it's one ledge or one downhill-leaning rapid after another, with a tight s-turn and a long fast sluice thrown in. About 7 ledges in all, ending in a funky diagonal horseshoe shaped ledge.Eddies are scarce. Some of these ledges contain some big, nasty sticky holes. Be prepared and cautious. Right above the horseshoe ledge is the place that catches the worst strainers. Hopefully, this creek will be free of all strainers in the very near future. After that ledge, a 150 yard sluice / rockpile ledge rapid cranks downhill until you hit the second set of ledges. Along this section are three overhanging trees which you can get under at levels below 2 1/2 feet.Next up is the finale. At one point you can see that in 100 yards there are 5 good ledges. The first two are small and easy. Then the next three are jammed together in a triple drop that goes from easy to intense pretty quick. 100 feet below is the biggest drop, a riverwide seven foot ledge that at high water has a keeper hydraulic. If you're going to run the big drop at levels around or over three feet, setting safety ropes would be a very good idea. The big ledge must be run against the right bank over a bad hole, so it's a real tough move. The run out is real tight and difficult to maneuver also. Another ledge with a blue clay bottom is just around the bend and it has a bad hole.After that, it's just 100 feet of boogie water and strainer debris to get you back to Stonelick Creek. Paddle across and take-out. Stonelick and Brushy Fork will have plenty of water, too. So run 'em both. I mean, you're already there.
10 years ago
Only runnable immediately after lots of rain. There is a painted gauge at the put-in on the upstream side of the tunnel entrance. The gauge goes from zero to 3 foot: 1.5 feet looks like minimum, 2.5 feet may be ideal, and over 3 foot is balls to the wall.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Directions: located in Owensville, Ohio in Clermont county. Going north on I-275, take the Rt 50 / Hillsboro exit. Heading south on I-275, take the Rt 50 Hillsboro exit and circle around under the expressway. Turn right off exit ramp and head east on Rt 50. Go approx. 5 miles to Owensville. Turn left onto Rt 132 at the Sunoco station, and follow it until it descends into the valley and crosses Stonelick Creek. There is a road on the left. Park in the little gravel spot straight ahead of you at that intersection.Shuttle: from Rt 132 at the Stonelick Bridge(takeout), head back south on Rt 132. take it until it dead ends into Rt 50. turn left and drive slowly through Owensville and turn left at the other traffic light in town onto Belfast Road. Follow it less than a half mile to the creek. Put in just upstream of the tunnel.
We have permission to park at the nice folks place on river right, upstream of the Belfast Rd.
Please Ask Permission. But really, if you wanna run this creek, call me, or someone else who runs it on a regular basis.
Hershel Run ledge
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