Gwen English provides (2004-08-30 11:50:19):
To the putin: From Waynesville, take Route 73 east, crossing Route 42. Turn right onto Clarksville Road, turn right into the "gorge". If you cross over the dam, you've gone too far.
From the putin to the takeout: Come back up out of the "gorge", turn left onto Clarksville Road, turn left onto Middletown Road (before you get back to Route 73)and follow it down the hill where it dead-ends at Corwin Road. Turn left onto Corwin Road. After crossing Caesar Creek (the bridge is the takeout), turn left into a park/parking area and park there.
I would call this no more than a low class II, but it is a fun run. The only thing to watch out for is possible strainers and low-hanging branches.
Low water runs are possible at a little over 6' on the gauge at which the river is an easy class 2. There is some easy play and quit a few good spots for beginner whitewater boaters to practice ferries, eddy turns, and such. At higher levels (9'+) many of the features wash out and some decent sized wave trains appear. At flood levels even the wave trains start to wash out and thoughts of swimming start to look pretty ugly due to the push of water into the trees.
Be careful of strainers especially near the take out bridge.
Scenery is quite nice through the entire run and the water quality is decent as it spills from the bottom of Caesar Creek lake. You'll see lots of fishermen on low water days so please give them room. Typically they are only on the first and last 1/2 mile or so of the river.
Ron Metzger (5/15/19)
The following video shows a typical run of this stretch at 7.5 feet on the gauge, a good level for easy play.
Correction to my report 6/12/16, water level was 6.5 ft. No small detail as it would not be runnable @ 1 ft. lower.
Made PFD today ( 6/12/16) @ 5.5 ft. in Katana, Axis, OT Trip 10 loaded for afternoon paddle. Had no problems w/ wood. Didn't portage or wade. Watch for boulders. scout on fly, our lines good but @ higher levels I'd say when in doubt, scout. it's a gorge. We're not very experienced but enjoyed it a lot. Def no Ca-Brew or what-ever they call it. Bring a pole, the fishing has to be awesome. You'll have it to yourself. Be safe and respect it, these my parts. Remember, you're on your own for all three miles of it, but extra innings can be had out on the Lil Miami. hit me up if you want.
All clear at mid 7ish feet, some strainers partially restricting lines but none fully blocking river.
The strainer after the first ledge has moved downstream and the river is easily run straight down the middle/little to the right. Also, most strainers have moved out of the way for an almost clear run down the entire river. At the last little rapid (just before the bridge and takeout), the strainer is out of the way now and you can run it down the deepest part of the river.
At the end near the bridge, the right and center stream of water is pretty well blocked now by strainers. The left passage is still pretty clear. Hopefully, when I volunteer up there over summer I can get permission from ODNR to clear this out.
For video of this run:
Level was 7.5 feet on the gauge, a good level for easy play.
At 8.7 feet, the two main rapids of the run are good. Also, if you have a playboat, bring it along. After the second big rapid, there are a couple islands. The normal line around the first is always to the right, but the second, the line is usually to the left. However, if you run the second island to the right, there are a couple boulders, the second of which forms a great eddy line for squirts and plowing enders. Depth is pretty good as well. Just check the depth before you start flipping to make sure you are bumping your head.
Put-In Access Rd GPS - N 39.489640 W 84.06221
Take Out GPS - N 39.49299 W 84.10167
^-- Take out is on SW side of bridge, walk SE across bike path & Bridge back to parking lot (20yds) - Per request of park rangers, please don't use the East bank next to the parking lot - it's a nature sanctuary.
Water flows nicely with very few issues, ran it 4x in last week @ 8.5ft - it's a quick run but easily doable twice in 2/2.5hrs
Team Hobo here! We just kayaked from the dam to the Little Miami. Water at about 7.5 ft. Exicting one hour run. Easy in at the gorge and easy out at Corwin. Good rapid action. One wipeout at the biggest rapid, "Hermit's Eye". Definately worth the time if the dam is is flowing out good. We tried a while back when the water was low and had to turn back because it was too shallow. No particular dangers out of the ordinary, just a few strainers and such. We highly recomend this run if you're looking for a little more action than the Little Miami. Great step up. Lots of fun in a short run. We're going to try to run it again tomorrow.
Seven to eight feet on the USGS gauge is a good level; ten feet is a fast flush with no eddies, and you could probably mountain bike the steambed at five feet.
There are occasional 800 cfs releases out of Caesar Creek Lake.
Click here for the release schedule. (Clicking will open a new browser window.)
Minimum fun level is approx 6.5 feet; I can't say there is a max but generally the fun decreases at flood as it all washes out.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Put in is just below the dam off Clarksville road (plenty of parking, and I've never had any theft issues).
Shuttle: From the road to the spillway, take a left onto Clarksville. A little over a mile down take another left onto Middletown road. Straight through the intersections of O Neall, then another left onto Corwin. Parking for the takeout is at the nature preserve on the left just over the bridge (where the bike path crosses the road).
First Ledge Wave
End of S-Turn
Surfing at Caesar's
surfin' in the cold
fall low water
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