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Big Darby Creek in Ohio

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

A beautiful day for my first paddle of the year, with temp's in the low 70's. This was a 5.22 mile paddle through Darby Dan Farm and Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. Total paddling time was 1 hour and 37 minutes. Water level was good (3.44 Ft), discharge (451 ft3/s). At this water level and flow, this is a great trip for beginning paddlers.

Creek is wide and easy to navigate. There were no strainers or sweepers to worry about on this day. There is one mandatory portage (Low-Head Dam), portage left at marked take-out sign. There are 3 small rock dams 30-40 yards below the dam. These may be runnable depending on water levels, flow rate, and your skill level!. Please always scout hazards, and approach with caution. If in doubt, be safe and portage around hazards. In this case, portage right along gravel rd. Please remember that you are on private property within Darby Dan Farms, while portaging these hazards.

There were several sections of small rapids, nothing serious... a good skill test for river reading and boat control. I had a spray skirt, but wasn't using it... so took on a small amount of water while running the rapids.

Mallard Ducks, Canadian Geese, one Great Blue Heron, Turtles, some of which were quite large, and fish jumping.

Please make sure that you boat registration is current, wear your PFD at all times, take water and sunscreen, and a change of clothes in a dry bag. Always make sure someone is aware of your float plan.

Travel safe and happy floating!


No accommodations.

Port a Potty's are available at take-out


Current boat registration required on all Ohio waterways


From Columbus: travel west on US RT 40 to bridge over Big Darby Creek (marked with sign). There is roadside parking for numerous mindful of a few no parking spots, marked as such. Alike Rd take out is at metro Park. Ample parking is available.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location