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Big Darby Creek in Ohio

Trip Overview

Hardest part of the trip was taking the canoe from the parking lot at the Prairie Oaks Park Beach Road/Lucas Road entry point to the actual Darby Creek. The parking lot puts you into the pond but the pond doesn't connect to the creek. The trip including a couple short stops for snacks took a little over 3 hours. Since I hadn't been canoeing for 15 years, this was perfect. Very relaxing easy trip. Had to push several times since the creek was low. Big Darby Creek has really clean water so it is a joy to paddle. The weather was cool today so we didn't swim which I like to do along the way. Most of the trip the water is 3 feet deep or less but there are deeper parts where you can swim if you want to. We did encounter one place where a tree had fallen across and we have to go around.


Pretty steep hill getting out at Route 40.


no fees or permits required. If you are planning on going south of Route 40 (Broad Street) you need to call ahead to get landowner's permission to portage on their land around two small dams. The section we did, did not require this.


Route 142 north of I70 west of Columbus, Ohio.
Route 40 west of Columbus, East of West Jefferson, Ohio


Prairie Oaks park website includes a map of the creek and canoe access points.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip