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Caesar Creek in Ohio

Trip Overview

The gauge reading was 7.5 feet on Caesar Creek, air temperature was in the mid-30s, water temperature was in the 40s, and it was mostly cloudy.

The put-in for Caesar Creek is below the dam, the take-out is at the Corwin Road Bridge (parking is close by at the Caesar Creek State Nature Preserve). Having paddled this river a handful of times, I expected to see no people on the river and this trip was no exception - we had the river to ourselves. The run is about 3 miles; we ran it twice due to the short shuttle between put-in and take out.

At 7.5 feet, all of the features are there. AW classifies this as Class II, but the whitewater is relatively mild. Paddlers have to be very mindful of strainers. There were several areas that strainers blocked almost the entire river, although as of this report, no portaging is required.

There are 3 "major rapids" to look out for. The first is the put-in ledge, not far after the put-in. It's a small ledge that is playable, but probably shallow. We didn't stick around because it was quite cold and no one felt like practicing rolls in the weather. Look out for a rock in the middle of the ledge drop that sticks out. Easily seen and you can run left or right of the rock without a problem.

There are two other small rapids (high end Class I) that are nothing more than wave trains. There are a couple small holes to punch, but are easily avoided.

Additionally, there is an S-turn that can give unsuspecting people problems. The water diverges around a small island, the runnable side is to the right. After coming back to meet with the other stream of water, there is a funky eddyline-wave train that forms. We all caught the eddy on river right to avoid being taken into an overhanging tree.

Also, the last part of the river splits off into several different streams of water. We stayed in the middle and easily made it down the river without an issues with strainers. At higher water, the left chute of water is runnable.

When in doubt on this river, follow the majority of the water. There is one place in particular that if you choose to go river right you'll end up facing a very nasty strainer that completely blocks that stream of water. Again, follow the majority of the water and you should be fine.


Camping is very close at Caesar Creek Nature Preserve. I'm sure the closest hotels/motels are in Lebanon/Kings Mills (10-15 minute drive away).


No fees are required. Be mindful of getting out of your boat because most of the river flows through a nature preserve.


The run is located in Caesar Creek State Park and Nature Preserve. Put-in below the dam, take out at Corwin Road Bridge. Park at the Nature Preserve for the take out.


American Whitewater website is a good resource.

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip