This particular river trip started with a camp out on Saturday night at Morgan's Campground on The Little Miami River. The camping accommodations were terrific. The campsites are huge and semi-secluded. Best of all, they are right on the river's edge. There happened to be a small riffle at our campsite, so the relaxing sound of the running water made the camp a perfect setting.
Sunday morning, after sausage gravy and biscuits with some fried eggs, we were packed up and heading up stream for a 16 mile day trip. The river was running at about 800 cfs, or 6.3 feet on the Milford, OH bridge. Just about perfect in my opinion. The riffles were swift, with just a little bit of pushiness in the curves and the flats were cruising just enough for an easy float. The sunshine and mid 70's made the day trip even that much better.
We had to shuttle our second vehicle to a park in the town of Morrow at the Route 123 bridge for our take out. Then we turned north and put in at the Corwin Rd. access, off of Route 42, at about noon. From there we proceeded downstream in our 16' Mad River Freedom with the IQ gunwale system. We had the belly cover on to keep our cooler out of the sun, so our river beverages and lunch stayed nice and cool.
We saw quite bit of wildlife, including, soft shell turtles, painted turtles, ducks, geese and blue herons. Along the way, we also were scoping out the sandbars for future campsite possibilities for a multi-day trip. There are several to choose from with a good amount of seclusion. We are planning a 4 day, 80 mile trip later this spring, which I will post details upon completion. I did the same 4 day trip, with 3 buddies, in 2004 and it was an absolute blast. I can't wait to relive the adventure, except this time with my girlfriend who is as much of a riverratt as I am.
I have done 3 other shorter multi-day trips on this river and have enjoyed every one. Two times the river was running very high with standing waves that came over the bow of our loaded down canoes, but not enough for a total swamp. We went 55 mile the first two days and all we had to do was steer. An all out adventure to say the least.
This day trip was about my 6th time paddling The Little Miami, and I highly recommend this river for a good float with beautiful Ohio scenery. There are just enough twists, turns and riffles to keep the excitement going. There are a few solid Class I rapids, and possibly class II at higher waters, to make this peaceful stream a little more fun than typical Ohio rivers. If you want some seclusion, I would advise going early spring, late summer or mid week, since there are several canoe liveries along the way. The most congestion is from Waynesville to Loveland. A trip up or downstream of those towns would offer more peacefulness. However, if you are into people watching and Hatian floatillas, then go have fun.
Morgan's Campgrounds is very nice and only $20 per night on the water's edge. No electrical hookups, but they do have a shower house and flush toilets.
Route 42 south to Waynesville, OH for the put in and follow Route 123 to Morrow for a take out. Many books and website offer many more access points.
"Canoeing and Kayaking Ohio Streams and Rivers"