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Portage River in Ohio

Trip Overview

After the recent rains and evident rise in the river level, I figured it was high time to take a paddle down the "mighty" Portage River. The river is shallow as noted before; how I gaged it was simply looking at the lack of "rock islands" around the car bridge in Elmore. I would call this a minimum river condition, any less you would be walking!

My adventure was short. It started in Woodville and ended in Elmore, where I live. I put in at Woodville's Trail Marker park and pulled out at the park right before the car bridge in Elmore. There is a very crude concrete boat ramp there in Woodville. You can pull right on down to it if you like to unload. In Elmore there is no boat ramp, so you have to carry it out. At this point the water was maybe 6" deep.

Being the river was fairly low, I could make out the features "emanoh" could not (in a previous report on this river). The majority of it is rocks, rocks, and more rocks. There are many areas of the river that are rock on all sides of my adventure. There were one or two instances where there were rock shelves that dropped off.

There is one dam - if you will. It's behind a large brick house, it has I believe 3-4 openings to go over. Chances are when "emanoh" went through, the river was higher than this dam. I estimate the dam height at 1.5' tops.

The rapids that "emanoh" described before the turnpike bridge are tricky as noted. Having one round of whitewater rafting in front of me (and this challenge), I prevailed. As said earlier, river left, FAR left. I didn't get as left as I would like and came somewhat close to going over.

Outside of that, most rapids were straight forward and just piles of rocks. I managed to miss every large rock, but found plenty smaller "butt draggers".

Total time was very close to 1 1/2 hours.


During the summer: "Xtreme Creme" - Ice cream and Food - located before Woodville's train bridge.

Elmore, OH: There's a bar with decent food here, also a greasy spoon.




Route 20 to Woodville, OH. Follow directions once inside for Trail Marker Park or the city pool, which is located across the street.
It's basically at the corner of S. Cherry and Erie streets.

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

Locations on this Trip