Upper Little Miami River
September 14, 15, 16, 2012



Little Miami River

When we talk about the Little Miami River as a club, it usually means the stretch between the village of Corwin, down to Morgan's Canoe Livery, just north of the town of Morrow. The Upper part of the river is considered to start at Clifton Gorge in Greene County although the river really begins around South Charleston in Clark County. Canoeing is prohibited through the gorge; however there is a launch area southwest of John Bryan State Park, on Jacoby Road, that provides access to this scenic river. Trip leader Wil scouted the upper portion a couple times throughout the summer but the drought conditions the state of Ohio had experienced had every river low and shallow. Wil decided to start our trip at Indian Ripple road west of Xenia and paddle down to Roxanna - New Burlington Road, a distance of 12 miles.

Our campsite was located at the group camping area in John Bryan State Park. It's a beautiful park and group camping is only $4.00 per person per night. Tony arrived early and set up his camp then geocached until it wanted to rain. He then headed the 15 miles to the put in to see the water conditions then down to the take out to view it also. Seeing those two spots doesn't really tell the story of water levels in between but it seemed OK considering. The rain forecast for the day dissipated before hitting the ground so no new water was added to the river.

Laurie's Chicken Pot Pie

Back at camp Jock set up with Ted and Connie joining later. Wil made it after work and new members Steve and his daughter Erica came back for a second outing. Harold and Laurie arrived with Lance closing out the evening just after dark. The food theme for Saturday's potluck was Hobo food. Since there is always way too much food, Harold and Laurie cooked chicken pot pie and biscuits for everyone on Friday night. Steve added baked corn and everyone relaxed around a nice campfire digesting that wonderful meal. After a summer of above average temperatures, the cooler 40 something temps felt great. Fall was in the air.

In June and July the sun comes up at 5am but now 7:00am is when the zippers on the tents start moving. Everyone had breakfast and morning drinks while trying to figure out the shuttle. How to get 10 people and 7 boats to the water? All the canoes were loaded on one canoe trailer along with half the people in that vehicle. It went to the put in while two other vehicles were driven to the take out. A third vehicle brought those folks back up to the put in where parking was had at "The Narrows State Scenic River Reserve." The trip commenced at 10:20am and after 100 yards you could tell it was going to be a long day.

Little Miami River

For a river that is nestled between larger cities such as Dayton, Springfield and Xenia, there is very little development along its shores. Tony with his 142 lbs paddling a 14.5 foot solo canoe never had to leave his boat and had dry feet the whole way. The tandem and heavier solo paddlers were forced to exit at every shallow ripple or leave lots of paint on the rocks. They saw rental canoes on the water from the only rental up on that part of the river. There was a Boy Scout troop just having a great time being on the water. As a group, OHCRA got very spread out. Tony reached the take out first and pulled up on shore. It wasn't marked as being a designated canoe site. Tony was talking to two guys who were waiting on the Boy Scouts and didn't see Harold and Laurie paddle past. He caught Jock and followers behind him. After loading all the gear and still not seeing Harold and Laurie; Ted, Connie and Jock went looking for them. Wil drove the rest back to retrieve the extra vehicles at the put in then back to camp. Harold and Laurie paddled an extra 4-5 miles until reaching a low head dam downstream close to Corwin. From now on all exits will be marked with some type of OHCRA sign or other marking device. After 12 miles everyone was very tired.

It was 5:30 when everyone finally arrived back at camp and supper was immediately started. Hobos eat very well or at least those Hobos did. There was Sloppy Boes, Hobo stew, food cooked in foil, Pie Iron pizza and pie iron cherry pie. After clean up it was again fire time. The warm heat off setting the chill in the air made all eyes drowsy. Tent time was early for everyone.

Sunday morning was gorgeous but no one wanted to paddle. In fact the last person to leave the campground was at 10:00am. The earliest total departure time in 10 years. The upper Little Miami River is beautiful and with 3 more inches of water it would be an easy day trip. OHCRA will be back as we will not let a river defeat us!!!

Cherry Pie

View All Pictures From the Upper Little Miami