About Me

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Columbus, Ohio, United States
A project manager by day, but an outdoor enthusiast 24/7. Desired profession....KAYAKER! My boats include a red 14' Wilderness Systems Capehorn, an orange 11.5' Dagger Blackwater, and a lime green Dagger Approach 9'. One more boat and I think I qualify as a livery. My other toys include a Specialized Allez Sport road bike and a Jeep Wrangler to hold 'em all!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Paddling Big Darby Creek - Plain City Put-in

Spring is here!  Time to Paddle!

Big Darby Creek - West of Columbus, Ohio

Put-in:  SR 736 and SR 42, roadside rest stop North of Plain City, river left
Take-out:  Prairie Oaks Metro Park, Upper Darby Canoe Access on Amity Rd, river left

Temp:  50's and sunny
Flow:  343 cfs
Depth:  3.3 feet
Mileage:  7 miles 
Date:  03/18/11
Time:  1420 - 1640
Boat:  Dagger Blackwater 11.5

It was a beautiful sunny day and hard to resist getting out on the water.  So despite Pub Crawl and despite the OSU Women Basketball Team playing in the first round of the NCAA tournament, I loaded the boat and headed to my favorite river.  It was a perfect day to explore a new part of this river. 

The put-in location had a portapot surprisingly...and it was fresh.  Well as fresh as one can be but someone obviously takes care of this rest area.  There was also picnic tables, a small overhead shelter, and a charcoal grill.  The pull-off had enough room for about 2 cars.  It was an ideal put-in.

SR 42 Bridge near Put-in

There were 4-5 bridges along the way and you could hear traffic throughout the paddle, but I still felt relatively secluded and one with nature.  Once South of Plain City, the banks were relatively low and the surrounding farmland and country properties were beautiful.  I was truly enjoying this paddle and can not believe I haven't been on this part of the river sooner.  I'm scouting out areas to perhaps do an overnight trip on the Big Darby.  I only saw a few people out.  3 guys in a fishing boat near the town of Amity and further down 2 guys fishing from the bank.

Along the way, I saw a muskrat dive down in the water as I approached.  He popped his head out near the bank and as I tried to get a picture he dove down again.  Kinda cute.  It was relatively small and so that's why I'm thinking muskrat as opposed to beaver.  Although earlier in the paddle, I did see remnants of a beaver being there...stumps chewed down like a beaver would.  A few turtles were sunning themselves on the fallen logs.  A frog was hanging out in the middle of the river and dove down when I approached. 

I also saw tons of Wood Ducks.  Normally I see many Mallards, but it was great to see the Wood Ducks.  I rarely see them anymore but I saw them all over the river.  I did see a few Mallards as well and a few Canadian Geese.  I also saw two Belted Kingfisher, a Great Blue Heron, and I heard the Red Winged Blackbird singing to me the entire trip as if he was cheering me on. At the take-out I think I saw a Baltimore Oriole, but cannot be certain.  Enjoy a few pictures below that I took with my cell phone along the way.

No idea what this is...rest stop I guess for Buckeye (leaf) fans.
Note:  look closely at the paint on the rock.

Little side shoot...and rest stop.

Gorgeous day!
I want this house!  I could live in the barn!
Parking for many cars at the take-out. 
Prairie Oaks Metro Park Upper Darby Canoe Access.
After paddle dinner. 

I look forward to paddling this section again.  However, I don't think it is very conducive to paddling except for the Spring.  Although I didn't have to get out of my boat, there were a few low spots.  This section of the river was amazing.  The day was perfect.