We  started out about 9am Saturday morning north Of Main Street in Reynoldsburg Ohio generally in good spirits and well caffeinated. We had dropped Terry’s truck off @ Three Rivers park without even checking for a port in(a dumb move I’ll talk about later). Getting back to Reynoldsburg and putting in at a friends house I was enthusiastically thinking of a quick 6 hour 15 mile paddle.  The creek was low at this point and necessitated getting out and dragging the kayak a few feet , here and their.

Cruising under Main Street , Reynoldsburg Ohio.  Everything was going pretty smoothly. I never realized the abundance of giant carp in this little creek , I must have seen a few hundred throughout the trip.  Luckily neither of us brought our fishing gear. We ended up not having enough time , nor the  will too catch and keep those nasty fish.

Cruising through I-70 , East-side Columbus we passed Blacklick Golf Course , and headed into TurnBerry Golf course in Pickerington. Terry bagged a few dozen golf balls , and found a green bouncy kids ball. We proceeded to play water polo , hitting it back and forth a few times. The first causality of the day happened when I swung wildly with full force , under the ball , smacked the water, and broke my carbon fiber Werner Camano paddle.  I happened to love this paddle,  and took my revenge on the green ball. Paddling through Turnberry, I found two full irons, and used them to support the paddle.

That’s 4 casualties so far, for anyone who’s keeping score. This MacGruber setup actually held up most of the 15 miles. Despite the losses, I was feeling pretty good, about 6 miles in. Then came the first bad omen this trip wasn’t going to be as fun as I thought. Some lame housing development had diverted Blacklick Creek for some shitty little mud puddle. This affected the creek as it became narrower and shallower. The worst affect was logjams that couldn’t wash out due to reduced flow. It’s a son-of-bitch, getting over dozens of logs, with a kayak and gear. A big F-you to that housing developer and the no trespassing @ the diversion. A little farther down the road, right before 33 I believe, probably the same developer had installed 3 drainage pipes. I missed the bigger one and ported out over rock.

The 5th casualty happened around an innocuous bend around a partial logjam. My sit-on-top has terrible maneuverability, but very good initial stability.  It looses all stability when rocking up to anything sideways. I ended up with a full dunk, loosing my camera. Edit 5/18 , camera started working again.

It was getting late, and the GPS was telling the dismal pace of 1.6 mile per hour would have us at destination @ 6pm. After putting a move on, which wasn’t easy, porting over logs, bogs, and sandbars. I believe we got off the water @ 6:30.  This brought to light the first mistake of  not looking for the way off the creek. I think we overshot the optimal port in by a quarter of a mile. We ended up heading away from the parking , and doubling back, dragging the kayaks a half mile through the woods. About 8pm the kayaks were strapped up.

The final dead duck , was literally a plastic duck decoy , strapped to my buddies kayak , that fell off on I-270. Luckily it never skipped up and killed anything else.

I wouldn’t recommend this trip. Initially I wanted to do this in flooded waters , but even the most experienced white-water enthusiast would find the logjams & drainage pipe portaging treacherous.


2 thoughts on “Blacklick Creek Trip report”

Chris · April 3, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Great blog! I live in Picktown and always thought to give Blacklick a try. Kind of a lazy Saturday or Sunday with some beverages and a little fishing. My guess is to go when the water is a little higher? Its been a few years since this was posted and i believe those pipes are all gone now….Would you recommend from JFK to Refugee? Not as far as you guys went but could still be fun. Love to hear your thoughts and possibly more in-depth of certain areas along the way. Thanks for posting this!

Ray · April 3, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Hey Chris,
I would wait for a high water day. This weekend would be good if the water wasn’t so cold. Those pipes are indeed gone and most of the downed logs have been cleared. I’ve been bike riding the path from Blacklick to 3 Creeks and a lot of it borders Blacklick creek.Portman park is located very near Refugee rd and would be a good portage. It might be a good idea to scout it out before you go because so few people navigate it. Be safe , look out for strainers and have fun!

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