The park does not maintain the river channel on a regular basis, and stream conditions are ever changing. Paddlers must assume complete responsibility for their own safety.
Swift currents, log jams, and strainers are common and serious hazards on the river. Strainers are downed branches or trees that allow water to pass through. Currents can pull boats into the strainer, trapping the paddler and creating a potential drowning situation. Paddlers should portage around obvious hazards or areas of uncertainty.
After it rains, the water may contain bacteria from combined sewer overflows and storm water runoff. A high level of bacteria in the water can be a health hazard. Check the latest water quality information at Ohio NowCast. Advisories are posted by approximately 9:15 a.m. daily from May through October.
Visit the water trail’s Plan a Safe Trip page before you leave home.
River water temperature and flow are recorded by the United States Geological Survey. The three nearest gages are: USGS Old Portage Gage, USGS Jaite Gage, or USGS Independence Gage.
Make sure you are aware of your location on the river in case of emergency. In the event of an emergency call the park’s Communication Center at 440-546-5945 or dial 911.