ASHTABULA RIVER INFORMATION:

Ashtabula River is an Ohio Scenic River (ODNR Info)
Ashtabula River ODNR Information Map (PDF)

Just east of Stanhope Kelloggsville Road in Ashtabula County, the waters of several small tributaries come together to form the Ashtabula River. At this point the river is small and shallow (little more than seven feet wide in places) and flows alternately between low, grassy banks and brushy hillsides surrounded by gently rolling terrain. The Ashtabula River is, in general, a wet-weather stream; however, it takes considerable wet weather to make this uppermost section of the river paddleable.

AWA Desciption

As the river passes under a covered bridge west of Gageville and works its way down off the plateau toward the Lake Erie basin, it accepts generous contributions from feeder streams. The increased water volume, plus an increase in gradient, make the Ashtabula more interesting from this point on. The grass- and brush-covered banks give way to steep pine-covered slopes and low wooded bottomlands; the mud-and-clay stream bottom begins to show signs of bedrock. Then, brushing up against the ridge that carries Township Road 20, the Ashtabula does a little topographical contorting, passing under the road and doubling back to flow within 50 yards of itself on the other side of the ridge-in the opposite direction. Paddlers on the river will doubtless be unaware of the illusion, but from the ridge top, depending on perspective, the river appears to flow either into the ridge from both sides or out of the ridge from both sides.

In any event, the paddling begins to pick up at this point. On the downstream side of the ridge, a 1-foot, river-wide ledge clearly indicates that you are dropping over bedrock, and it marks the beginning of many more ledges in the 6-12-inch range with a few slightly bigger drops. Mix these drops with lots of water and a few strategically located bends, and you have the makings of Class II+ (III) water that can be fairly challenging for open boaters. Add scenery that is generally pretty and beautiful in spots, and you have a river that is worth paddling even under marginal water conditions. Throw in a few more covered bridges and an occasional waterfall like the 25-foot cascade just up the branch on river right below the Haddock Road ford (a 5-foot drop with some nasty concrete baffles and a mean hydraulic— in other words, a mandatory portage) and you have the Ashtabula River.

Counties: Ashtabula

Difficulty: International Class II (III)

Hazards/Portages: Haddock Road Ford

Game-Fish Species: Water quality is a problem in the lower reaches of this stream; nevertheless, there are smallmouth bass and a seasonal steelhead run for those who wish to practice catch-and-release; warm-water discharge from the CEI plant can extend your season.

ODNR NEW Ashtabula River Information Map (PDF)



Access Point

Section

River
Miles

Shuttle
Miles

A.

Stanhope Kelloggsville Rd. bridge

A-B

4

4

B.

Benetka Rd. covered bridge, access river right

B-C

3

3

C.

Township Rd. 20 bridge, access river right or left

C-D

0.5

0.5

D.

Plymouth Ridge Rd. bridge, 1-2-foot ledge under bridge

D-E

0.5

1

E.

Dewey Rd. covered bridge, access river left, 4-foot falls near the bridge

E-F

1

0.5

F.

Haddock Rd. ford, access river left
(mandatory portage)

F-G

3

4

G.

Indian Trails Park off OH 46


ASHTABULA RIVER Roadside Parking Parking Lot Pulloff Canoe Rentals Canoe Ramp Only Trailer/Cartop Ramp Restrooms Camping Picnic Area Water Food County
Scribner Road bridge southwest of Monroe Center, access river left X                   Ashtabula
Hilldom Road south of Kelloggsville, roadside access river right and left X                   Ashtabula
Root road covered bridge south of Kelloggsville, roadside access river right and left X                   Ashtabula
Benetka Road covered bridge southeast of Ashtabula, roadside access river right X                   Ashtabula
Green Hills Road bridge southeast of Ashtabula, roadside access river right or left X                   Ashtabula
LEDGE--1-2 foot underneath Plymouth Ridge Road covered bridge south of Ashtabula, portage river right if necessary                     Ashtabula
FALLS--4-foot just upstream of Dewey Road covered bridge south of Ashtabula, portage river right if necessary                     Ashtabula
FALLS--1-2 foot just upstream of Dewey Road covered bridge south of Ashtabula, portage river right if necessary                     Ashtabula
Dewey Road covered bridge south of Ashtabula, roadside access river left X                   Ashtabula
RAPIDS--Berry''s rapids just downstream of Dewey Road covered bridge, class 2-3 rapids, portage river right if necessary with permission                     Ashtabula
FORD--Haddock Road bridge is a ford with stairsteps below it, must be portage river left or right                     Ashtabula
Haddock Road southeast of Ashtabula, roadside access river left X                   Ashtabula
Indian Trails Park southeast of Ahstabula off S.R. 46/84, access river left   X           X     Ashtabula
Cedarquist Park and Gulf Park in Ashtabula (all are dirt roads), access river right throuhout the park X                   Ashtabula