Creek Stories & Events • March 21, 2015
Paddling the Brush Creek Section
Highway 53 — Hwy 393
My boys and I took full advantage of the 2015 flood, which came after our 12″ snow melted quickly thanks to 60 degree temperatures and over an inch of rain. We put our canoe on Harrods Creek at Highway 53, were we were pleased to find ample (safe) parking and an easy hike down to the river. We didn’t have a gauge, but the river level looked full and navigable so we put on.
“It was a beautiful and remote section. A great experience for my boys and me.”
The first stretch was narrow and it passed a few houses that we could see through the bare trees. The bottomland was open and flat with some farms along the way. About a mile and a half in we entered Ashbourne Farms and we entered into a smaller narrow canyon section with river bluffs and swifter current. At that point, we didn’t see any more houses and it was a nice wilderness, class II section with a few lower end class III waves.
After passing Brush Creek on river left, we came to a big island, and after that, we found what appeared to be a small cave/wet water spring opening at the top of one of the bluffs. After exploring that, we came upon the Heron Rookery that influenced the logo of the Harrods Creek Alliance. It appears that they were in the process of building up their nests for the spring mating season as some were less complete than others.
My son’s eye noticed an unfortunate beaver that must have drowned from the floodwaters in an attempt to cross the river to the island. We found him wrapped around some shrubs. I’m sure he paddled the river several times, but didn’t expect the current to be moving as fast as it must have been just the night before.
This was about a 5 mile section. We thought about continuing on, another 5 miles to Covered Bridge Road, but the boys were ready for the next adventure of the day.
The takeout at Highway 393 was less than ideal. You could get out of the creek easily enough at the bridge, but it was a slight bush-wack up to the road. The road had very small pull-offs and the few cars that did pass us were moving along pretty quick since we were at the bottom of the hill.
My goal is to paddle all of the sections and document the access and water levels needed so others can enjoy the creek. The sections above this have minimal access and would require a solid rain. I think the downstream portion will be equally as enjoyable.
Visit this link for additional Harrods Creek paddling information.