Monday, December 23, 2013

Blue Rock Road, New Baltimore, Crosby Township, Hamilton County, Ohio

[draft... Fair use... Emphasis added...]

Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Bridge faces swan song
By Liz Oakes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP - Hamilton County's "Singing Bridge" may soon be just a silent memory.
And some fear an eyesore will replace it.
Denny Mason of Colerain Township has hopes that the old steel span New Baltimore Bridge over the great Miami River connecting Colerain and Crosby Townships could be saved for use as part of a pedestrian path and river access. 
(Glenn Hartong photo)
This summer, the county plans to tear down the 89-year-old steel truss bridge, one of the last reminders of the devastating 1913 flood that washed away many crossings over the Great Miami River. The bridge was built after the flood.
The 465-foot-long span, called the "Singing Bridge" by some locals because of the sound tires make on the metal grating, connects Colerain Township and the hamlet of New Baltimore in Crosby Township.
One of fewer than 10 similarly designed truss bridges in Ohio and the last in the county, according to state preservationists, its age and architecture make it eligible for the National Historic Register.
The old Blue Rock Road bridge is also dangerous, maintains Stephen Mary, an engineer with Hamilton County.
"It's not safe for vehicular traffic and it needs a lot of work," he said.
To repair it would cost over a million dollars, Mary said, and "you'd still have a load-limited bridge that didn't meet criteria."
The county-owned crossing closed about two years ago when a new Blue Rock Road bridge opened a few miles upstream.
Some fear the empty site will become a graveyard of worn-out couches, old tires and other debris.
"We have a terrible time with (trash) all up and down there," said Denny Mason, who's lived on Blue Rock Road for 30 years and sat on a Colerain Township committee that has researched saving the bridge. "The amount of junk that's dumped (along the river) is just unbelievable."
The public will have until June 22 to submit comments on plans for the New Baltimore bridge. They can be sent to Stephen Mary, bridge engineer, Hamilton County Engineer's Office, 223 W. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215.

Great Miami, Ohio, US


a) Heritage Park (or Blue Rock Rd) to Obergiesing Soccer Complex (Formerly Dravo Park)

Usual DifficultyI-II (for normal flows)
Length4.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient6 fpm
Death hole Rev A

River Description

The Great Miami (Heritage to Dravo) run is the classic dependable "whitewater" run in the Cincinnati area.  Having larger volume than its Little Miami east-side brother, the Great Miami can serve up waves and easy play when nothing else is running.  The run includes probably 3-4 Class I rapids with about a half dozen or more rips and ripples. During the spring, summer, and fall, the Cincypaddlers run the river weekly on Thursday nights.  Check their Yahoo Groups page ( for dates and times.  The weekly paddle does get cancelled from time-to-time for inclement weather or low water levels.
This section of the Great Miami River is run at a variety of levels from 500 cfs to 5000 cfs+.  The cut off listed is 5000 cfs, not necessarily because of increased danger, but because the rapids generally are flushed out.  Death Hole appears to be playable past this point, maybe up to around 7000 cfs.  Incidentally, if the river is rocking above 5000 cfs, there are probably better whitewater options available in the area.  Somewhere around 8000 cfs, paddlers probably want to stay off the river due to the presence of wood and other floating paddling buddies.
Many whitewater boaters will forgo the first couple miles of mostly rips and ripples and put-in at the Blue Rock Road bridge (parking is on East Miami River Road, north of the bridge).  This gives boaters all the fun without the flatwater paddling.  Most of the rapids have been named after paddlers in the Cincypaddler group, although some are referred to by different names.  I've included both names in the rapid descriptions so that people can easily identify where they are on the river.
The other thing to note about this run is that it is constantly changing.  Features that were there last year are no longer there.  Features that were terrible for play are now decent.  Rocks are constantly shifting and moving, so the desriptions offered in the rapids section may not reflect the current situation.  Additionally, some features come in at higher water and some come in at lower water.  Please use the comment section if there are major changes to the river so that paddlers know what the current run is like. 
The run is appropriate for almost every skill level of paddler at most daily water levels.  Around 3000 cfs, the river gets a little fast and the average rec boater and novice whitewater paddler might find the eddylines tricky.  Having competent paddlers in the group should overcome those issues.
Put-In: Heritage Park, located off of East Miami River Road about 2 miles north of the Blue Rock Rd intersection. (Approx. a 4.35-mile trip)
Alternate Put-In: On East Miami River Rd just north of the Blue Rock Rd intersection. (Approx. a 1.6-mile trip)
Take Out: Obergiesing Soccer Complex (formerly Dravo Park), located off of East Miami River Rd. 1.6 miles south of Blue Rock Rd.
Other related or nearby streams: 50 Hole, Great Miami, Ohio (Class I), about 11 miles Southwest (downstream).  This runs only at lower water levels and is good if someone just wants a park and play session. 
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-11-04 17:20:08


Rapid Summary

MileRapid NameClassFeatures (Legend)
0.0Put-In RapidIPutin Playspot
1.9"The Deck"IPlayspot
2.6Blue Rock RapidIAccess Playspot
2.8V DropIPlayspot Photo
3.1Denny's RunIIHazard Playspot
3.7Final RapidIPlayspot
3.9Death HoleIIPortage Playspot Photo
4.2Dravo ParkN/ATakeout Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Put-In Rapid (Class I)
Right at the put-in is your first rapid of the day.  The middle-top part is also known as "Ken's Chute" and the last little feature is known as "Jenn's Wave".
If the water is above 2000 cfs, you'll generally put-in at the pool of water and float down the little rapid.  At lower water, you'll have to walk your boat across the pool into the main current.  If you go to the main current, there's a small ledge and well defined eddyline for good play.  Ender and squirt to your hearts content.  The water is deep.
If you don't head to the main current and take the river left path, then you'll get a chance to practice your eddy turns immediately.  The next two ripples are about the same in character: some waves with eddies on both sides ending in funny water.  Around 4500 cfs, the funny water at the second set of waves ends in a series of whirlpools (this feature is called "Blender"). 
Down at the end of the series of ripples is "Jenn's Wave".  It's a lot like the top ledge/eddyline at the beginning of the rapid.  Surfing can be had a certain levels, but the eddyline is really the better play feature.

"The Deck" (Class I, Mile 1.9)
AKA "Captain Hanks Crunch".  It's a small ledge system that has some small surfing opportunities.  You want to head towards the high deck on river right to surf.  There's a surf wave in the middle of the river, but that's formed by some old rusty metal - eek!!

Blue Rock Rapid (Class I, Mile 2.6)
There are several features that the Cincypaddlers have named here, but I include them all in the same rapid.  Those features include:  "Blue Rock Wave" and "Teresa's Other Side". 
This rapid is one of the better ones on the run.  The rapid is directly before and underneath Blue Rock bridge.  "Blue Rock Wave" referenced above I think is now gone.  That was located on river left.  If it's still there, it's not worth the trip over to that side of the river.
On the river right side, you'll start off with a small ledge for surfing.  You can actually spin a small playboat in the dinky holes that are there.  One thing to do is surf, spin, and then ferry across the moving water towards the middle of the river to a small eddy created by a rock.  You can then ferry back across to the eddy below the surfing ledge and do it all over again.
After this little ledge, you head on down through the main drop.  There are a couple holes that always look much better for surfing than they really are.  They tend to be shallow and not too grabby.  Still, the ride down the waves is fun.  Catch the eddy on river right.  The eddyline is decent for enders and squirts.  Water is deep for flipping and rolling. 
You can also try the Blue Rock attainment:  ferry across the chute of water to the other side of the bridge pillars.  Work you way up river on the river left side of the bridge pillars.  The water gets shallow, so work through the rocks and try and get up as high as you can to attempt a surf at one of the above mentioned holes (you've got a better shot at a surf doing this than catching on the fly).  When that fails, head on back down the river and catch the eddy on river right to do it again!