The site will provide additional opportunities for people to enjoy the stream.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
ELKTON -- Paddlers interested in floating down one of the state's most scenic waterways will find it easier to do so in a few weeks.
In May, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources plans to install a canoe and kayak access point to the Middle Fork of Little Beaver Creek along County Road 419 in Elkrun Township.
Much of the creek is unavailable to the public because it flows through private land.
Paddlers must have permission to cross someone's property to launch and take out their craft, or they must find a public place, such as Beaver Creek State Park, off state Route 7, southeast of Elkton.
For the public
Creation of the put-in spot adds another point where the public can access the creek, which has been recognized by the state and federal governments for its scenic beauty.
Work on the site will begin near the end of May and take about two weeks, explained Jim Tillman, Beaver Creek State Park manager.
Estimated cost is $5,000.
Plans call for constructing a 60-foot-by-60-foot gravel parking lot and a nearly 125-foot-long path leading from the lot to the stream.
A toilet and signs designating the site as a watercraft put-in spot also will be placed at the site, Tillman said.
The state also will install a culvert between the stream and the parking area.
The facility is being made possible through the state's leasing the land from Elkrun Township for a total of $1 for 25 years, Tillman said.
Beaver Creek State Park crews will maintain the site.
"There's a lot of interest" being shown in the site's creation, Tillman said.
Popular for paddling
Beaver Creek is popular with canoeists and kayakers. Several hundred people from throughout the region take trips on it annually, Tillman said.
The peak paddling season for the stream is in spring and fall, when water levels in the rock-strewn creek are higher.
Boaters can ride the stream all the way to its confluence with the Ohio River in Pennsylvania, just east of East Liverpool.
Tillman estimated that, from the Elkton put-in, it would be about a 12-mile float to the river. Such a trip would take nearly six hours, he said.