Paddling The Licking River

It had been several years since we paddled north on Dillon Lake which is part of Dillon State Park and headed up the Licking River. It’s a typical paddle for us where we start in a reservoir and paddle up a feeder river for as far as we can or feel like going. Since we enjoy a good paddle and are usually on the lookout for birds and other wildlife, paddling the same stretch of river twice is seldom seen as a problem. The north end of the lake and the Licking River seem very remote during the middle of the week. We had the place to ourselves.

On the day of our paddle the river was running fairly clear as it had been several days sense the last rain of any consequence. On past trips we’ve seen Bald Eagles, beaver, deer, herons, and various types of warblers and flycatchers depending on the time of year. I usually make an effort to fish a little but on this trip, as on previous trips up the Licking, the fish did not cooperate. We were fortunate to see a pair of Snowy Egrets and a juvenile Bald Eagle as we paddled. A young deer even came down to the water’s edge as we drifted by.

The river is definitely one of the most beautiful in Ohio with many bends and sandbars as it winds through a woods that contains many mature trees. On the downside are the many cans and plastic bottles that get caught up along the banks and in log jams on the outside of the bends. Such debris is always a problem in rivers that see a lot of paddling traffic because of capsizes but in this case, given that the Licking is not heavily paddled, they seem to be more the result of Ohio’s lack of a deposit law for cans and bottles.

Below are some pics from the trip:


Licking River Map

Licking River Paddle

Bob paddling 080714 Licking river cp1

Always on the lookout for wildlife. (Donna)


It’s not long before we spot an immature Bald Eagle.


The Green Herons are always entertaining  .  .  .


. . . as they look or their next meal!


This lovely sandbar told us we didn’t need to paddle any further.


Looking down river.

Bob fishing at sandbar 080714 Licking river cp1

During a snack stop I tried my hand at fishing. No luck. (Donna)


We try to paddle as close to the bank as possible because you never know what you’re going to see. In this case a very large Fishing Spider! (Donna)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail duet best 1 080714 Licking river cp1

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails on a sandbar near the river’s edge, (Donna)


Liverwort on a rock at river’s edge. Something we’ve been looking for but not always easy to find in Ohio.

Ruby Meadowhawk 080714 Licking river cp1

A Ruby Meadowhawk posed for my wife. (Donna)


Spotted Sandpiper at river’s edge.

Bob Pull P1090521

Due to low water it was a shallow mucky affair launching and retrieving the canoe.


The beauty of the Licking River.



5 Comments on “Paddling The Licking River

  1. I like seeing the green herons. They don’t stay around long when they see me coming. The liverwort looks like a great scented liverwort (Conocephalum conicum). Next time you see one break off a small piece and crush and smell it. It’s the cleanest smelling thing in the forest!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: