??? on the Muskingum River Ohio

I’ve paddled the section of this river from Coschocton to Dresden. Anybody on here paddle or have knowledge of the section from Dresden to McConnelsville (Malta)? Are there good portages for the locks? I know the water is deep enough for boat traffic. Is it decent paddling?

You can lock through
Buy a “season pass” and go through as many locks as you like for $15, or pay $5 a lock. I think it would be a fairly long and complicate portage at Zanesville, as you have to paddle through a canal for about 1/4 mile or so to get to the double lock. The locks are operated Thursday through Sunday, I think, until sometime in October. It’s kind of cool to go through the locks. Generally a very low key experience. But if there has been a lot of rain, and the river is flowing, coming out of the lock in a kayak is a bit like coming out of the rodeo chute on a bull.

You can also camp for free at any of the locks, except for the non-operational one at Ellis damn, where there is a camping fee. Best time to paddle the stretch you are thinking of doing is the Fall, as the river is wide, and there’s little shade. When the water is low, it is like paddling on an endless lake, as there is little current.

Oh, and the locks are actually HAND OPERATED. They lock operators turn a big crank to open and close them. They are considered one of the top ten historic engineering sites in the country. I’m pretty sure that most of the locks on the Erie canal are no longer hand operated.

when are you thinking of going? Would you like some company? I need a shakedown trip before my foray out west to the san juan river.

hit me up.

Big Papi

Muskingum Water Trail
You might want to check out the Water Trail Map on the ODNR site:


The trail map addresses some of the portaging and camping issues. The stretch you are considering is locally known from Zanesville as the upper pool and the lower pool. A good description as previously indicated because of the slow current and big river aspect. When the water is down I often put in and paddle up river for several miles then back. The difference it time up vs down river is not much. I live in Zanesville and have paddled the Coshocton to Zanesville section, and have boated down past Malta. Coshocton to Dresden is the most remote section of the Muskingum and from there on down you begin to see cities and houses, though there are still some undeveloped sections. Frank

Thank you all for the info, very useful. I’m looking at maybe paddling that area next year.

time to dresden

I’m planning on canoeing from Coshocton to Dresden, I read that you have done it. Could you please let me know about how long it took?

Thanks for any info

I’m wondering the same thing. Did you ever find out?