The Info List - Scioto River

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The SCIOTO RIVER (/saɪˈoʊtoʊ/ sy-OH-toh or /saɪˈoʊtə/ sy-OH-tə ) is a river in central and southern Ohio
more than 231 miles (372 km) in length. It rises in Auglaize County in west central Ohio, flows through Columbus, Ohio
, where it collects its largest tributary , the Olentangy River , and meets the Ohio River
Ohio River
at Portsmouth . Too small for modern commercial shipping , its primary economic importance is for recreation and drinking water .


* 1 Geography and geology * 2 History * 3 Pollution * 4 Dams and reservoirs * 5 Cities and towns along the Scioto River
Scioto River
* 6 Variant names * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links


In western Hardin County , within one mile (1.6 km) of its source

The lower Scioto River
Scioto River
valley is large compared to the width of the river and is extensively farmed. Meltwaters from retreating glaciers carved the valley exceptionally wide. Valley bottoms are smooth, and flood deposits created during and since the most recent Glacial period cause floodplain soils to be very productive. As a result, farms line much of the lower Scioto where it flows through low, rolling hills covered in hardwood trees.

The geologic history of the Scioto River
Scioto River
is tied to the destruction of the Teays River network during the Ice Ages and consequent creation of the Ohio River
Ohio River
. The north flowing Teays River was dammed by glaciers, and damming of other rivers led to a series of floods as lakes overflowed into adjacent valleys. Glacial Lake Tight is estimated to have been two-thirds the size of modern Lake Erie
Lake Erie
. Valleys beyond the reach of glaciers were reorganized to create the Ohio
River, and the Scioto River
Scioto River
replaced the Teays River. The Scioto River flows through segments of the Teays River valley but opposite the direction the Teays River flowed. In the cities of Columbus and Dublin, the river has cut a gorge in fossil-bearing Devonian limestone, and many tributary streams have waterfalls, such as Hayden Falls.


Scioto River
Scioto River
in Columbus, Ohio

The Scioto River
Scioto River
valley was home to many Native American cultures. The best known group is the Mound Builders of the Hopewell tradition
Hopewell tradition
. Numerous burial mounds can be seen near Chillicothe at the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park . The former strength of these cultures is demonstrated in settler accounts from as far east as Virginia
. The name Scioto is derived from the Wyandot word skɛnǫ·tǫ’ 'deer' (compare Shenandoah , derived from the word for deer in another Iroquoian language
Iroquoian language

During the antebellum years, the Scioto River
Scioto River
provided a route to freedom for many slaves escaping from the South , as they continued north after crossing the Ohio River
Ohio River
. Towns such as Chillicothe became important stops on the Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad

A traditional fiddle tune in the Appalachian repertoire, “Big Scioty”, takes its name from the river. The melody is attributed to the Hammons family of West Virginia.

In 2012, the river dropped to record- or near-record-low water levels as a result of the acute effects of the 2012 North American drought in Ohio.


Threats facing the river include agricultural pollutants from upstream and urban-generated pollutants such as contaminated street runoff and waterborne litter. Rapid residential and commercial development in the watershed is increasing stormwater runoff.


There are two major dams on the river. Griggs Dam in Columbus was built in 1904–1908 to impound a water supply for the city. Farther upstream, at Shawnee Hills, the O\'Shaugh