Eighty-two miles of the Big Darby
Creek and its major tributary, Little
Darby Creek, were designated as state
scenic rivers in 1984.
The Darby Creek System constitutes
some of the most important natural
resources in central Ohio.
Flowing through rich agricultural
bottomland of Union, Madison,
Franklin and Pickaway counties, the
creek's valley is characterized by
gently rolling topography in the upper
reaches to relatively steep,
heavily-wooded topography in lower
portions. Both streams were included
in the national scenic rivers program
Big and Little Darby Creeks are noted
nationally for their tremendous
diversity and abundance of both
aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals.
They are home to 86 species of fish, five of which are endangered in Ohio including the federally
endangered Scioto Madtom, which is endemic to the area.
Forty-one species of freshwater mollusks live in these waters, eight of which are on the Ohio
endangered list. The Darby Creek watershed covers an area of 556.6 square miles.
The creeks banks are flanked with native vegetation varying considerably in width; from only a narrow
line of trees to deep and extensive forests. Floodplain trees such as buckeye, sycamore, silver maple
and box elder tolerate periods of inundation. Species more adapted to drier soils such as oak and sugar
maple line the valley walls.
Remnant prairie species such as purple coneflower, the threatened prairie false indigo and Indian
paintbrush inhabit the slopes and bluffs along the streams. Numerous species of birds and mammals
depend upon this linear strip of undisturbed habitat for their existence.
Page last updated 11/26/02