Linworth Run & Carhart Ditch

The Ohio EPA monitored the tributary that enters the Olentangy River at RM 9.90 in 1999, at Linworth Road. Water quality in this stream appears threatened (Ohio EPA 1999). As classified by the Palmer Drought Severity Index, severe to extreme drought conditions were indicated for the period between July and October 1999 (Ohio DNR 1999).

The stream that was monitored was identified at the time as Linworth Run, but there is evidence that it is actually Carhart Ditch or Run. Linworth Run is north of this stream, flowing north of Plensenton Dr. and south of Woodman Dr.


Articles in Ravinia, Fall 2010/Winter 2011 describe early life on Linworth Run.


Information from Jeff Pierce, Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District


The first stream just north of SR 161 on the west side is identified as the Carhart Ditch in the stream resource geodatabase and includes Gale Run as a feeder in the headwaters. The Carhart Ditch was originally a county-petitioned tile in 1893 that showed up as a surface drainage project for the WPA in the late 1930s or early 1940s. It is not a named system in the Federal Board of Geographic Names database and was not a named system in the original Auditor’s primary or secondary hydrology files from 1997, but I believe that the name appeared on the historical drainage maps at the Franklin County Engineer’s office that were put together for the WPA projects and may have appeared in Franklin County Engineer’s field books and on some later landowner parcel books in the 1950s.


The second stream just north on SR 161 on the west side is identified as Linworth Run in the stream resource geodatabase and includes the Smoky Row Ditch as a feeder in the headwaters. This is the stream that crosses under Whieldon Lane before it reaches the Olentangy River. It is not a named system in the Federal Board of Geographic Names database, but it was identified as a named system in the original Auditor’s primary hydrology files from 1997.

USGS has an entry for Linworth Run near Linworth OH on their National Water Information System web interface for peak streamflow monitoring from 1965 to 1977, but the location map that USGS provides places the site on an unnamed tributary that passes under Linworth Road just SW of where Linworth Road is intersected by Wilson Bridge Road. That was not the right location for Linworth Run.

USGS had another site labeled as Linwood Road Creek for peak stormflow monitoring that was down on Kempton Run.

Information from Benjamin W. McCown, GIS Manager, Franklin County Engineer

We have found that the stream in question, running east into the Olentangy btw SR 161 and Pleasenton Dr is not Linworth Run (Linworth Run is north of Pleasenton Dr).

Unfortunately, we are not able to find a better name for the stream in question, yet.

Ditches are different than other streams in that they are engineered as opposed to naturally occurring. We name these projects sometimes for the person petitioning the work, sometimes for the area that it is located. This particular stream had a petition in 1893 known in our records as the Carhart Ditch. The 1872 township map also places the annotation “Ditch” in the same area, so there most likely was a petitioned project there before. Somehow that petitioned name was applied to the entire stream.

We see this in our bridge data set also, where this stream crosses under Linworth Rd and Olentangy River Rd.

Photos below are from Carhart Ditch, taken summer 2020, by Ellie Nowels.

Culvert under Linworth Road. It was necessary to cut across a landowner's mown property to exit the stream.
The stream meanders quite nicely.
A section on the north side, closer to Linworth Road, has been cleared of honeysuckle in the past.
This was the only major landowner addition in this stretch.
There are no clear paths along this section of the stream; it took a good deal of climbing under and over fallen trees and through underbrush to navigate this section.
Low water levels made wading easy.
Fallen trees caused a flow backup at this spot, with soapy pollution evident.
Some excess nutrients were evident, but only in this one area.
Several landowners have been mowing right up to the stream's edge.
Close to Olentangy River Road.
The culvert under Olentangy River Road. To get here I had to take a steep descent along a small drainage area and climb over some fences.