Barry Kalpinski started Miles Paddled in 2008 as a tracking and planning blog to share with his three paddling friends (shout-out to Emilie, Jason and Brian!) who chased rivers and creeks throughout (mostly Southern) Wisconsin. Since then, it’s grown into a paddling collective, where everyone who paddles with us, contributes, or is just a casual fan, is considered a Miles Paddler.
Initially, most of our river knowledge was guided by the book Paddling Southern Wisconsin by Mike Svob, and any other resource we could get our hands on. Our goal is to be an equally accessible resource for the paddling community in our beloved backyard of Wisconsin (and its neighbors too). Basically, we document detailed information on rivers and creeks as we experience it.
About The Site
We rate the water with a five-star rating (the original “Siskel and Ebert” of paddling, if you will). Admittedly, it’s a totally weird concept because every paddle is different but we consider it a useful way to top-line a trip. After doing this for over 3,500 miles, we think we have a good sense of impartial objectivity – which benefits you, the paddler.
Aside from trip reports, we also created some handy Paddle Guide overviews of rivers and creeks we’ve completed, and our Map gives an overview of everywhere we’ve traveled with links to each report. You’ll also find general paddling News, some Features we’ve put our heart into, Videos we’ve made, Gear Reviews of things we really use (or used) and even two swag shops supported by Spreadshirt and Threadless.
All content on milespaddled.com is copyrighted and is not to be reproduced in all or in parts without our permission and linking to the specific shared content. The gist of this: please give credit where credit is due. We’ve been mimicked and plagiarized, and while that’s very flattering, a simple credit or thanks is all we ask.
This is Miles Paddled
Even more about us because we can’t stop talking about ourselves…
Creator/Curator/CFO/Receptionist/Canoe + Kayak Camping Specialist/Owner of too many boats
When he’s not keeping Miles Paddled up-and-running by creating content, keeping it socially-engaged, or designing t-shirts to support it, Barry spends every spare moment paddling, planning a paddle or wondering when he’ll paddle next on his never-ending search for the next great rapid or riffle. He started Miles Paddled in 2008 as a way to communicate with the rest of the original “Miles Paddled 4” to plan and map their adventures and it soon turned into a shared resource.
Born and raised in Central Wisconsin on the Wisconsin River, kayaking was the culmination of all the things he loves; camping, fishing and exploring miles of his beloved state of Wisconsin that are only accessible in 14′ of plastic or aluminum. Turn-ons include: Something hoppy after a day on the water. Turn-offs: Snakes (!) and wild parsnip.
As the voice of MilesPaddled.com, and after more than a decade of keeping it humming with its intended spirit, he’s been humbled at how this once-simple blog has become an important resource that continues to inspire paddlers to explore Wisconsin and our neighboring waters.
He’s kept the site self-sustained which has been an admittedly stubborn self-imposed goal, but the site has become as much of a hobby as kayaking itself. His proudest achievement is that because of Miles Paddled, he’s been able to give back all profits (after hosting costs) to water and outdoor-related causes, which he thinks is the most important part of the recreational equation.
First Lady of Miles Paddled/Water Warrior/Most Willing to Costume For Paddling/Miles Paddler since 2008
Behind every amateur paddler and so-so blogger is always a way more wiser and level-headed paddler who supports the cause in every imaginable way. That’s Emilie, the First Lady of Miles Paddled.
As part of the original Miles Paddled Four, Em has many miles under her belt. Born and raised in Green Bay, her first paddling experience was on a rather polluted, but reputable and often-paddled stream in the GB area. Since then, she’s paddled throughout southern Wisconsin, wrote gear reviews, directed photoshoots, and instigated a great deal of content. She’s also always ready for the next Fool’s Flotilla – because she’s fun like that.
Best yet, she’s become a water warrior advocate, which has become an important initiative for not only the Miles Paddled family, but our family. After our local municipal well shut down when PFAs were discovered, she took action and wrote an appeal letter for donor support for the River Alliance of Wisconsin. After many years of witnessing the condition of local lakes degrading first-hand, with algae blooms showing up earlier in the season and more widespread than they’ve ever been, to local beaches closing earlier in the year due to increased ecoli levels, she took further action. By heading up a Girl Scout program to highlight the value of water, she wanted to inspire the next generation of water warriors by highlighting the many issues facing our own water which included everything from invasive species, to literally seeing how Madison’s sewage is treated before being released back into local creeks (including Badfish Creek which we frequently paddle).
Her next wish-for? Getting the family out on the water in the family canoe or the new kayaks sitting up at the cabin every chance we get.
Brian “Shorts” Froehlich
Jack-of-all-Trades, Master-of-Some/Owner of a Very Yellow Kayak/Miles Paddler since 2008
Brian got the bug of paddling on a whim. And like most everything he does, when he gets into something, he goes all in. Like say, self-dental work or watching hours of Youtube just so he can save some money to fix his Jeep (he’ll now be the first one to tell you, don’t do self-dental work).
Born in Oregon, but based in Edgerton, his knowledge of Badfish Creek and the Yahara River served us well in the early years of Miles Paddled. His curiosity for paddling local waters was the catalyst for all of us finding a new pastime, and then documenting it. Endlessly. As for the nickname? Brian’s been wearing shorts since he was born (like, literally born that way). He’s the guy that puts on shorts when the temperature rises five degrees – even if it’s still well-below freezing outside.
He was not only the reason the original Miles Paddled 4 began paddling (and subsequently, the inspiration behind the website you’re currently reading), but the pirate thing? Yeah, you can also credit (or blame) him for why the identity is a pirate skull. It’s hard to believe that his random purchase of a big long yellow kayak (the nana boat) started this whole thing in motion.
Jason “Money” Londerville
Paddle-Camper/Gearhead/Miles Paddler since 2008
Jason’s often been described as the most laid-back paddler in the group. While Brian was a strong influence in introducing him to paddling after buying “the banana boat,” Jason’s the one who was always ready to put up with whatever came our way – and also push us to explore new territory.
As part of the original Miles Paddled 4, he always wanted to explore “what else was out there.” Since his day job was based in Edgerton, Wisconsin, we found numerous opportunities to paddle the nearby (and beloved) Badfish Creek and the Yahara River, but then we started branching out to nearby streams like Turtle Creek and Black Earth Creek because he’s curious like that.
Ever since a thirty-mile(ish) trip on the Lower Wisconsin Riverway in a recreational boat (Like something from Dick’s), he learned about comfort (or discomfort, really) which instigated the need for the right gear. Since then, Jason was always outfitted with the right equipment and was the reason we started posting Gear Reviews so many years ago. After many overnight Wisconsin River and car-camping expeditions, he’s become well-versed in making every paddling experience properly equipped and comfortable.
Jason has currently (and enviably) settled down in eyesight of Lake Ripley, so lake paddling is just outside his front door at the drop of a hat, and on one of the more pristine lakes in southern Wisconsin.
Timothy Corcoran Bauer
Kayak Junkie/Paddling Matador/Guidebook Scribe/Miles Paddler since 2011
Water-lover and river-enthusiast, Timothy’s been paddling around Wisconsin and its neighboring states since 2008. Always eager to explore the obscure, he’s got a lot of wanderlust for secret places and memorable escapes (well, some he’d just as soon forget). Called “the Fanatic” by his friends, even in the depths of winter you’ll find Timothy bundled up but still on the water wherever it’s only partly frozen. He first got into paddling to impress a girl, and it’s been a love affair since (the paddling part at least). He’s in love with the Driftless Area, but also follows the howl coming from the wild and scenic northwoods.
When not already on the water, Timothy is poring over maps to plan out his next trip, whether alone, with friends, or in a canoe with his canine companion, a Boston Terrier named Wiggs (aka “baby shark”). Originally from suburban New Jersey (exit 159), Timothy has gladly made Madison his home and become a Packers fan for two decades. Since 2011 Timothy has proudly been a part of Miles Paddled. In 2016 Timothy’s first paddling guidebook was published, a manifesto for mini adventures in our backyards. About once a year you can hear his voice on Wisconsin Public Radio and/or see him in person while presenting at Canoecopia. Or just find him in the Black River Falls area, his favorite part of the state.
Our Biggest Fan/Chief Miles Paddled Marketing Evangelist/Miles Paddler since 2013
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Rachel has lived in Wisconsin for over 30 years and feels like a native. She fell in love with Wisconsin while in school, and at 19, began to really explore the beauty it has to offer. Her favorite pastimes include hiking, camping and most importantly, paddling. Rachel cut her teeth canoeing but made the switch to a kayak five years ago and has never looked back. The exception being the occasional Kevlar canoe rental for Boundary Water excursions.
Rachel joined the team in 2013, having been lured there by her BFF, Timothy Bauer. As the self-proclaimed “Biggest Fan” of Miles Paddled, she’s a passionate promoter of the site, a contributor and a heavy-handed Miles Paddled sticker-pusher.
You can often find Rachel, her partner Mitch, and other Miles Paddled regulars enjoying life to the fullest – whether playing frisbee on flatwater or running rapids. Rachel loves the water and the thrill of taking on new challenges that push her outside of her comfort zone. Rachel’s words of wisdom: “Remember to stay safe, wear a PFD, a helmet when needed, and watch out for those wires!”
Voyager/Explorer/Pisces/Some Guy/Miles Paddler since 2017
Outdoorsman, conservationist, and connoisseur of tiny water, Trevor has been in or on things that float since 1989. Specializing in “embracing the suck”, Trevor seeks out under-paddled and under-appreciated waterways with a twinkle in his eye and a beer in the cooler. Having lurked on the page for years, he and the folks at Miles Paddled Corporate decided to start going steady in 2017.
Trevor and his family make their home just south of Madison and love exploring all corners of our great state via: boat, foot, or brown Rav4. Look for them in the blank spots on maps…or patios with a view of the water, whichever comes first.
A relative newbie to paddling, Scotty has racked up over 100 paddle trips over three years and nearly 600 miles. As a driftless area paddler in close proximity to the Platte and Little Platte rivers, Scotty’s first contribution to Miles Paddled was with the invention of ‘The Y-er: A River Wire Bypass Tool for Paddlers’. What started out as a simple submission to share a handyman solution with the paddling community has grown into deep friendships, fond paddling memories and additional site contributions.
Armed with a GoPro and technological nerdiness, Scotty’s passion for paddling and information sharing has led him into the world of YouTube where he runs the complimentary ‘Driftless Kayaker’ YouTube channel and also assists the Miles Paddled community with video editing.
He is one of ‘those guys’ who isn’t afraid of paddling year-round or tackling new paddling challenges. One of his fondest trips was a New Year’s Day (yes, as in January 1st) paddle after a healthy layer of snow, at a balmy 23 degrees, on the East Branch of the Pecatonica. All the aspects of that trip rang in 2019 with many firsts and that trend of firsts continues today.
These days, Scotty is often seen in Miles Paddled photos and videos sporting his comfy Wilderness Aspire kayak but holds his old Menards Viper kayak fleet in high regard. The bottom line for him is to get on the water and enjoy our beautiful surroundings with family and friends on and in whatever floats your boat. During 2020, Scotty and his wife Christine will celebrate their 20th Anniversary so it’s only fitting that they have matching kayaks and gear. Cheers to many more Miles Paddled together!
More Miles Paddled Contributors:
Jared Wold, Denny Caneff, Andy Hoernemann, Greg Seitz, Sheila, ‘A’, Eric Guderyon, Dave Birren, Patty Glines-Kotecki, Heather Rivérun and Melissa Danielson.
More Miles Paddlers:
Tim, Rose, Mitch, Sue, Sara, Jeff, Chris, Karen, Seth, Dennis, Staci, Bekah, Katelyn, Ken, Jet, Monique, Annie, Caitlin, Grace, Sydney, Ken, David, Mark, Megan, Kristin, Joe, Michael, Heather, Oliver, Karla, Henry (and I’m sure we’re forgetting a bunch).
Disclaimer: All information on Miles Paddled is based on our own experiences and opinions of the water. As rivers and weather changes daily, so does the information contained on this site. Always use caution whenever on the water, no matter what skill level.