Browsing Tag

Paddle Report

Crawfish River
★ ★ ★ ★

Crawfish River IV

Columbus to Astico Park: A far more interesting paddle than I ever expected due to a surprising amount of variety – provided, you enjoy some wide-river paddling. The first half is narrow and intimate with easily-navigable deadfall followed by…

Turkey River
★ ★ ★ ★

Turkey River

Elkader to Garber: With wooded ridges and robust bluffs lined down the river one after another, together with limestone rock outcrops, enormous boulders, frisky riffles, a dedicated Class I-II rapid at the put-in, a gorgeous historic mill building midway,…

Root River
★ ★ ★ ★

Root River

Lanesboro Access to Peterson Access: A gorgeous journey through the heart of the Minnesota Driftless Area featuring towering bluffs with exquisite limestone outcrops, rolling hills, reputable current (including a few solid Class I rapids) and bountiful wildlife, this scenic…

Crystal River
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Crystal River I

Rural to Shadow Lake Road: The Crystal River is just that, crystal clear and as charming as the town of Rural that it flows through. It’s never very deep and you’re never far from civilization, so it’s about as…

Kishwaukee River South Branch
★ ★ ★

Kishwaukee River: South Branch

Kingston to Irene Road: A tale of two personalities on a long-ish section of the South Branch of the Kishwaukee River, a generally easy-going and beginner-friendly trip at first, before flowing through two forest preserves full of large amounts…

Manitowish River
★ ★ ★ ★

Manitowish River

County Road W to Highway 47: A quintessential northwoods narrative known not for its rapids or granite boulders, but rather its soft features and easy float, this classic paddle on the Manitowish River is a natural delight for slow-flow…

Big Rib River
★ ★ ★ ★

Big Rib River II

County Road A to Rib Falls: There’s something unassuming and subtle, but really engaging about this somewhat-secluded section of the Big Rib River. With many modest outcrops and plenty of gentle riffles, it makes for a scenic and fun…

Tomorrow River
★ ★ ★

Tomorrow River

Nelsonville to Amherst: This short but popular section of the Tomorrow-Waupaca River located in Central Wisconsin is an easy-going paddle that begins as a charming and woodsy small-stream paddle at the put-in, and then transitions to wide marsh-like environs…

Chippewa River
★ ★ ★

Chippewa River

Dunnville to Durand: Combining the tail end of the Red Cedar River with a lower segment of the Chippewa River, this trip makes for a quintessential loaf float for a lazy summer day. While it’s not as scenic as…

Kishwaukee River
★ ★ ★

Kishwaukee River II

County Line Road to Red Horse Bend: A simply solid Northern Illinois day float, this section of the Kishwaukee River is a delightfully appealing paddle with easy accesses to boot. While not particularly scenic, there’s enough unique features to keep…

Zumbro River South Fork
★ ★ ★ ★

Zumbro River: South Fork

90th Street to Zumbro River County Park: An accessible, beginner-friendly, and beautiful paddling experience in the driftless region of Rochester, Minnesota. This section of the South Fork of the Zumbro River is only a short drive from downtown, but…

Kickapoo River
★ ★ ★ ★

Kickapoo River IV

Plum Creek Road to Wauzeka: An easy, pretty, and primitive trip, this final stretch of the meandering Kickapoo is not endowed with the spectacular rock outcrops and canyons as found in the popular Ontario to La Farge section –…

Mill Creek Richland County
★ ★ ★ ★

Mill Creek II (Richland County)

County Road E to Dam Lane: A very scenic stretch of a truly obscure stream, this trip on Mill Creek begins quietly in a beautiful swath of Driftless hills and finishes in a white-knuckled tumble down tricky rapids. Water…

Des Plaines River
★ ★ ★

Des Plaines River

Russell Road to Wadsworth Road: This section of the Des Plaines River is a sliver of an oasis located between a densely populated area of northeastern Illinois that flows through the open wetlands of a series of preserves. This trip…

Six Mile Creek
★ ★ ★

Six Mile Creek II

Touring Lower Six Mile Creek: A delightful little jaunt in the Madison area, the lower half of Sixmile Creek offers a pleasant respite without the commitment of a long drive or shuttling (it’s a there-and-back outing), plus a wide…

Embarrass River Middle Branch
★ ★ ★ ★

Embarrass River: Middle Branch

County Road Q to River Road: As wild and wooly a ride as I’ve ever had, this stretch of the Middle Branch of the Embarrass River features exhilarating sequences of Class II rapids through obstacle courses of down trees…

Willow River
★ ★ ★ ★

Willow River

Highway 64 to Willow River State Park: I want to avoid the “hidden gem” cliché here, but I won’t in singing the praises of this delightful stream with so much to offer, on the exurban edge of the Twin…

Fisher River
★ ★

Fisher River

260th Avenue to Brunet Island State Park: There’s potential enjoyment on the part of the Fisher River that conjoins the Chippewa within the boundary of Brunet Island State Park. If you’re a list-maker of rivers you’ve paddled (I admit…

Deerskin River
★ ★ ★ ★

Deerskin River

Deerskin Road/Forest Road 2199 to Rangeline Road: The Deerskin River is a wild and mostly undeveloped little gem that gently meanders through classic northern Wisconsin landscape over crystal clear water, a sandy bottom and around occasional glacial erratic boulders. It’s…

Little Maquoketa River
★ ★ ★

Little Maquoketa River

Graf Park to Durango: A trip rich in potential but poor as dirt in reward, this upstream clip of the Little Maquoketa River can only be done at higher water levels (unless you enjoy getting in and out of…

Grant River
★ ★ ★ ★

Grant River I

Short Cut Road to County Road U: When it comes to Wisconsin driftless paddles, the Grant is as captivating as they come with its twists, turns, riffles and rock formations. However, there’s currently one big caveat and by big, we…

Neenah Creek
★ ★ ★

Neenah Creek II

Oxford to County Road A: With steady, reliable flows, water that’s cold and clear as gin on the rocks, a sinewy stretch through a marshy area, some tight turns and occasional obstacles of the wooden variety to keep you awake,…

New Wood River
★ ★ ★ ★

New Wood River

County Highway E to Tesch Road: A short northcentral Wisconsin lightwater trip, (made even shorter due to the closure of the once popular put-in just upstream from this ad hoc access point) the New Wood River is wildly appealing…

Kickapoo River Video
Video

Kickapoo River Video: Highway 131 to Ontario

Here’s some video of an discovered a gem of a paddle in the most obvious of places – upstream the extremely popular section of the Kickapoo River. With water clarity as stunning as the sandstone rock outcrops before and above…

Black River
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Black River VI

Highway 73 to Willard Road: Two-for-one fun combining primitive-feeling creek paddling with the bigger but still rugged Black River, this outstanding trip is blessed with easy accesses and multiple options to shorten or elongate your time on the water…

Eau Claire River
★ ★ ★ ★

Eau Claire River III (Eau Claire County)

Big Falls County Park to County Road QQ: A nearly wild setting with wooded hills, steep banks, and solitude surrounds the Eau Claire River here in one of its quieter, often over-looked segments. Quieter, that is, after you leave the…

Pine River Waushara County
★ ★ ★

Pine River (Waushara County)

28th Court to Poy Sippi: An appetite for trying as many Pine Rivers in Wisconsin as I can, and a mild late fall day, led me to this rarely explored river segment. Though offering few standout memories, it has…

Red River
★ ★ ★ ★

Red River

Lower Red Lake Dam to County Road A: A revisit to the Red River and redux paddle several years after our initial experience, but this time with better water levels, warmer weather, companionship and a successful run of hair-raising…