★ ★ ★ ★

White River I (Walworth County)

Sheridan Springs Road to Lyons:
A very short exploratory section of the White River near Lake Geneva brought about a mix of light whitewater fun and some stretches of flat water paddling.

White River

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Trip Report Date: May 15, 2010

Class Difficulty:
Riffles + Class I

Gradient:
≈ 2′ per mile (10′ per mile in the first 1.5 miles downstream of the Sheridan Springs Road bridge).

Gauge:
Lake Geneva: ht/ft: 7.50 | cfs: 65
Gauge note: We’re not entirely certain about the accuracy or correlative relevance of the Lake Geneva gauge. You may want to reference the gauge for Nippersink Creek, which is a similar stream located just over the border.

Recommended Levels:
We recommend this level.

Put-In:
Sheridan Springs Road, Lyons, Wisconsin
Take-Out:
Riverside Park, Mills Road

Time: Put in at 11:25a. Out at 1:00p.
Total Time: 1h 35m
Miles Paddled: 3.75


What we liked:

Today we paddled the “mysterious” White River near Lake Geneva. I say mysterious because there’s a noticeable lack of information about this river to be found but it’s a great little paddle located in Eastern Wisconsin. The source of the river is Lake Geneva and the water is clear with a generally sandy-bottom. And being spring it was cool water.

We heard that you can only paddle the White River in spring because that’s the only time there is enough water in it. We talked with a friendly local who agreed. Apparently the river dries to no more than a trickle late in the year.

Overall, it was a great first paddle of 2010. We heard it was riffly with some class I and II rapids. It was riffly for about 1.5 miles with arguable class I’s here and there. The second 1.5 miles was very quiet with very little action until you reach the bridge on Spring Valley Road. That is where you’ll encounter the only class I (or II in high water) which was handmade from locals who took rocks and concrete from an old dam that was there and created a great little drop.

After the bridge it was another .5 riffly miles with a lot of turns, deadfall and strainers to sharpen our paddling skills.

What we didn’t like:
For such a short little trip and the information we did find about this section, we were surprised at the 1.5 mile of quiet water. Not that we didn’t like it, we just didn’t expect it but it’s really a beautiful paddle so it’s nothing to get too down about.

If we did this trip again:
We’d probably paddle this section again if the water were higher than 75 cf/s to see if the class of rapids change dramatically.

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Related Information:
White River II (Walworth County): Sheridan Springs Road to Wagner Park
White River III (Walworth County): Sheridan Springs Road to Lyons
General: American Whitewater
Video: Tom Lindblade

Photo Gallery:

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