For our third paddle of this pandemic year, we chose the Kaul Park to Kanow Park segment of the Rock River near Ixonia which we had not done for several years. (We did organize a big group in 2009 to paddle this section and it was a total success.)
Our friend Phyllis joined us for her first kayak outing of the year on this cool, breezy June day. We met at the Mouse House in Windsor and took Highway 19 to Watertown, and Highway CW from Watertown to Kaul Park. This route took an extra 10 minutes, but it was worth it to avoid the interstate and enjoy the scenery along the smaller roads.
We had been on the river at this high water level before, but even so the river seemed much wider than we remembered it.
Kaul Park is not a destination in our GPS database. We used Marsh Rd, Watertown as our GPS destination, and Kaul Park is approx 1 mile further on Highway CW. There is a concrete ramp, plenty of parking, no facilities. Several other kayakers were at the put-in getting ready to launch, as well as a couple of wave runners. Fortunately, the wave runners went upstream; we went downstream. The three of us were the only mask wearers.
Right on County CW about 1/4 mile to Gopher Hill Rd. Left on Gopher Hill Rd about 1 mile to River Valley Rd. Left on River Valley Rd about 1 mile to the fork at Rock River Rd. Go left at the fork on Rock River Rd about 1.5 mile to Kanow Park. The shuttle takes about 15 min round trip.
Rock River gauge @Watertown was 1100 cfs. Median and mean for this date were 400 and 660 cfs, respectively.
The river was high and over its banks in some places. The current was perceptible, but not swift; and although there were downed trees in places, they were easy to maneuver around. The banks are mostly wooded and uninhabited, with just a few houses along the way. The surroundings are quiet and peaceful, with very little road noise.
Orioles, turtle on a log, jumping fish, swallows, red-winged blackbirds, vultures, sandhill cranes, a couple of herons. No eagles this time.
The Take Out
Kanow Park has a grassy landing, which can be a bit muddy. It is a large county park with a large asphalt parking lot, picnic tables, playground and facilities. The restrooms were locked, which is apparently the case at many if not most parks due to the pandemic.
- 12:30 leave from Mouse House
- 1:30 arrive at Kaul Park, unload, shuttle
- 2:20 Launch
- 4:20 take out at Kanow Park
- 5:30 arrive home – drove via Lake Mills and County B
We checked out Wayside Park off Highway 16 on the way back to make sure it was open – it was.