Dear Bark River, we are worried about you…

Burnt Village Park – Upstream and Back – July 1, 2017

We decided to paddle the Bark after several days of rain and to not wait until any later in the season because of a disappointing experience last summer when we found the river, which we always said “never disappoints,” too slimed over to even attempt. It was a nice day but unfortunately, the river is once again headed for problems this summer.

Flow at Rome gauge: 173 cfs (median for this date-73 cfs)

Weather: mostly sunny, low humidity, slightly windy,  mid 70’s F

Time in: 4:50 pm Time out: 7:00 pm

The paddle: The water was quite high but had receded from a few days earlier.  The “Water on Road” sign on the Rustic Road was still up, but the road was dry.

The first thing we noticed at the put in at Burnt Village Park was new facilities! Okay, a port-a-john, but arguably better than the bushes at this popular launch and fishing area. There is also a new donation box for the Jefferson County Parks Department. (We gave) We were happy to see a “Slow-No Wake” sign at the landing, although this was ignored by a motorboat at the end of our paddle. The river was out of its banks in many places, but despite the recent rain and high flow, there were carpets of duckweed along the banks the entire route. In some places, we could see fuzzy stuff growing on top of the duckweed.  What has happened to our lovely Bark River?

The current was brisk, which made the upstream paddle a little slower than usual; and we did not quite make it to where we have seen the eagle’s nest in past years. We had been paddling upstream for about 1.25 hrs by this time, and this being only our second paddle of the year, we were pretty tired. It took 45 min to get back to the put-in but not an entirely effortless paddle due to the wind.

Wildlife: great blue herons, a small heron-probably a green heron, swallows, kingfishers, red-winged blackbirds, dragonflies, and (heard, but not seen) sandhill cranes and an owl.




Burnt Village – Upstream and Back

The Setting: the Bark River never disappoints-always canoeable regardless of the water level or wind, always offering plenty of wildlife sightings. This trip was on a cloudy  Saturday afternoon with light sprinkles, temp in the low 70’s.

Water Level: 105 cfs (“normal”) at Rome gauge #05426250. Median for June 13 is around 75 cfs.

Put-in/Take-out: Burnt Village Park on County Rd N where there is a usable, if somewhat crumbling concrete boat ramp, no facilities. In at 3:25, out at 5:30.

The Paddle: Upstream for 3-3.5 mi. On the way back we paddled up Whitewater Creek, which enters about a mile from the put-in, for about 1/4 mi before it was too obstructed to continue.

Wildlife: many great blue heron, an eagle (we almost always see an eagle on this section), oriole, swallows, muskrats, turtle, jumping fish, eastern flycatcher.  Heard but not seen: owl, cranes, rooster, peacock, crows and crow babies, frogs and many unidentified birds.

Bark River in/out at Burnt Village Park

Flow at gauge 05426250 Bark River near Rome: 105 cfs (median ~72 cfs)

Put in/take out: Burnt Village Park, which has a decent concrete ramp and good parking (and, as of summer 2017, a porta-john!)

The trip: In at 3:25 PM, out at 5:30 PM. The weather was cloudy, occasional light sprinkles. Turned around after 3 to 3 1/2 miles upstream. We took a side trip into Whitewater Creek because we were able to get under the footbridge and there were no immediate obstructions. We paddled about a quarter mile up the creek.

Wildlife: saw many heron, an eagle, oriole, swallows, jumping fish, muskrats, turtle, eastern kingbird? Heard an owl, cranes, rooster, peacock, crows and crow babies, frogs and many unidentified birds.

Bark River at Prince’s Point

We paddled while our houseguests J&K attended a wedding.
Flow at gage 05426250 Bark River near Rome: 43 csf. (Median for this date: 50 csf)
Princes point to “Palmyra” after island turn around. Saw heron, muskrat, ducks, kingfisher, yellow finch, cranes and mystery bird plus lots of plover, red-winged blackbirds, mourning doves. Water was nice level. Scary fast boats are not common, but we did encounter one that day.