Fox River – Princeton

This was our first of many visits to the Fox River north of Princeton

Flow at gauge 04073500 Fox River at Berlin: 1450 cfs (median for this date 780 cfs)

Put in/take out at end of St. Marie Road (no concrete ramp but easy put in and room to park a few cars – no facilities) Went right, upstream (which is south because the Fox flows north) to Highway 23 bridge in Princeton by city park and ice cream shop, then back downstream. Beautiful quiet 1.5-hour paddle, through mostly wooded wild surroundings, under an interesting old railroad bridge that used to swivel. Water fairly high.

Wildlife: lots of kingfishers, one eagle, cranes

Afterward drove to Montello to have dinner and hear Joy play at More Healthy Food.

Illinois and Michigan Canal (Illinois)


Setting: We picked this location because it was close to the Farnsworth House, which we toured beforehand, and Oswego, where we saw a program of short films (Luna Fest) after canoeing. It was a cloudy, cool, breezy day in the 60’s.

Water level: none available (Paddling Illinois book says there is always enough water)

Put-in: 4:15 pm at a nice sandy landing with a large parking lot at Bridge St. access near Channahon State Park in Channahon, IL.

The paddle: Downstream approx 2 mi (45 min) where we could see a marina to our left on the DesPlaines River which runs very close to the canal.  A bike trail, the old tow path, runs along the canal. The canal was a little trashy at the start. The water was clearer at the start than farther downstream. Current was minimal. The surroundings were fairly isolated except for a few houses, one of which had a herd of goats. Our turnaround point was at the site of a scenic wooded bluff.

Take-out: 6:15 pm

Wildlife: doe and faun drinking at the edge of the canal and 2 other adult deer, kingfishers, orange and black bird (?oriole), muskrats, goats.

Other possible put-ins in the area: There is a nice sandy landing at Silver Springs State Park in a lake off the Fox River. The water was a clear blue-green color like a glacial lake. There is another (concrete) landing nearby on the river bank. We heard good reports on the canoeing, but there might be too much current to paddle upstream (or too shallow). We also saw a nice picnic area in the park across from the Farnsworth House, which is downstream from the canoe landings.

 

Six Mile Creek

This was the second time we paddled Six Mile Creek The water was much higher. We got over the first blackage at last! Unfortunately just to find there was a second blockage that could not be navigated around by boat (chain saw needed). One could portage around it but our guest paddler PD preferred not to.

PD was in a kayak and the weeds were bothersome because of friction and catching the paddle canoe was ok through the weedy invasives which area located before going under the bridge.

Wildlife: heron, ducks and ?a drark bird also seen on the Scuppernong.

Time required: 3 hours door to door

Kickapoo River (not the crazy section)

This was a Saturday, and we really don’t enjoy the upper section of the Kickapoo with the raucous weekend boaters. We sought out a lower section, not as popular which is fine with us. This trip is a section of Kickapoo River 5 in Paddling Southern Wisconsin.

Flow at Kickapoo River Steuben gauge 05410490: 425 cfs (median ~450 cfs)

Put-in/take-out: Highway 60 landing about 300 feet west of Highway 131. This has a concrete ramp and a nice parking lot. No bathrooms.

The trip: We left Madison at 12:30 and were on the water at 2:45, turned around at 5:00, out at 6:00. M recalls the upstream paddle as difficult and tiring (as evidenced by 2 hr 15 min upstream, 1 hr downstream)

Wildlife: kingfisher, plover, goldfinch, cardinal, muskrat, frogs

We scouted out other landings after the paddle. Another landing on Highway 60 about 1 mile before the Wisconsin River looks good.  Plum Creek Canoe Landing on Plum Creek Road was washed out when we were there.

Baraboo River Wonewoc

Launch

Put-in to Baraboo River at Wonewoc (state road 33 near state road FF) – seem to remember it was a city boat ramp. Paddled upstream 2.5 miles. On river 4pm, off 7pm Home 9pm

The Paddle:

Left Madison at 2:00. On river at 4:00. Upstream approx 2.5 mi. Off river at 7:00.

Lots of maneuvering but OK. Tricky passage under County Rd FF bridge with riffles-stay west. Deb recalls quite a bit of dead-fall and being nervous about the return trip downstream and that we did OK but it would have been scarier if the water had been any higher.

The river was narrow and especially pretty at the point where we turned around. There were some nice sandstone cliff formations after halfway point. Especially pretty on the turn around so it was sad to end there.

We wrote this note: “tricky under bridge/ riffles – stay west”

Wildlife

Lots of heron, evidence of beaver. saw frog and bird with crown and also a large black bird.

Flow

521 csf. Median for this day 245 cfs

Info resources:

This trip is a segment of Baraboo River I in Paddling Southern Wisconsin

Crawfish – in/out Aztalan State Park

Flow at gauge on Crawfish River at Milford 05426000: 400 cfs (median ~400 cfs) We made a note in the margin of Paddling Southern Wisconsin not to do this river when flow is <310 cfs.

Put-in/take-out: Plenty of parking and bathrooms at the park. Park sticker or daily fee required. You have to carry your boat down a long sloping grassy field to the shoreline put in.  We paddled upstream with a stiff tailwind for approx 1.5 hrs (~1.3 miles) to the I 94 bridge. Then downstream against a headwind back to the put in, which took approx one-half hour.

Wildlife: Deb saw a fox near the takeout!

Note: on 5/26/2007, we did the Aztalan to Jefferson paddle with G&S.