Crawfish River North of I 94.

Flow at Milford gauge 05426000: 650 cfs (median 270 cfs)

Put in/take out: Olson Road 1 mile down stream from Highway 19 bridge. Room to park on the shoulder of a short lane. Easy in/out temperature in the 70s

The trip: In at 4:30 PM downstream for 3.5 miles. Turned around 5:50 PM. Out at 7 PM. Minimal current. Headwind made it hard to paddle downstream at times. Tailwind going upstream helped. River very wide and open. No shade. Big RV park at start. More remote after RV park,and the surroundings look prettier where we turned around.

Wildlife: heron, swallows. On the drive to Watertown to check out a possible put-in (no good prospects), we saw cranes, deer and turkeys in a field.

Ice House Femtilla 2014

We won the Ice House Getaway in the River Alliance Auction. Actually, we were outbid at the very last second of furious bidding, but the Alliance director Denny Caneff got permission from owners Frank and Marianna Weinhold to allow two winners that year. The Weinholds let us invite a few well-behaved women paddlers to land at their private beach on Louis Bluff. Continue reading Ice House Femtilla 2014

Illinois Fox River at Big Bend, WI

This trip is a segment of Illinois Fox River 1 in Mike Svob’s book.
Flow at Waukesha gauge 05543830: 101 csf (median for this date 43csf)
Left at 4pm. 1.5 hour drive from Madison to Big Bend Village Park which has a nice concrete boat ramp and plenty of parking.
1 hour to unload boats, find bathroom. Floyd E Swayze Memorial Center(Lions Club) is next to the landing, but it is unclear if it is public or private. Mobil Gas Station is 0.5 miles.
In water 6:20. Turned around just past golf course, approx 2 mi from put-in. Slow current, no blockages or grounding. Water clear but lots of duckweed.
Saw ducks and swallows-not much else. Heard cranes. Pretty and quiet. Encountered family of kids and dad and fishing boat. Very cloudy. Dewpoint 72. Out at 8 o’clock in darkness.

with J&K.

Trask Bridge first foray

Started at Trask Bridge and went right upstream for 1 hour.

Water level good but had to watch for obstacles. Wide river. Beautiful and remote.

cfs 595 slightly higher for median on this day.

No boats seen but one wave runner buzzed by politely.

Wildlife: heron, cedar waxwings, finches. We thought we saw 3 turkeys but they were raccoons out for a drink on a Friday night.

It’s a beautiful ride home to Madison up 73 and 104 (and we didn’t run out of gas – whew).

This trip was after sculpture maintenance and before Skype call with Singapore.

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.

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.

Prince’s Point parking lot was flooded!

At flow 249 cfs water was high but not highest, but maybe our highest.

We paddled with Gene and Susan. I amidst buy/sell of their Maple Bluff home.

Prince’s Point parking lot was flooded!

Young men were bow fishing from two truck beds in the parking lot.

It’s about 1 hour drive from Madison. Water so high, Bark River Road was closed due to flooding.

River currents were not scary but flooding made it hard to find the main channel sometimes. Due to time and concern about the return river path, we had a shorter paddle than usual. Perfect for Susan though.

Thistle plants so were quite pretty. We saw white egret.

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.