A fun trip for experienced paddlers with non-stop action and several takeout options so you can tailor your trip to your desired length. This trip has drops, rapids, riffles, twists and turns, just a fun roller coaster ride the whole way.. The river has a very respectable current and good boat control is needed to maneuver especially in the first part through town, things slow down a bit one you leave the city, but then you have to be aware of low hanging branches and fallen trees. This trip used to be hard to catch at the right levels but recently the city has been much better about controlling releases from the dam to maintain adequate paddling levels during summer weekends. That being said, levels on this river can change quickly so it is important to check levels anytime you are on this river. The ideal levels are probably somewhere between 100-200 cfs on USGS gage 05425912, Much below 50 cfs and you will be scrapping, much above 250 cfs the river gets pushy and probably only suitable for kayakers with whitewater experience.
This is a great trip for a bike shuttle as there is a small road (S Center St) that runs along the river and right back into town. The road does not have a paved shoulder but there is not much traffic so it should not be a problem. The shuttle is about 4.2 miles, fairly level and takes about 20 mins
Cotton Mill Park to Canary Rd is about 4.5 miles...approx 2 hours paddle time
Cotton Mill Park to Cty Rd S is about 5. miles... approx 2.25 hours paddle time
Cotton Mill Park to Cty Rd J is about 5.5 miles... approx 2.50 hours paddle time
Kayaking, Kayak Fishing, Fishing, Biking
River/Creek (Up to Class II), Rock Gardens
Number of Portages:
There is a small low head dam near the start of the trip under the Beaver St bridge, usually these types of dams should be portaged as they have dangerous backrollers that can trap you underwater, but under the right conditions this one is runable. There is an easy portage on river left if you choose not to run it.
This river is only suitable for experienced whitewater kaykers at levels above 250 CF
Spray skirt recomended at higher levels
Be sure to check river levels at USGS gage 05425912 ,100-200 cfs is the sweet spot https://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/uv?site_no=05425912