The river runs through some farmland and the low-bluffs that are a beautiful part of Southeastern Minnesota. There are a few riffles and small runs, but mostly flat moving water. The river winds around islands and is fed by several creeks. I understand the fishing is pretty good, but I have no direct experience with that. The river can be very swift and one should inquire about water levels before setting out. The outfitters in Welch will close their doors when they feel the water is moving too fast.
This is a great litter river for viewing wildlife. My family and I have seen eagles, hawks, turtles, fish, and beaver. The fall colors are spectacular.
If you paddle in the summer, you might need to dodge some inner-tubers the last few miles.
I recommend it for a day of paddling if you are near Minnneapolis/St.Paul.
Welch has a campground, a small restaurant and an ice cream shop.
If you are looking for biking, there is the Cannon Valley Trail that runs between Cannon Falls and Redwing and runs right along the river.
From St. Paul to Cannon Falls: Take Hwy 52 South to Minn. Hwy 19. Go east into Cannon Falls.