My 9 year old grandson Jackson and I put in our canoe at Owens Bend park just north of Columbus. Flow at St Paul station was listed at approx. 380cfs. This seems a pretty good number to hope for as there were no areas so shallow that we had to get out.(until the log jams).
We started about 9:40am and finished at the US Hwy 31 bridge just west of Columbus around 1:00. So about 3.5 hours and we probably covered around 4-5 miles. There was a threat of rain but luckily it never materialized. We intended just a leisurely float and to check out the smallmouth bass fishing.
This is a beautiful stretch of river and you would never imagine how close to the City you are. Very quiet and a bird watcher's paradise. Saw many ducks, geese, herons, cranes, a huge brown owl, what may have been an eagle, and a group of 4 deer (and not another human after Owens Bend put-in). I don't know enough about beaver to say, but it looked to me there was evidence of their work in a couple of spots. There are numerous sand and gravel bars along the way where you can stop for fishing, lunch, pictures, etc.
We only caught a couple of small smallmouth, but we weren't hitting it very hard. Jackson just doesn't have the patience yet. There were enough ripples spread out over the trip to keep us excited about the next patch of "white water". :)
Very manageable, just watch out for the trees. There are a lot of them in the river. About 2/3 of the way in we hit the first of 2 log/tree jams that totally block the river. The first was an easy portage around, but the second, which was only maybe a couple hundred yards after the first, was a little more challenging. I would recommend a portage left, and it's really not too bad, just a little tough lugging the canoe through the woods with only the help of a 9 year old. He was a trooper though and did a great job.