Paddling leisurely along the winding banks typical of mature streams and rivers, we slowly made our way down the river taking pictures and enjoying the pace. We did not see anyone outside of the launch and take out points. The trees have just started to change and we decided that by next week the view would be outstanding. The river gradually widened and slowed which made us wish we had brought our fishing poles with us. The banks of the river show the effects of recent high water and echo caution when planning a trip.
The river banks show a variety of cover ranging from open fields to forests. The water quality was poor at the time of our float with visibility of less than a foot and a high silt load. We did not see any big game but a number of times fish were jumping on the surface. We followed a Great Blue Heron down the river for awhile and saw numerous ducks.
As we left around noon, we were taking a slow pace with only occasional paddling. After a couple hours, we checked our position on the GPS and decided the river current alone would not get us to the take out point before dark. We then spent the next three hours almost continuous paddling to reach the take out point while it was still light. The measured distance for the trip from Google Earth is approximately 8.27 miles.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable trip close to Kansas City with entrance and exit points easily reached. I would recommend that the trip be planned for eight hours or more when the river flow is at 350 cfs or less at Sharps Station (waterdata.usgs.gov/mo/nwis/uv?06821190).
Hwy 45 bridge: