Six features spanning approximately
1000 feet on the Maquoketa River in downtown Manchester. This
whitewater park was built for the 98%, meaning the features were
largely designed for beginners (kayaks, SUPs, boogie boards, canoes,
tubes, swimmers), access for fishing, fish passage, and aquatic habit
On warm summer days the park can be
filled with tubers, swimmers, and onlookers. Mild whitewater play is
possible at medium levels; front surfing and flatspins.
No play at a majority of levels. It’s
pretty much flat. At super high flows, 8000-10000cfs, it’s a green
wave in the middle with fluffy but rocky/shallow sides. Catch on the
fly only at super high flows and the wave changes moment to moment.
No play at most levels. This feature is
generally flat. At super high flows, 8000-10000cfs this forms the
bestest, cutest little wave at the park! Catch on the fly from the
river right eddy below feature 2. The wave is about 2.5ft tall,
20-25ft wide. It changes periodically from green to foam in different
sections across the face. Soul surf and flat spins mostly.
Roundhouses, blunts, and airscrews possible! After you flush, make a
bee line for the eddy on river right below feature 4. It’s a good
spot to get out and walk upstream, across the road and put back in
below feature 2 for another ride on 3.
No play at a majority of levels. It’s
a little bump and you can ferry back and forth from eddy to eddy.
Have side surfed it in a weird diagonal angle for a few seconds but
that’s about it. At super high flows, 8000-10000cfs, its a fun
little beginner surf with eddy access! While the feature itself is
beginner friendly, getting there and around the park at super high
flows can be very intimidating for newbies, would suggest you have a
solid roll and can catch eddies to avoid a long swim. At these high
flows on far river right the feature is transformed into a really
mellow, foamy wave right against the cement wall where the former dam
was located. Eddy access right by the wall. The rest of the feature
is washed out at high flows.
Bonus feature: High Stakes Wave
This is a fun little wave than forms
right above feature 5 at about 700-1000cfs. Eddy access river left or
right. Its a fun, mellow surf and the occasional flatspin. Its named
high stakes because if you flip its very likely you will be going
through the next feature upside down.
No play at a majority of levels. At
lower levels you might get a little awkward diagonal surf but that's
it. There is a cool rock splat right at the top of the feature at
lower levels, that can be fun to spice it up a bit.
This project has been completed since 2015. The park is open and free to use 24/7 365.
Update. The project is underway. Construction of 6 features has started and is ongoing. Completion is anticipated spring/summer 2015. Check out Manchester Whitewater on Facebook for the most accurate updates. https://www.facebook.com/manchesterwhitewaterpaddlerssurfers/
You can also contact me, Hannah Ray J, a Manchester native, for more details. I can be reached via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The flow was around 270-280 cfs on 8/5/17. Excellent beginner work for moving water, approaches, and eddies. All the eddy lines were strong and squirelly. Requiring attention to position and technique.The eddies were flowing almost as strong as the main current and at time required an effort to get out of.
The first three drops are smooth chutes with easy to see tongues with a little splash at the end. There were small spots for front surfing, but not really any room for any kind of moves.
The fourth drop required more effort to line up. The conflicting main and eddy currents had to be navigated through some rocks to get lined up. A little bigger splash at the bottom. The fifth and sixth drop each increased slightly in complexity and splash size. These pools were just as strong but smaller. The most efficient walk up would be from bottom to the top of the fourth drop as these are closer and have more play options. Four and five had a large front surf opening with some carving and maneuvering possibilities. The sixth had front and side surf possibilities - you could move around on the river left side without losing the wave. The side surf was a little sticky and if I had more time I might have been able to try some spins.
My friends got tubes at the Watershed slightly upstream and enjoyed the day. The crowd was a mix of tubers, kayakers, and swimmers. The kayakers coming out early in the afternoon with most leaving before the crowds increased. Be careful around the tubers as they don't have much control. A group got upset at me when they dropped in on me while I was surfing and I couldn't get out of the way in time for them.
There are a good range of options for food and groceries in Manchester (except on Sunday when the grocery store is closed). Nice tent accommodations in nearby Bailey's Ford.
Sorry if there is a duplicate post, I had an issue with my browser.
The flow was about 700 cfs on 6/18 and the first hole was loopable/spinnable/cartwheelable for more advanced boaters. The fifth (I think) feature was a good, fast front sufer that was spinnable too. It was a lot fun.
Gauge/flow analysis (based on USGS data for years 2000-2010)
Drainage area at gauge: 275 sq.mi.
Minimum daily mean flow (2002.12.04): 23 cfs
90% of time flow exceeds: 66 cfs
10% of time flow exceeds: 663 cfs
Maximum daily mean flow (2010.07.24): 26,600 cfs
10/90 ratio ('flashy-ness'): 10 (under 3 is quite steady, over 10 is quite 'flashy')
Permits are not required for this reach.
Maquoketa River @Manchester Whitewater Park
Feature 1 @8100cfs
Feature 1 @350cfs
Feature 6 @989cfs
Feature 5 @150cfs
High Stakes Wave @989cfs
Feature 4 @150cfs
Feature 2 @350cfs
on Maquoketa River @Manchester Whitewater Park
Construction as of 11-12-14
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