A fine bit of in-town paddling for folks in the Iron River, Michigan area. A bike trail parallels the river, making a bike-shuttle quite easy. It appears (from aerial views online) that there are a number of areas of shallows and shoals, as well as possibly a small ledge or two, which could allow for some minor whitewater play.
The run can easily be extended up to as much as 10.3 miles (taking out after the confluence with the Brule River).
Anyone who has more info (or photos or videos) of this section is encouraged to help out your fellow paddlers by providing comments or a report!
Put-in can be from anywhere in Mattol Park in Iron River. Perhaps the best parking and the shortest carry may be from W.Jackson Street between 7th & 8th Avenues.
The first riffles and rapids occur within 0.1 mile as the river takes some quick zig-zags. Where Fifth Avenue crosses the river (or used to?) there may be some minor rips and possible playable waves.
Coming out from under the North Fourth Avenue bridge, there may be some playble features, or at least some riffles and rips at the river heads toward Nanaimo Park (river left).
Minor riffles and rips may immediately precede and follow passing under the Hwy.2 bridge.
Just downstream of Genesee Street, some swifts/rips/rapids will be encountered which may continue about a quarter-mile, as you pass along the Klint Safford Memorial RV Park on your right.
A bridge spans the river, and just downstream, it appears there may be some minor rapids or swifts/rips.
USGS lists a sampling site (more-or-less) midway down our listed section, showing drainage at this point as 65 square miles. (This is not presently an active gauge site.)
This is marked on maps both as State Line Trail and Iron County ORV and Snowmobile Trail.
You could take-out here for a very brief section and short shuttle, but more decent action lies ahead.
You'll pass under another bridge for the State Line Trail, followed very quickly by passing under W.19th Street bridge.
Aerial view appears to show a small ledge which could provide some whitewater play.
We are uncertain of the feasibility or convenience of parking for shuttle vehicles in the vicinity of the river along here. This may prove a more convenient spot for those who may be doing their own bike shuttle, while the next listed access point may prove far better for vehicular shuttle (and is thus our listed take-out for shortest recommended section).
Those wishing a longer float may wish to continue downstream, using any number of options for take-out, the last of which would be after the confluence with Brule River.
(Just a mile-marker/waypoint.)
As the river nears the Stateline Trail (formerly Chicago and Northwestern Railroad), it begins nearly a mile of slightly increased gradient as it heads to the confluence with the Brule River. To be clear, I would not expect this to be any true rapids, merely swifts, ripples, and rips.
Almost immediately after the confluence, you'll pass under the Nicolet State Trail.
This is the first possible access point beyond the mouth of the Iron River (after the confluence with the Brule).
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Permits are not required for this reach.
State Line Trail (bike trail) parallels this short stretch, making a bike shuttle very convenient.
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