This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I-II
Length 3 Miles
Flow Range 150 - 800 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 3 weeks ago 108 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/19/2019 1:12 pm

River Description

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!

Rapid Descriptions


Class - N/A Mile - 0
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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.

Fifth Avenue

Class - II Mile - 0.18
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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.

Fourth Avenue

Class - II Mile - 0.28
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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).

Hwy.2/W.Adams Street Rips

Class - I Mile - 0.72
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Minor riffles and rips may immediately precede and follow passing under the Hwy.2 bridge.

Genesee Rips

Class - I Mile - 0.82
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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.

Pedestrian Bridge

Class - I Mile - 1.25
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A bridge spans the river, and just downstream, it appears there may be some minor rapids or swifts/rips.

USGS sampling site: 65 sq.mi.

Class - N/A Mile - 1.58
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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.)

State Line Trail Bridge

Class - N/A Mile - 1.75
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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.

19th Street

Class - N/A Mile - 2.29
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You'll pass under another bridge for the State Line Trail, followed very quickly by passing under W.19th Street bridge.


Class - II Mile - 2.38
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Aerial view appears to show a small ledge which could provide some whitewater play.

Museum Drive

Class - N/A Mile - 2.52
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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).

Apple Blossom Trail parking

Class - N/A Mile - 3
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Since there is trailhead parking for the Apple Blossom Trail at this location, it makes the best take-out for the 'in town' short-section of this river. (To be more correct, your river trip and shuttle are not just in a single town, but will take you past or through three towns: Iron River, Stambaugh, and Caspian!)

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.

County Road 424/Youngs Ave/E.Railroad Street

Class - N/A Mile - 4.06
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Private footbridge

Class - N/A Mile - 6.04
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(Just a mile-marker/waypoint.)

Increased gradient

Class - N/A Mile - 8.1
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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.

Confluence with Brule River

Class - N/A Mile - 9.5
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Almost immediately after the confluence, you'll pass under the Nicolet State Trail.

Scott lake Road

Class - N/A Mile - 10.3
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This is the first possible access point beyond the mouth of the Iron River (after the confluence with the Brule).


Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

State Line Trail (bike trail) parallels this short stretch, making a bike shuttle very convenient.

No Accident Reports






Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1203774 11/01/14 Rob n/a
1203775 11/01/14 Rob Initial add.
1211953 04/19/19 Rob updated name
1211954 04/19/19 Rob updated description
1211955 04/19/19 Rob updated description
1211956 04/19/19 Rob updated name
1211958 04/19/19 Rob updated name
1211957 04/19/19 Rob updated stats
1211959 04/19/19 Rob updated stats
1211960 04/19/19 Rob updated description
1211961 04/19/19 Rob updated description
1211962 04/19/19 Rob updated description