A handful of minor rapids/shoals intersperse mostly flatwater. Listed access and egress are likely via private property, and would require obtaining permission from property owners. It is not known how boater-friendly they may be. Lacking permission, put-in skips only 1/8th mile of river (and the first possible riffles/shoals). However, it would be necessary to extend the trip some miles downstream to the next available public access, or to some other private property (with permission to park and exit the river). Since (possibly) the best rapids/shoals appears to be at S.Mackinac Trail, if that spot develops playable features, it may be possible/advisable for whitewater play-boaters to just do a 'park-and-play' there at favorable flows.
This rapids/shoals is virtually at the listed put-in. It is unknown whether parking is possible/convenient here, nor whether access is legal (if private property and permission is not given). It may be necessary to skip this first rips/shoals and put in 1/8th mile downstream at the Prairie Road bridge.
(From online/aerial views) It appears there may be some obstruction in the river, and/or a possible bit of shoals. Be vigilant as you come round bends in the river, prepared to get ashore in case of any deadfall or snags.
You will pass under power lines very shortly before encountering S.Mackinac Trail (also marked as 'H63' on GoogleMaps). Under this road bridge and continuing just a short ways downstream, it appears there may be some nice ripples and waves.
(From GoogleMaps aerial view) It appears there is a brief rock/rubble shoals in this area. At low water, expect to scrape. At moderate flows, there may be fine riffles/rips/waves. At higher flows this may either build nice waves or (conversely) may just 'wash out' and not create any real whitewater features.
(From GoogleMaps aerial view) It appears there may be a brief rock/rubble shoals in this area. At low water, expect to scrape. At moderate flows, there may be fine riffles/rips/waves. At higher flows this will likely just 'wash out' and not create any real whitewater features.
***IF*** permission has been obtained from private property owner on river-left here, this would be the take-out for the shortest trip, focusing on the areas with known (apparent) shoals/rips/rapids. In that event, take-out would be before a (fairly decent sized) side creek enters on the left.
Lacking permission to park and exit at this private property, it will be necessary to continue some miles downriver to either the next public road access or to some other private property (with appropriate permission secured).
Gauge/flow analysis (based on USGS data, 1972-2013):
Drainage area at gauge: 201 square miles
Minimum daily mean flow (2007.08.17): 41 cfs
90% of time flow exceeds: 65 cfs
50% of time flow exceeds: 120 cfs
10% of time flow exceeds: 416 cfs
Maximum daily mean flow (1985.04.21): 4050 cfs
10/90 ratio: 6.4 ('flashy-ness')(under 3 is quite steady, over 10 is quite 'flashy')
The 10/90 ratio of 6.4 shows this to be only slightly 'flashy', I.E., flows tend to be relatively more smooth and steady. That said, the '50% flow' of 120 cfs is likely to mean flow is too low for any real whitewater (or 'play') at least half the year, and (like so many upper-Midwest runs) the '10% flow' (of 416 cfs) is likely what is needed for 'best' whitewater. (Thus meaning it is at those flows just over one full month of the year . . . 10% of the time, ~36 days, on average.)
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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