Poplar, Minnesota, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||46 fpm|
|Max Gradient||86 fpm|
This upper stretch of the Poplar is (roughly) 2 miles at 50+FPM, 2 miles at just 16FPM, then it finishes with nearly a mile at 86FPM! This is not likely to be 'hair boating', but looks to be very worthwhile. So . . . has anyone explored this run? Help out your fellow boaters by adding a comment below, or (better yet) add a report with photos or video!
At the listed put-in, drainage is about 30 square miles, so it will take peak spring melt and/or good rains to make boatable flows, and it's not likely to flow too many days in a row. However, if you were hoping for some other runs in the area, and find them too high, this could be a very worthwhile alternative. (It is not known how passable the access roads are for early-spring.)
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|3.9||Head of final gradient||N/A|
Starting virtually right at the put-in (the Poplar River Campground, off FR164/Honeymoon Trail), you'll find nearly a quarter-mile of continuous low-grade rapids.
Just 1/8th mile of meandering flatwater intervenes before more light rapids continue.
A decent sized island splits the flow. (OK, not the first one you'll encounter, but a larger one than so far encountered.) More flow goes left (the slightly longer path around), but if the right channel looks clear (no wood), you may prefer taking it. (This is mostly as a way-point/progress-mark.)
Mapping shows a 'road' here, but aerial views appear to show more of a powerline clearing (perhaps an off-road/double-track?) which could be used for access/egress, but is more likely to be a progress marker. Light rapids precede for a good ways, and continue perhaps a quarter-mile beyond before petering out into a very low gradient section of this run.
After about a mile of flat water, rapids resume.
Barker Creek enters from river-right.
A bit more than a quarter-mile (of flat water) past Barker Creek, look for the action to pick up in the final (and best) gradient of this run. Action appears nearly continuous for 3/4ths of a mile before easing back to intermittent very light rapids and flatwater to the take-out.