Jackson Creek, Michigan, US
|Usual Difficulty||II(III) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||20 fpm|
|Max Gradient||40 fpm|
OK, not everybody in the U.P. is ready for the big stuff, and sometimes even the folks looking for the big stuff get caught by high water making their targeted runs too 'big'. Here's a possibility for just such situations.
Jackson Creek is a tributary of the Black River, and our listed stretch starts just 3.0 miles East of Wakefield and finishes 4.2 miles North of Wakefield. This 8 mile reach averages 20FPM, and never exceeds 40FPM (full-mile gradient), so don't expect any big drops. There will be one stretch of 2 miles and another stretch of about 1.3 miles of lower gradient but otherwise you can expect pretty continuous good current and a fine scattering of low-grade rapids. And, expect some surprising up-north scenery on this little creek!
With something this small (only 17 square miles drainage at US2, about 4.4 miles upstream of our listed put-in), expect also to find occasional problems with deadfall and snags (though aerial views seem to suggest this is not likely to be too unmanageable). And, obviously, we're talking small and intimate, here, and likely runnable only at times of peak flow (early spring snow melt or after heavy rains).
So . . . anyone have any first-hand experience with this? Help out your fellow boaters via the "Add a Comment" below, or (better yet) add a report, complete with photo(s)/video(s). Let us know if this is worth doing, or a complete waste of time (even for beginners).
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|-4.4||Quick-shot of gradient||N/A|
|-4.3||USGS sampling site||N/A|
|7.4||Confluence, Connor Creek||N/A|
There is one brief shot of gradient a good ways upstream of our recommended stretch, which lies between Old US Hwy.2 and (new) US Hwy.2. We have no specific awareness whether this may actually create any playable features (at some flows) to merit attempting to check this area out.
There is just 17 square miles drainage at (new) US2, so this would only have adequate flow in early spring or during/immediately-after heavy rains.
Near the upstream shot of gradient, USGS lists a sampling site (two samples, back in '75/'76) with 17 square mile drainage area at US Hwy.2.
Mostly a waypoint . . . look for a clearing where (at least on the topo maps) a (buried) pipeline crosses the river.
(Check for adequate clearance -- may require portage at some flows!)
This comes close to splitting the run in half. If the upper stretch proves too much a hassle, perhaps putting in here for a short (4.4 mile) run would be more feasible.
(Again, pretty much just a waypoint.)
USGS lists a sampling site (three 'field measurements', '69-'76) with drainage area of 40 square miles at M28.
As Connor Creek enters from the right, Jackson Creek bends to the left and slides down a fine little chute.