Spruce, Michigan, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||20 fpm|
|Max Gradient||30 fpm|
This small tributary of the Michigamme won't excite the seasoned whitewater paddler, but should give beginners a nice taste of tame rapids almost throughout its length. Expect tough going in a few spots, as the river may become tough to follow in a few areas of braided channels. It is likely that some of the 'drops' (and portages) will be over beaverdams or logjams.
There are a few options for shorter trips. We are uncertain regarding access at listed put-in and take-out. It is possible permissions may need be sought for one or both, if property involved is private.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Drainage area ~8.4 square miles.||N/A|
|0.8||Confluence, unnamed trib||N/A|
|1.3||Fence River Road||N/A|
|6.8||Confluence, Mill Creek||N/A|
Expect some difficult passages (likely portages) as the river splits into braided channels through trees. It appears that this is the beginning of nearly continuous good swifts, riffles and rips, maybe class I-II to and beyond the next powerline crossing.
Fine rips continue
Mill Creek enters from river-right, as riffles/rips/rapids continue.
There is a private residence on river right which has a fllotbridge across the river. It is unknown how good the clearance may be (at boatable flows) nor whether it may have a penchant for accumulating deadfall. Approach with caution.
Until this point, there has hardly been any slackwater (at least, nothing longer than a half-mile). At this point, gradient runs out, and the remainder of the run to the Escanaba is flat/flowing.
Unknown whether this is gated/posted as private. If accessible, this would cut off the final stretch of flatwater.
Property around the bridge is all privately held, with little evidence of good parking, making this an unlikely choice for access, especially with other locations looking more promising.
We believe the campground at the confluence with the Michigamme is a Republic Township park, governed by rules as described by: Republic Michigan . com.
It appears there is a boat ramp at this point (adjacent to the confluence and a campground) which is our listed take-out. Downstream from this point (on the Michigamme) is very popular for powerboats and fishing, thus much less advised for canoes and kayaks.