Location: Northcentral IL, about 5 miles NE of LaSalle.
Shuttle Length: 5.6 miles. (See details in "Directions" Tab.)
Character: Rural wooded corridor (with a few estate backyards).
Put-in is approximately 598' elevation.
Confluence with Little Vermilion is approximately 528' elevation.
Thus elevation change on Tomahawk is approximately 70' (average gradient, 25 FPM).
Take-out is approximately 450' elevation.
Thus total elevation change is approximately 148' (average gradient, 20 FPM).
Google Maps has excellent resolution aerials of this reach. We highly recommend going to the "Map" tab, clicking 'Satellite', double-clicking near (not on, but near) the put-in location icon, zooming to the maximum resolution (without losing image), and doing a 'virtual tour' to 'walk' down the reach.
Ask permission at farm house to put on. Beware low bridge 0.7 miles down, and dam (run at own risk) at 2.3 miles.
Running this creek brings you into mile 1.8 of the Little Vermilion, where you will finish with 4.7 miles of that run, including its 'mini-canyon'.
Richard DeGroat, Sugar Grove provides (2009-04-24): I've run this many times and each time I do, I have alot of fun. It has a lot to offer for the almost intermediate paddler (II) to the solid intermediate (III), and I presume would be fun for the more advanced at higher water. Check out Bob Tylers description as it is more exhaustive.
There is a dam about a mile before the confluence with the Little V which I just ran this last past week. Extremely fun slide to about a 5 and a half foot boof provides alot of excitement for those prepared and those willing. There is also another fun slide a bit more downstream that can be challenging for a beginner.
The text warns of a low bridge, 0.7 miles from the put-in. It appears (from online satellite view) there may also be a couple of other bridges just upstream in this vicinity (or maybe the others are some sort of image anomoly). In any event, be watchful and prepared to deal with this (or these) possible hazards.
Approach with caution. Scout.
This can be run at some flows.
A trio of us ran Tomahawk/Lil' Vermillion last weekend at higher water and it was sweet. An absolutely beautiful creek with two cool slides, a few good surfing holes, and lots of boogie water. A lot of strainers and a few holes at the bottom of the slides that could be nasty, id call it class 3. How amazing that the prarie lands of Illinois manage to contain little creeks like this.
Visual. Should be "banksfull" at put-in.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Parick on the Tomahawk Slide
Chill Chad Runnin the slide!
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