Escanaba - A) Gwinn to Swimming Hole Creek (19.3 miles)

Escanaba, Michigan, US


A) Gwinn to Swimming Hole Creek (19.3 miles)

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 19.3 Miles
Avg. Gradient 4 fpm
Max Gradient 15 fpm

River Description

A fairly long reach, mostly good canoe-cruising, 8 miles West of the community of Rock, MI.

Technically, our listed put-in is on the Middle Branch. Not far downstream, as the East Branch enters from the left, the combined flow loses any 'branch' designation and becomes just the Escanaba. Aerial recon of the whole stretch (via Satellite view) fails to show any discernable features other than low-grade rock-garden riffles/rips/shoals. In fact, the best rapids in evidence are on the West Branch, immediately above it's confluence with this run!

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-03-06 15:42:43

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.8Confluence, E.Br.N/A
1.8Low grade rapidsN/A
3.9More low-grade rapidsN/A
7.3Powerline / Bob's Creek Truck TrailN/A
7.3USGS sampling siteN/A
11.4Confluence, Bob's CreekN/A
12.9Confluence, W.Br.N/A
15.1Confluence, Sawmill CreekN/A
16.3Minor rapidsN/A
16.7Confluence, Little W.Br.N/A
17.6Minor ripsN/A

Rapid Descriptions

Confluence, E.Br. (Class N/A, Mile 0.8)

From the put-in a brief bit of flatwater leads to a constriction and some low-grade rapids.

Just shy of 0.8 miles, the East Branch Escanaba enters from river-left, and the combined flow is now the Escanaba (no 'branch' designator).

Low grade rapids (Class N/A, Mile 1.8)

As you approach Powerline Lane, low grade rapids (riffles and rips, class I) begin, and continue about 3/4ths of a mile.

More low-grade rapids (Class N/A, Mile 3.9)

After about a mile-and-a-half of flat/flowing water you once again encounter low-grade rapids (class I, riffles and rips). These will intersperse with flatwater as you proceed downriver.

Powerline / Bob's Creek Truck Trail (Class N/A, Mile 7.3)

After a mile or more of largely flat/flowing water (the prior low-grade riffles having largely subsided), you will see powerlines overhead. A truck trail and a county road flank the river. The river does a quick jig-jog, and encounters another very brief section of low-grade riffles and rips.

USGS sampling site (Class N/A, Mile 7.3)

USGS lists a sampling site at this location showing drainage area of 380 square miles.

Confluence, Bob's Creek (Class N/A, Mile 11.4)

Virtually nothing but flat/flowing water (since the prior mentioned brief riffles) intervenes. Bob's creek enters from river-right. (It's pretty small and tree-shrouded . . . you might not even notice.) Three-quarters of a mile downstream, more low-grade rips will again be encountered.

Confluence, W.Br. (Class N/A, Mile 12.9)

Amid a fine stretch of low-grade rapids, the West Branch Escanaba enters from river-right. Less than 0.1 mile upstream on the W.Br., there appears to be a fine little ledge/wave which is likely a decent playable spot. On the Escanaba (main stem), the riffles continue maybe another half-mile before yielding to flatwater.

Confluence, Sawmill Creek (Class N/A, Mile 15.1)

Mostly flatwater continues down to the confluence with Sawmill Creek, coming in from river-left. There is good access at this point for anyone wanting to shorten the trip.

Minor rapids (Class N/A, Mile 16.3)

About 1.25 miles below Sawmill Creek, low grade rapids resume.

Confluence, Little W.Br. (Class N/A, Mile 16.7)

Minor rapids (riffles and rips, class I) continue as the Little West Branch enters from river-right, but peter out pretty soon downstream.

Minor rips (Class N/A, Mile 17.6)

Two more short bits of riffles and rips before our listed take-out.

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