The first three quarters of a mile of this reach are flat, followed by some drops which may be run with caution. Take-out before the footbridge on a trail in Copper Falls State Park. Scout this location well while setting shuttle (before putting on). The ledge drops by the bridge (the "Tyler Fork Cascades") lead swiftly into Brownstone Falls (29').
May 2, 2002: One of the area's best paddlers was severely injured in a run attempt of Brownstone Falls. This drop has a steep, complicated entry in which the paddler lost momentum, resulting in a vertical descent of the falls. At the base of the drop, bedrock extends into the curtain. The paddler struck this rock with sufficient force to cause compound fracture of both ankles. Extrication/evacuation from the gorge was a many hours long ordeal. Even with a good launch here, the pool at the base is not particularly deep and would require a highly controlled angle of entry to avoid injury.
Visual at Copper Falls State Park, upstream of hiking bridge (in addition to gauge on this river).
Previously, the only USGS gauge on this watershed was well downstream on the Bad River, thus is not very reliable for water levels in this reach. Specifically (obviously) this reach would flow sooner than the downstream gauge rises to a level which results in the virtual gauge showing as 'boatable'. Similarly, this reach would fall to unboatable levels well before the downstream gauge falls enough to flag this reach as unboatable.
The listed "recommended minimum" is based off of the '10% flow' (which tends to be a good starting point to approximate the runnability of many 'upper Midwest' whitewater streams). The listed "recommended maximum" is a 'guesstimation' based solely upon streams of similar sized and character. As such, both of these values are highly tentative. We encourage anyone who has run this river, and who can provide info ('data points') on gauge readings versus runnability, to do so. (Please use the "Comments" tab, "Add a comment" button.)
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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