Stony - FS Rd 424 to Birch Lake (5 miles)

Stony, Minnesota, US


FS Rd 424 to Birch Lake (5 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 35 fpm

The Box

The Box
Photo by Burgess Gnargard taken 09/01/14

River Description

Whitewater action appears early in run (first 3/4 mile), followed by long, flat access paddle out (or a long carry back up).

The main drops (at least, as named in the following video) are: Always Right, Triple Drop, The Box, and Desensitization Falls.

A Minnesota DNR gauge now exists right at the listed putin. We are unable to directly poll this gauge to display data, but you can check it online at:

If you run this river, help your fellow paddlers by providing gauge reading and your evaluation of it via a comment.
Check it out in this video from YouTube:

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-01-12 14:30:21

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Drainage: 210 sq.mi.N/A
0.1Opening DropN/A
0.4Second SequenceN/A
0.7First PoolN/A
1.0Third SequenceN/A
1.0Second PoolN/A
1.3Third PoolN/A
1.6HUGE IslandN/A
1.7Island DropN/A
2.0Minor dropN/A
2.5Stony SqueezeN/A
3.2Rock DikesN/A
4.4Denley Creek SequenceN/A

Rapid Descriptions

Drainage: 210 sq.mi. (Class N/A)

A MN DNR gauge exists very near our listed put-in, and lists drainage of 210 square miles.

Opening Drop (Class N/A, Mile 0.1)

First off, what follows in this listing is NOT based on first-hand knowledge of the run, but solely upon online aerial views. All rapids/feature 'names' used here are NOT meant to be names, but rather are merely descriptors. Anyone having first-hand knowledge of names which correspond to each or any of the features/rapids, and the appropriate class/difficulty rating, is encouraged to "Add a Comment" or provide a report or other feedback to help your fellow boaters with proper information.

The first action appears to come less than a tenth of a mile downstream of the CR424 put-in bridge.

Second Sequence (Class N/A, Mile 0.4)

Rocky outcroppings appear to divert the flow into a combo drop that is likely to have a left-to-right route.

First Pool (Class N/A, Mile 0.7)

After nearly 1/3rd of a mile of fairly continuous boulderbed (this is the Stony River, after all!), you encounter a significant pool as the river takes a 90-degree bend to the right. This is the start of a loop/hook in the river. Not far out of the pool, the stony boulderbed continues.

Third Sequence (Class N/A, Mile 1.0)

The third more significant sequence occurs where more bedrock chokes the stream. It appears that a chute down the left may be a preferred route, though (depending upon flows) a route may open up more center-river.

Second Pool (Class N/A, Mile 1.0)

After a short bit of runout boulderbed, a second pool is encountered. The river takes nearly a horseshoe bend to the left, encountering more light boulderbed rapids.

Third Pool (Class N/A, Mile 1.3)

A much larger pool is encountered. Folks wishing to do the briefest trip may prefer to paddle to the left-far-end of this pool where they may find a trail (or maybe have to bushwack?) back to the road (178) where they may have left a shuttle vehicle, or to walk back up to the put-in bridge.

Those continuing downriver will find that it doubles back hard right, encountering a long narrow island as it departs this pool.

HUGE Island (Class N/A, Mile 1.6)

A very large island will be encountered not far out of the just mentioned third pool. To the left is the most direct route (and will be detailed below).

Head right and you encounter some light boulderbed rapids, an area or two of narrowing (possible compression waves?), and will not encounter the left channel (end of the island) until about 1.5 miles. Being  a longer route, gradient (of couse) will be reduced as compared to the left route, which is only about 2/3rds of a mile.

Island Drop (Class N/A, Mile 1.7)

As some bedrock is encountered, a fine little left/right sequence is encountered.

Minor drop (Class N/A, Mile 2.0)

It appears a much more minor feature may occur at this point.

Stony Squeeze (Class N/A, Mile 2.5)

After the flows (from around the huge island) rejoin, the river pools up, twists to the right (heading north), and narrows to encounter a fine rocky sequence.

Crux (Class N/A, Mile 2.6)

The stony squeeze continues nicely for a bit, encountering what appears to be a bit more concentrated area at this point -- perhaps a 'crux' of the whole sequence.

Rock Dikes (Class N/A, Mile 3.2)

After about a half-mile of almost entirely flatwater, a bedrock intrusion forms a dike/dam across the stream just below a small island. At the right flows, this may form an interesting (playable?) feature. A short pool leads to another rock dike/dam.

Denley Creek Sequence (Class N/A, Mile 4.4)

Denly Creek enters from river-right. This will be a welcome sign that the mile-and-a-quarter of flatwater is done, as a fine stony sequence lies just downstream. It should start pretty simply down the middle, but as the river twists left, then right, it encounters a bit more bedrock for a fine finish to this sequence.

Finale (Class N/A, Mile 4.8)

A brief recovery pool after the prior drop leads into a minor rock garden, then into a larger pool before the final sequence. The river twists to the left to spill across rock outcropping (probably a left-right-left comination) before the backwaters of Birch Lake are encountered.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 7 2012 (2440 days ago)
Nora WhitmoreDetails
A pin occurred on the rapid just before The Box. The water was low at 1.25 on the gauge. The pin
happened towards the end of the rapid just right of center. The boater went to the right of a tooth
of rock that poked up and was stopped. The boat then settled against the tooth and stayed there for
a night until it was extracted. Boater was able to get out and was fine. The Box has had a few pins
in it that I know of. They happen on river right. You may consider placing someone with a rope
above that spot esp if the river is low. I would say the low end of running this river is around
2.0 but it has been run down to .8.

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