The listed put-in is actually on the N.Fk.Eau Claire, 2.6 miles up from the confluence with the S.Fk.Eau Claire. An alternate put-in is possible cutting the trip to about 5 miles, and catching the more significant rapids. Or, for a longer trip, start further upstream at "Hamilton Falls" (which would mean a trip of very nearly 13 miles to the listed take-out).
Low-grade boulder-bed rapids are scattered down this reach.
Take-out at CTH.G Landing, also known as Troubled Water Bridge.
Those wishing to explore a bit more river may wish to start at Hamilton Falls. (Don't expect anything too much here ... a great many areas in Wisconsin are inclined to label any bedrock intrusion in a river as a 'falls', even if it's only 6"-1' in height!)
Drainage area at our listed put-in is ~204 square miles (as calculated by USGS StreamStats beta software).
Drainage area at this alternate put-in is ~436 square miles (as calculated by USGS StreamStats beta software).
A very brief rocky stretch. (At higher flows, this likely washes out rather than building into much of anything.)
As you encounter a fair-sized wooded island, the second significant rock-garden rapids is encountered. This is named for Coon Fork Creek, which enters river-left a bit downstream. The left side of the island may have the best action early on, while the right side saves it for later (actually at a second island).
After the river takes a large loop around to the left, as it starts another loop to the right, the final significant rock-garden rapids is encountered.
USGS lists a sampling site at/near our listed take-out with drainage area of 509 square miles.
This is a good basic run. The first half of the river is mostly low. Once the North Fork and South Fork converge, it gets a bit deeper and broader. Most of the rapids and rock gardens are on the second half of the trip. Put in is on Channey road on the west side of the bridge. Just follow the trail down to the river. If you want a shorter run or just to bypass the convergence, you can put in at the Donald L Eisberner Memorial off of Channey Road, which would cut the run almost in half. Take out is on the north bank just past the bridge on Highway G.
This river is best run at high water in early spring or just after a heavy rainfall. The takeout at Highway G is a good gage for water depth. Check the landing, if the water level is more than a foot below the last step, it's going to be pretty poor running. I ran this run in early June 2012 and the water level was extremely low. There was exposed sand at the landing so it was almost 2 feet below the last step. We ran it anyways as we were running with people that hadn't been in a kayak much. It was a good learning experience as we had to get in and out of the kayaks to get through some very low spots. Another 4 inches of water and it would have been completely runnable.
The takeout landing at Highway G is a good gage for water depth. If the water level is more than a foot below the last step, it's too low.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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