This is an intimate midwest creek/canyon, sometimes paddled as a companion run to the Black at Hatfield. It is a generally scenic run with a few minor rapids, and makes a fine novice open boat run.
A commonly paddled shorter section (6.3 miles, 13'/mile avg gradient) begins at the Garage Rd bridge, 2.8 miles south of Merrillan off Hwy 12. Either choice of put-in generally goes to the listed take-out at 'Halls Creek Landing' on the Black River.
Groups often look at a double or triple (combining it with runs on Morrison Creek and/or Robinson Creek) since these three streams are quite similar in location (Black River Falls area) and drainage areas (80-90 square miles).
Our listed put-in at the base of Trow Lake Dam is right at the 880' contour line on Topo Maps. At mile 9.94 you cross the 780' contour line, making an average gradient of ~10 FPM.
Cut off 3.9 miles (of mostly flatwater) by putting in at this bridge.
Drainage area at this location is 80.7 square miles (as calculated by USGS Stream Stats V.4.3.11).
Those looking for the (arguably) best of the whitewater and shortest trip (~3.4 miles) may wish to just access the river from here, and take out at CTH.E.
Folks looking to shorten the trip (focusing on the best whitewater) may use this alternate take-out.
Otherwise continue downriver, to take out at the landing at the confluence.
I think the overall description posted above is accurate for this creek when it is low, but becomes less accurate as the water gets higher. The more water is in it, the more playspots there are. There is a flat rock upstream of the takeout at County Hwy E. If it is visible, there won't be much play. If the water completely covers it, there will plenty of play. Also, I would discourage people from using the listed put-in and take-out listed here unless they want a longer, scenic but mostly flat run. Putting in at the utility right-of-way at the end of Camp Bradfield road and taking out at County Hwy E cuts out almost all of the flatwater and leaves most of the gradient and scenery.
I paddled this stretch last year (2013) at the end of March after a substantial rainstorm. The Black was running over 10,000 cfs. The last two drops were class III and the old dam made a really sweet multi-boat wave. Additionally there were a number of solid catch-on-the-fly waves. This run just gets to be more fun with more water. Its hard to imagine a level that would be too high to run.
Visual at Cty E bridge. Generally runnable only a couple weeks in spring, or after significant rains.
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.
Oggie's stern squirt
one of the drops
visual gauge by cty E
old dam site
low water run
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