Quick Facts: Location: Hwy.140 to Shopiere (Approximately 6 miles NW from Beloit, WI). Character: Rural scenery (fields, trees), an impressive scenic railroad trestle, mudflat and gravel shoals. Shuttle Length: 1.3 miles or 4.9 miles. For whitewater enthusiasts, mostly recommended as (possible) park-and-play at railroad ledge near Smith Road.General Overview Removal of the Shopiere Dam (summer, 2000) had revealed a short bedrock ledge. Well, bedrock is probably the wrong term -- the bottom here is mud and clay. Unfortunately, the ledge' has now completely eroded away. However, additional scouting has found other potential playspots in this watershed. (See 'Rapids' and 'Maps' tabs.)A very enjoyable, moderately scenic 4.7 mile float trip (flatwater paddle) starts from parking at a wayside at Hwy.140, 2.6 miles north of the town of Clinton, WI, and ends in a pretty little park (Sweet-Allyn County Park at Belding/Butterfly Road just north of Shopiere) where gravel shoals create a few minor riffs and rips leading downstream to the mown grassy area of the park for your take-out. I have not floated this reach, but I have heard that there may be at least one area where a rocky ledge and/or rock rubble forms a bit of pourover/wave (at some flows) which may allow for minor surfs. This is right at the very scenic (multiple high-arching stonework) railroad bridge which is about a mile upstream of Sweet-Allyn County Park, and may be accessed from nearby Smith Road for a park-and-play, or a run of just 1.3 miles with the best of the gradient (such as it is . . . just riffles and rips).
Drainage area at our listed put-in is about 202 square miles (as calculated by USGS StreamStats 4.0 Beta software), and is about 221 sq.mi. at take-out (a 9% increase).
Smith Road crosses Turtle Creek on an old one-lane iron bridge. This location can serve as put-in for a short (1.3 mile) scenic run with the minor ledge/wave for play near the high stonework trestle railroad bridge.
Definitely one of the scenic highlights of this trip is this high multiple-arch stonework railroad bridge. Immediately downstream of it, there is a (very small) bedrock/rock-rubble ledge in center stream, which may offer some minor play at low-moderate flows.
There is conflicting information about the location of the cited USGS gauge. The "Map" page (incorrectly) shows it right at the listed put-in. USGS information (correctly) lists it about two miles upstream of the listed put-in. In any event, it should provide a very good indication of actual flows in this reach. Cited levels (min/max) are a guess, but should provide a decent float. The stated 'minimum' indicates a level at which the areas of gradient (such as they are on this stream) will become shallow shoals. You will likely 'ground out', and it may be necessary to 'pole' or get out of your craft to drag or carry it to the next area of deeper water. The reach is floatable much lower, but cannot be considered any sort of 'whitewater' trip. The stated 'maximum' really just indicates an 'unusually high' level. The reach is boatable much higher, but flatwater paddlers and novice whitewater paddlers will find the water quite swift. The inherent difficulty ('class' rating) of the river is unchanged, however the danger level (for paddlers inexperienced with swiftwater/whitewater) is greatly increased. At these levels, the run is likely to be a 'featureless flush', swift-water trip, but is unlikely to contain any true 'whitewater' features. Offseason ('ice') stage/gauge correlations: 4.94'=375cfs 5.35'=500cfs 5.80'=641cfs 5.96'=700cfs 6.23'=805cfs 6.46'=900cfs
Permits are not required for this reach.
While the default mapping below shows a route to the south of the creek, I generally find E.Creek Road (to the north of the creek) a more convenient route (fewer turns).
Smith Road Bridge
Ledge/wave at Railroad
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