Chocolay - Hwy.41 to Cty Road BH (Green Garden Rd) (5.7 miles)

Chocolay, Michigan, US


Hwy.41 to Cty Road BH (Green Garden Rd) (5.7 miles)

Usual Difficulty I-II(III) (for normal flows)
Length 5.7 Miles
Avg. Gradient 20 fpm
Max Gradient 59 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04044599 200 - 1000 cfs I-II(III) 1y104d05h33m ~ 163 cfs (too low)
Likely too low for reasonable whitewater run. Gauge is new (fall, 2014). We need your input to define/refine ranges and description at various flows. Gauge (unlisted drainage area) is well downstream, after many tributaries enter, thus will overstate flows.

River Description

There are no 'big' drops on this reach. Most drops are boat-scoutable at normal levels except for areas of constriction due to wood. The rapids consist of a series of ledges creating waves and holes.

As the river starts to pick up the pace, one will encounter more waves until you reach a series of ledges with a house on river left. There are numerous places to play but no eddies. As one passes the house, there is another river wide hole that can be quite sticky and should not be taken lightly (Class III). It can be punched anywhere but will require you to paddle out of it. It also might offer some play.

From here the river will bend right and you will encounter much wood. It is best to scout this because the line through will not be obvious. From here on the river starts to mellow out. There will be some more standing waves and then it will eventually become flatwater. It is about a half mile flawater paddle to the take out at Green Garden Road.

Rescues are difficult because of the lack of eddies and there are two nasty holes that deserve a Class II+/III rating. A significantly obstructed channel (due to wood) after the main rapids makes it deserve a class III rating at high water due to the potential for serious mishap. The wood obstruction makes rescues difficult if a boater should swim in the main rapids near the house. Get swimmers and their gear to shore quickly. Lower water levels will likely be boney because the river is quite shallow in places even at high water/flood stage.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-04-20 20:16:39

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Drainage area ~54 square miles.N/A
2.8marked 'rapids'N/APlayspot
3.0marked 'rapids'N/APlayspot

Rapid Descriptions

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 17 2009 (3561 days ago)
Doug HeymDetails
I ran this on April 15, 2009. From looking at the topo map and my paddling time, I believe it's
longer then 2.2 miles. I took my time, played in one spot for about 45 minutes, and it took about 2
1/2 hours. There is a gauge on the river near M-28 and according to the USGS, the level on the 13th
was 4.5'. They only take occassional readings. The level was probably less then this when I ran it.
The water was in the banks and up to the grass line and tag alder. I don't think you would want to
run it at a much lower level. The first 1/3 was a pleasant class 1 run in a narrow, winding river.
One tree to limbo under and one tree to portage around. You then come to a river wide ledge with a
great play spot. Great for surfing, too shallow for any 'tricks', though I don't have any. Plan to
play here as this turned out to be the best spot. The next 1/3 of the reach has a number of class 2
river wide ledges. These were getting a little shallow when I went through. This section also
included a tree that I dragged over. The last 1/3, the river meanders, splits around islands and
has a few rocks. The level was just runnable. I walked the shuttle and it took about an hour to
hike the 4 miles. There is good parking at both ends. At very high water this would/could be a
class 3 with the downed trees and river wide ledges.