This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I at this flow (II(III) normally)
Length 17.5 Miles
Gauge ESCANABA RIVER AT CORNELL, MI
Flow Range 1500 - 6000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 370 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 09/18/2016 12:40 pm

River Description


The run is mostly flat and swift-water. The riverbed is generally open (unobstructed channel), though waves may build at higher levels.

It appears (from Satellite photos on Google) the run may start with about 1.5 miles of good gradient (though little apparent features) before things peter out.

Approximately four miles into the run, a set of irregular sloping ledges is encountered. These ledges are stretched over about a mile or two of river, which may be accessible by nearby road. (We do not have specific information regarding viability of access at top and bottom of this stretch.) Some boaters may wish to check this out for possible 'park-and-play', or for a short trip from the listed put-in. See the 'Directions' tab for more information.

Additional features appear downstream, though far more spread out. The final stretch (may 2 miles or so) is on backwaters from the dam at Chandler Falls, just downstream of our listed take-out.

The resolution on Google Maps for this area is excellent. We highly recommended going to the 'Map' tab, clicking 'USGS Aerial', double-clicking the put-in (or the middle icon, 'begin ledge sequence'), zooming in to the maximum resolution available, and doing a 'virtual walk' of this reach!

The following video (via YouTube, from a TV show) features a commercial rafting outfitter running this section of river. We have set start- and end-times to capture just the video segment highlighting the action on this run. You can view the full show by dragging the YouTube 'slider' to the beginning (or any point) of the show. Doing so will 'erase' our set start- and end-times. Hitting reload/refresh on your browser will re-enable those points.

Rapid Descriptions

Possible playable wave/hole

Class - II Mile - 0.21
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Robin G Road

Class - N/A Mile - 1.49
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

(Mile marker / waypoint)

Confluence, Squaw Creek

Class - N/A Mile - 2.52
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

If access nearer the ledge sequence downstream proves inaccessible (private and unable to secure permission), this may prove the nearest possibly less disputed point of access.

Rocky shoals

Class - N/A Mile - 3.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

A rocky shoals slants across the river. At low flows, river-left will likely offer best passage (with minimum of hanging up). At moderate flows this may create some slight riffles and rips. At high flows, it is likely to be well-covered and not create any noticeable effect.

*Possible* access point

Class - N/A Mile - 3.57
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

It is likely that this is private property, and that permission would be required to drive in, park, and access the river from this point. If permission is granted (or if above guess is incorrect and this is somehow public), this would give access above the best stretch of ledges and features on the run.

Begin ledge sequence

Class - II Mile - 3.7
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After nearly 2 miles of flatwater, a-mile-and-a-half of river starting here contains a few (widely spaced) ledges. Boaters may wish to check them out for possible park-and-play action or for a short run.

 

Second+Third Ledge

Class - N/A Mile - 3.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

The second and third short ledges in this sequence come very close together, slanting opposite directions diagonally across the river.

Hunters Brook Falls

Class - N/A Mile - 4.2
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Hunters Brook enters on river-right. Just upstream it pours over a fine little falls. We have no specific knowledge as to whether conditions favor running this drop (I.E., how tall it actually is, and whether there is a decent approach and depth of pool below). There is a private residence on the 'upstream' side (I.E., would be river-left when running Hunters Brook), so we would advise scouting from downstream (river-right of Hunters Brook). Best action is likely all within 0.1 mile upstream (to about the driveway/bridge for the aforementioned residence).

Anyone care to "Add a Comment' to inform us whether this merits a carry-up?

Back-to-back-to-back very minor ledges

Class - N/A Mile - 4.7
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At this point, it appears there is a series of back-to-back very small ledges or bedrock slides, likely to make some sweet wide waves.

Final ledge in sequence

Class - I Mile - 5.14
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The final (small) ledge in the sequence of ledges.

*Possible* access point

Class - N/A Mile - 5.69
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It appears there may be an access point from an unimproved (dirt) road which crosses Mosquito Creek then runs down just past its confluence with the Escanaba. *IF* this is not gated or posted as private, it would provide handy access to run just 2.12 miles containing this best gradient on the run. Again, both the upper point (at 3.57 miles) and this point may both be private, requiring permission from owners.

Minor ledges

Class - N/A Mile - 6.92
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Just above "I Road"/519, a couple of minor ledges appear. There may be parking/access on the downstream/river-right side of this bridge, which could allow using this as egress for a shortened run.

USGS active gauge

Class - N/A Mile - 7
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USGS active gauge at this location showing drainage area of 870 square miles.

Possible diagonal bedrock ledge/waves

Class - N/A Mile - 11.78
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It appears there may be a couple diagonal bedrock ledges/slides in the river here which may cause a couple interesting waves at some optimum flows.

Bedrock slabs

Class - N/A Mile - 12.3
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From the prior ledge/waves, bedrock lines the shores and riverbottom. At this point, a significant hump of bedrock rises in the river-right half of the flow. At very low flows, this will squeeze all flow to the left. At somewhat higher (moderate) flows, it may create some wave features here. At high flow, it may likely make very little disturbance. Immediately downstream, a very minor ledge may also create a wave at some flows.

Powerlines

Class - N/A Mile - 13.03
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

(Pretty much just a waypoint/mile-marker.)

possible minor wave/hole

Class - N/A Mile - 13.92
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Far to river-left (with a private residence upshore through trees), there appears to be a small disruption (ledge) which (at some flows) may create a playable feature.

Comments

Gage Descriptions

Section can be run as low as 500cfs.
  500-1500  = class I
1500-6000+= class II(III)

Note: Be aware that indication of a 'runnable' level does not mean that the river is necessarily runnable. In winter, readings may be 'ice affected', and/or sections of the river may be impassable due to ice.

Permits

NA

Directions Description


For driving directions to the ledge sequence, enter 45.9521828 -87.2186356 in the text box below.

No Accident Reports

Alerts

News

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Rob

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Matt Muir

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1204281 03/06/15 Rob add distance/features
1206868 09/18/16 Rob embed video
1190723 02/04/09 n/a n/a
1196322 10/19/09 Rob
1200586 09/01/11 Rob Add 'abstract'.