This is an alternate (AND RECOMMENDED) put-in.
This is approximately 0.25 miles of rapids, with twists and turns. The crux comes at a sharp (90-degree) left-hand bend.
This lower 'falls' (rapids) continues (more or less) nearly 0.6 mile. There are two main crux areas, both fairly early in the rapid (at ~0.1 mile and ~0.2 mile into the drop).
This is an alternate (and recommended) take-out.
If you use the alternate put-in (from the county park) and this take-out, you have a run of ~5.6 miles, and catch the best rapids and omit a lot of flatwater.
Paddled May 17, 2010 at 5.4 ft. Interesting river w/ a fair amount of flat water paddling. As description states, only two real rapids series; Upper and Lower Falls. Both are sign posted with portage trails on river left (good for scouting too). Wouldn't recommend a short boat for this paddle because of all the flat water. Shallow river but at this level it was easy to avoid/go over the rocks. Paddle took us a little more than 1.5 hours (doesn't include shuttle time) but we were hustling.
The cited USGS gauge is for the Snake near Pine City. While this gauge is well downstream, a very rough approximation of the level for the run can be had by subtracting 2' from the real time reading of this gauge. Or, comparing drainage at the put-in to at the gauge, expect this reach to be (very roughly) 1/5 the flow at the gauge.
The boater's gauge is on the bridge at the takeout. Below about 1.5 feet you might end up getting out to walk on occasion. A level of 3' is just about perfect. Above 4' the river is pretty much washed out.
The river should be at or near 'banks-full' at the put-in (Silver Star Road) for good paddling. Normally this happens only in early spring or after a significant rainfall.
There is a link to river levels on the MN DNR web page mentioned below. These readings are submitted by volunteers, thus are often not up to date. The first of the reports - Ford Township Bridge - is the one to use. Note that the readings are dated.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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