Snake - A) Silver Star Rd to Township Rd (22.3 miles)

Snake, Minnesota, US


A) Silver Star Rd to Township Rd (22.3 miles)

Usual Difficulty I-III (for normal flows)
Length 22.3 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-05338500 3.50 - 6.00 ft I-III 00h52m 3.26 ft (too low)
Likely low. Marginal (scrapey) whitewater. Gauge (974 sq.mi. drainage) is far downstream with lake/dam intervening. Flow here may be ~1/7th flow reading of gauge.

River Description

(Description thanks to jetmanjake, davefriend, and JeffB from RapidsRiders message board.)

Some grade I-ish paddling can be cut if you put in at Aitkin County Park, about 5 mi north of the jct of highways 65 & 27. The park entrance is a clearly marked dirt road that runs east off Hwy 65. Stay left when on the dirt road to eventually get to the park. It is 2 to 2.5 miles off the highway.

The take-out is found by going east on 360th Ave and then turn left when 360th ends in a T intersection (approx 5 mi). After the left turn, go until you reach a bridge crossing the snake (less than a mile). 360th Ave is the dirt road that runs east from the junction of Hwys 65 & 27. (Hwy 27 runs west and is paved.) This junction is the village of Woodland - a bar and couple of buildings on the west side of Hwy 65.

All wheel drive may be an asset at times since the unpaved roads can be rather mushy.

The two significant rapids (Upper and Lower Snake River Falls) are both signposted, scout both river left. The term "falls" is a definite over-statement. Still they are fun sections with the river at about 3' or so. The first is a ninety-degree left hand turn against a wall, the second is a gorge-y bit that forms a couple holes, maybe III- at medium flows. While you'll paddle some fairly long stretches of flat water, Lower Falls is a fairly continuous rapid, maybe 900 yards worth. Since this stretch is paddled often in open canoes, both rapids are well posted with portage trails for those not inclined to run it. The rest is a good beginner/canoe run with I-II riffles.

Minnesota DNR has a web page with pdf maps at DNR Canoeing - Snake River. The "top left" pdf shows the section of the river we are talking about in a scaled up inset. Note that the pdf calls 360th ave "County Road 82" and/or "State Forest Road". I've never seen signs in the area with those designations. Likewise, the pdf map calls Olympic St. "County Hwy 23". I don't recall that there is any kind of signage for this road.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-04-15 13:10:56

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Drainage: 145 sq.mi.N/A
2.3Marked rapidsN/A
2.5Aitkin County ParkN/AAccess
5.7Upper Snake River FallsN/A
7.2Lower Snake River FallsN/A
8.2Olympic StreetN/AAccess
9.0Marked rapidsN/A
12.3Marked rapidsN/A

Rapid Descriptions

Drainage: 145 sq.mi. (Class N/A)
Drainage area at our listed put-in is approximately 145 sq.mi. (as calculated via USGS StreamStats Beta software).

Marked rapids (Class N/A, Mile 2.3)

Aitkin County Park (Class N/A, Mile 2.5)

This is an alternate (AND RECOMMENDED) put-in.

Upper Snake River Falls (Class N/A, Mile 5.7)

This is approximately 0.25 miles of rapids, with twists and turns. The crux comes at a sharp (90-degree) left-hand bend.

Lower Snake River Falls (Class N/A, Mile 7.2)

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).

Olympic Street (Class N/A, Mile 8.2)

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.

Marked rapids (Class N/A, Mile 9.0)

Marked rapids (Class N/A, Mile 12.3)

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 17 2010 (3130 days ago)
Oggie_MN (151832)
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

Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.

Or, consider donating