This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I-II
Length 95.35 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 11/18/2009 10:32 pm

River Description

Put-in: ~1315'
Take-out: 1179'
Total Drop: 136'

(Pre-existing listing.) This is a long (95 miles!) reach of canoe tripping water with relatively little whitewater. Many options for shorter trips exist. Listed trip starts at Hwy 53 (where you'll probably use Lion Springs Wayside Park to access the river upstream of Hwy.53) and ends at Dunlap Island in Cloquet (where there is camping).

Scanning the topo maps, we are able to identify only one marked 'rapids', which appears to be road accessable (carry-up, boat down), a bit northeast of Toivola. (See Rapids tab and Map tab.) This rapids is not far from a stretch of marked rapids on the Whitefish River, which could make a reasonable pair of 'hits' for someone in the area.

Don't take this wrong . . . we are not saying this is the only rapids on the whole stretch, but that it is the only one marked on the topos! There are a number of other areas which appear (on the Google Satellite view) to have rapids.

Rapid Descriptions


Class - N/A Mile - -25.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Rapids (marked on MNDNR map)

Class - I Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Minnesota DNR map of river shows a rapids at this location. Nothing is apparent on Satellite view on Google.

Rapids (marked on MNDNR map)

Class - II Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

The MN DNR map of the river shows a 2.5 mile stretch of class I-II rapids beginning at this location.

Drainage: ~691 sq.mi.

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Drainage area at our listed put-in is about 691 square miles (per USGS StreamStats Beta software).

apparent dam?

Class - N/A Mile - 5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

It appears there may be a dam at/under this road crossing. Scout, and be prepared to portage.


Class - N/A Mile - 6.87
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

0.1 mile portage or 3.6 mile paddle!

Class - N/A Mile - 14.03
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Having passed one big oxbow already, the river at this point begins a wild looping series. A short carry across 0.1 mile of land here would save 3.6 miles of paddling these various loops of river!

1250' contour; beginning of marked 'rapds' on USGS quads

Class - N/A Mile - 33.65
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Scanning the topo maps for this entire reach, the only 'marked' rapids occurs at this location. Certainly there may be other rapids (unmarked) on this reach, but lack of gradient or marked rapids would suggest no reason to paddle this whole (85 mile) reach looking for whitewater. This location appears to be road accessible (with a carry in/out).

end of marked 'rapids' on USGS quads

Class - N/A Mile - 34.33
Rapid Thumbnail Missing


Class - N/A Mile - 86.25
Rapid Thumbnail Missing


Class - N/A Mile - 90.65
Rapid Thumbnail Missing


No Gage

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Directions Description

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No Accident Reports



article main photo

Penobscot River Dams to be Removed!

Kevin Colburn

Atlantic Salmon and other imperiled fish species will soon have hundreds of additional miles of habitat. A recent decision between a power company, NGO's, tribes, and government agencies calls for the removal of two dams on Maine's Penobscot River and the bypassing of a third. American Whitewater applauds this huge win for rivers and is recruiting volunteers to assist with our work on the project. There is a public meeting December 2nd.



Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1196528 11/16/09 Rob
1196531 11/16/09 Rob
1196543 11/18/09 Rob
1190757 08/26/04 n/a n/a