From Beginner Whitewater to North Shore Creeking
7 Minnesota (have to paddle) Whitewater Rivers
Designated “Scenic and Wild” the river is a great resource for introducing paddlers to whitewater. Flowing through Banning State Park, the Kettle becomes class II and III at low to medium levels, and gets dangerous at the higher levels. The action starts fast on the Kettle, 100 yards below the put-it paddlers enter “Blueberry Slide” -more Kettle River
A Northern Minnesota “wilderness” river, located between Babbitt and Ely, just south of the Boundary Water Canoe Area. Access the Stony from forest road 242, the river flows north 4 miles into Birch Lake. Class II and III whitewater warms a paddler up for the named drops; Always Right III+, Triple Drop III, the BOX IV+ and Desensitization Falls III. more on the Stony River
St Louis River
Dam controlled the St Louis is runnable all summer. The Upper section is class II/III at normal level. The lower Louis is class V with sneaks to get by some of the gnarly drops. Thomson Reservoir separates the Upper run from the lower run.
-the UPPER- Access the river just north of county road 61 (put-in for the Upper St Louis River Whitewater) in the town of
Scanlon, the city has built a very nice public river access. This four mile stretch
is runnable most of the summer and includes class III rapids, surfing waves and a river wide 6-foot, class III, drop – “electric ledge.” Take out on the south side of Thomson Reservoir.
-the LOWWER- To access the river from the UMD Outpost, river right just above the highway 210 bridge. Start with “Table Saw” and the “210 Drop” then comes the “Sisters” followed by “Octopus” Find you way through the “Bone Yards” and get ready for the action at the “Swinging Bridge Drop,” exit below the bridge or continue through “Fin Falls” -more info on the St Louis River
Classic North Shore Lake Superior River. Run from Eck-beck campground to Illgen falls for some great class III/IV whitewater fun. After a short warm up paddlers enter into “Confinement Canyon” class II +, enjoy the class II ride before the river picks back up and into “Kramer’s Choice” class IV, followed by “Gustafson Falls” a class III+ 6 foot drop, a couple more enjoyable rapids and then start watch for Illgen Falls. Exit river left. -more on the Baptism River
One of the “easy” creeks on Lake Superior’s North Shore. Plenty of class III and IV slides with an amazing run ending bonus, Machine Gun Rapids. Put in on county road 33, and get ready for nearly two miles of fun drop after drop after drop. -more in the French River
Minnesota is blessed with 2 Vermillion Rivers. One flows through the city of Hastings, just 30 miles south of St. Paul. At mid to lower levels the river is very playful with surfing at Railroad, S-bend, and Dough-nut. At higher levels get ready to hang on for a wild ride.
The other Vermiion River is in the far North of Minnesota, flowing north into Crane Lake. This is a wilderness river with class III+ whitewater. Table Rock Falls in the middle section and the Gorge in the third section are the highlights of this river. At Buyck, Minnesota turn off county road 23 to access the Middle run of the Northern Vermilion. – good info on theVermillion Rivers
It is important to have the right equipment and to get the correct training before paddling whitewater.
Are you ready for whitewater??