Babymoon Paddle Trip

My husband and I are interested in a couple night paddling adventure with our pup before baby comes in July. We are from the Manistee River area and would like to keep our drive to about a day, paddle sometime in March or April and keep it relatively low key in terms of rapids and portages due to an old dog and round belly. We’ve done multi day trips on the Current MO, Manistee MI and Ausable MI and are weekly paddlers in season. Any fun suggestions in the midwest we can enjoy some wilderness camping? Tennessee comes to mind but I’m not very familiar. Thanks in advance!

You might take a look at the Big South Fork of the Cumberland - at least this section:

  • Leatherwood Ford Bridge to Station Camp or Blue Heron Mine
  • Distance 8 or 27 Miles
  • Difficulty I-II (Angle Falls & Devils Jump IV)
  • Average Drop 5
  • Use Season F-W-Sp-Early Summer
  • The stretch from Leatherwood to the Blue Heron Mine is a two day run combining moderate paddling difficulty with spectacular scenery. Angel Falls is two miles below Leatherwood Ford and should be portaged on river right at any level. Devils Jump is located just above the take-out and should be portaged on river left. The portages are not signed, be sure you are familiar with the landmarks which are associated with the approach to each rapids*

Another option could be some of the New River - above the gorge. TDaniel might chime in on that.

I’ve often been on the Ausable & Manistee in March & April. Heading to the Ausable Saturday for an overnight.

@rival51 said:
. Heading to the Ausable Saturday for an overnight.

Hoping you changed plans as the NWS just issued blizzard warnings up here, effective until 7 a.m. Monday. Winds gusting to 60 mph. Going to be a long weekend…

@Rookie: nope we went & the paddle & camp were good. Temps in the mid 30s so warm for February. Damp in spots but mostly light drizzle until snow started about an hour from the takeout. No wind through Connors Flats on Sunday & that’s a blessing. later we could hear the wind in the trees but not too bad on the river and that mostly a tail wind.

Now the drive home, well that is something I’d rather not experience very often. No problem with snow or slippery conditions but that wind with 15’ 9" of canoe on the roof … oh my.


Sounds like a great trip and an interesting drive home. Definitely a high profile vehicle.

Amazing to me since many roads are still drifted closed up here and it’s still snowing and blowing - although not as bad as the 68 mph gust reported locally. Guessing you were south, southeast.

As this storm is moving east, Sing may have some mega surfing opportunities.

<<Amazing to me since many roads are still drifted closed up here and it’s still snowing and blowing - although not as bad as the 68 mph gust reported locally. Guessing you were south, southeast.>>
Yes, Grayling to south of Lansing (Mason). Very little snow. The down site to a Subaru Forester is a fairly short span between the bars. With a 15’ 9" canoe on top there is a lot of load on the connection to the front bars. The new Thule canoe gunwale brackets seem to be optimized to their (more expensive) areo bars. My first time stressing these. The offside clip was pushed over quite aways. I stopped three time to check & adjust. I added an extra strap wrapped around the factory rail on the windward side and also doubled up on the bow line on the windward side.

Location is everything, I guess. Grayling is just eight miles south of Frederic where I-75 had been shut down all the way up to the bridge at one point.

Had to have been beautiful scenery. Glad you and your canoe made it home safely.

A laid back multi day trip in wv can be had on the greenbrier river, the longest free flowing river east of the mississippi. Spring and the first couple of weeks in June have more reliable flows.