So my boyfriend was hit by a car (while biking) and won’t be doing any lower-body-intensive exercise for a while. He is moving to Cape Girardeau, MO, which is on the Mississippi, and I was wondering about kayaking possibilities for him there.
Does anyone know that area? Would it be on a stretch of the river that he could paddle up and down?
Also, any suggestions for an appropraite kayak would be helpful, as well as any local retailers - if I should get so lucky!
If he doesn’t have some form of endurance exercise in his future, I might have a mopey and depressed man on my hands!
Thanks for your time!
Grew up on the river; lived 3 blocks away when it wasn’t in flood stage, riverside during a few floods! In that area of the Mississippi, canoeing and kayaking not good. Too much in the way of strange currents, debris, towboats, sewage from upstream, etc. That area of the river is home to big, deep “River John” boats; although, you will see the occasional marathon paddler going through doing the entire Mississippi. Too bad, the old paddle wheelers Delta queen and Mississippi Queen no longer make stops there. They’ve been removed from Old Man River by the “Blood sucking” lawyers and insurance companies.
Good paddling shop in nearby Carbondale, IL (Shawnee Trails) and the proprietor goes by the name “Stickman” here on P.net. Several lakes in that area (Southern Illinois) “Paddle worthy” like Little Grassy and Devil’s Kitchen. Some people like paddling the Cache River, but not my cup of tea.
Pretty state park, Trail of Tears, with a nice little lake I used to paddle and fish often. Closest small rivers are Whitewater, Little Whitewater, and Castor. An hour and a half west and you’re into the eastern Ozarks area where we now live. St. Francis River, Big Creek, Little St. Francis, and the Black Rivers are here. Another hour takes you to the Current and Jack’s Fork Rivers. and a bit south of that the Eleven Point.
While Cape isn’t a paddler’s “Mecca,” it’s within a few hours of some of the best paddling on the clearest streams in the country. Hope that helps. Here’s a couple of my old pics of the area. Bollinger Mill Covered Bridge and the Mississippi near Cape Rock Park. WW
Head up to Carbondale area!
Short 45 minute drive or so up to C’Dale area, where you will find some nice lake paddling. My favorite being Cedar Lake 10 miles or so south/s.west of town and one of the prettier lakes to paddle. The C’Dale end (northern half) has lots of nice sandstone cliffs rising out of the H2o, very scenic. Devils Kitchen is also a sweet lake with lesser cliffs and access to Panthers Den, a southern finger with cool rock formations a very short hike in from the lake. I’ll note, you will need a Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge sticker for your car AND your boat to paddle on Crab Orchard (blah!), Little Grassy and Devils Kitchen lakes. The refuge office is on Rt. 148 south out of Herrin, IL about 5 miles or so south of Rt. 13. While y’all are up there stop in my shop and say howdy! Lot of longer yaks on sale by the way. Missouri doesn’t require kayak/canoe registration and all you’ll have to do IF questioned up here is produce a Missouri drivers license and you’ll be good to go. In the winter months Horseshoe Lake is an interesting Cypress bayou type lake to paddle. Though kinda small, it is a great lake to view nesting and feeding Eagles, as is the area of the Mississippi from Cairo north past Cape.
The Cache River wetlands area is another interesting Cypress bayou to paddle in, near Perks south of Anna-Jonesboro
The Mississippi is kinda fun to paddle also. We usually park a car near the levee in downtown Cape and drive back up to Grand Tower north on Rt. 3. Put-in is at the beach below the gas pipeline on the north side of Grand Tower, at the park/beach. If y’all are feeling brazen, surfing barge wakes is a hoot, albeit somewhat dangerous. We are talking big, tall rolling wakes! Gnarly! Dangerous as I’ve said though. Barge pilots will NOT appreciate it either. Staying closer to shore is fairly safe as long as you clear the eddy dams, tricky currents whipping around ‘em sometimes! We have witnessed complete 60’ Oak trees (including root balls) floating downstream in flood stage that have actually been sucked under for a hundred yards or so across the river from Grand Tower. On the Missouri side is a monolithic rock thumb sticking out of the H2o, and you’ll want to stay clear of it in fast H2o conditions. We’ve GPS’d the current at 7mph at high H2o, so paddling UP stream can be arduous to say the least, as it usually is anyway. Near shore you can make headway. Summer months the river is usually lower and easy paddling.
Sorry to hear that
For me, I almost always have sore legs when I paddle over about 10 miles. I’d never have thought it, but you can certainly work your legs paddling.
Of course he can and should take it easy, so short relaxing trips are the way to go.
Thanks so much for the responses. Will take it all into advisement!