next summer trip...

driving from Ct to Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and probably down into Missouri and then back again (not necessarily the same route back). Looking for quiet water paddling places in any and on the way to each of these areas. Only specific places are around Columbus Ohio and around St.Peters Missouri. Other than that just looking for suggestions near by to the highways to get me to anywhere. But am willing to go out of my way once I hit Minn. Wisc. N & S Dakota. They are my goal states to hike and paddle in. It must be quiet water stuff- like marshes, ponds or small lakes with wildlife, and pretty things and areas around. If you don’t want to tell everyone your favorite spots just email me- I’ll keep the secret- I just want some nice paddling places to enjoy, and plan around. Thanks for any help.

Ouiet water

– Last Updated: Nov-20-04 6:54 PM EST –

is the only kind you will find at Montazuma Wildlife Refuge,and the New York thruway passes THROUGH it,definately worth a stop-look-see, even if you don't wet a paddle.

paddled the nearby…
Howland Island area 2 summers ago. They won’t let you paddle in Montezuma itself, but you can get pretty close on the canal right next to it. It is a great spot thanks. I go up to Rochester at least 4-5 times a year and do alot of paddling in as many different spots as I can find up there. If you have any other nice spots up that way you want to share I’m always interested, or if you need some suggestions I may have some for you!

horicon marsh -Large marsh sw of Fond du Lac and Lake Winnebago.there are some canoe routes in the southern half.

Door County- leave from Wagon trail resort and go ito the Mink river estuary on the Lake Michigan side of Door County up near the north end of the county.

West side of state- Perrot State park has a canoe route through back waters of the Mississippi River

There are a lot of different canoeing through chains of lakes but usually power boats. Waupaca chain of lakes has a side chain with limited motors. Ding’s Dock runs a trip down the Crystal River- I am not quite sure how to describe the beat up, patched together fiberglass things they call a canoe they use on these trips, but they have maps of the back chain and have some real aluminum canoes, if you need to rent one. you do have to cross or skirt two mediom lakes with power boats and through another small one before going through a shallow creek that cuts off most boats. There is a launch on the side chain where some boats put in. We have seen a variety of wildlife on this side chain. We did run into a mini air boat like what you see in the Everglades one time- not very peaceful that time.

Namakegon River is a national scenic river in the nw - classic put in at Trego, WI on hwy 53, flat water with portages in some places

Ditto on Horicon Marsh
I posted some advice on one of your other threads, but didn’t steer you toward any particular parts of Wisconsin. If you are in the southeast quarter of the state, the Horicon Marsh might be to your liking. Check out this link for an air photo of the south end of the marsh (you can mess around with scale and view to see the rest of the marsh):

Take your GPS if you have one; People have gotten lost out there! Or give a shout when you are here and I or some other local P-Netter might be able to show you around!

Yeah thanks…
Like I said don’t have any specifics down yet for where exactly I’m going, looking for suggestions altho not too long paddles- 4-5 hrs is usually about all my back can take. Done 8 hrs but why? I just want to be able to get into some neat quiet waters in the different states to add to my journey. Love nature/wildlife paddles and have taken alot of my friends out at 6am or pm for that fact just to see beaver and stuff you don’t see middle of the day. also want to get in some hiking and easier biking ( the body isn’t as young as it wants to be!) Thats why I’m figuring state parks and the likes unless I get some suggestions that are to good not to check out. So if you have any more let me know. Thanks Chris

Okay, more stuff

– Last Updated: Nov-22-04 11:30 PM EST –

Regarding hiking/camping at state parks: I haven't been to very many state parks, but for easy hiking and nice little lakes, two good ones in southern Wisconsin are Devil's Lake State Park and Governor Dodge State Park. Both do not allow motorboats, but both will be pretty crowded on weekends, especially Devil's Lake, but on weekdays they are pretty empty. Governor Dodge has two little dammed-up lakes (the only kind of lake that exists in the non-glaciated part of the state) and Devil's Lake is a medium-sized natural lake up in the Baraboo Bluffs (the geology causing the lake's position there is pretty fascinating). Hiking trails at Devils Lake are very scenic, with high overlooks, and some of the ones at Governor Dodge are pretty nice too. Governor Dodge is west of Madison about a one-hour drive, and Devil's Lake is about one hour northwest of Madison.

Mirror Lake State Park is another nice place. It's in the "Dells", also about one hour northwest of Madison. Mirror Lake is a little gem partly within steep rock canyons. It's a dammed-up lake and it is showing it's age by gradually filling in with sand in the side canyons of the lower part and silt in the upper bay, but it is still very pretty. Mirror Lake park also has trails. Motorboats are allowed here, but they have to go slow, and there usually are not many of them. The campground is likely to be full on weekends.

All three of these parks have mountain bike trails.


Okay, just did some checking and there are several parks which I've heard are very nice pretty close by the ones I just mentioned. Lots more in other parts of the state. For the best info on parks, spend eight bucks and get one of these books. Probably well worth the money if you spend more than a few days in Wisconsin.

If I can find a free (though a bit less detailed) book of Wisconsin Parks through the DNR, I could send it to you.

Try state parks
Try paddling in state parks. I think it is illegal in Minnesota to have a state park without lakes or rivers. A few of them are pretty busy during the summer (Itaska, Gooseberry Falls, among others) but many are quiet little gems with some great lakes and rivers.

Check out:

by all means …
if you can find anything that would help me figure out the best areas for me to visit - maps or just info stuff let me know and I’ll email you my address and if its not going to cost much to send I’ll be happy to reimburse you. I’ll probably get like a state tourism book and after this holiday will get busy looking at all the info I’ve been getting here on the net and see what other sources to contact. Thanks again for the help.

Awesome looking area …
Glad I own a GPS and know how to use it I can see why people would get lost in here. Will definitely keep this area in mind.

more state parks for hiking
I agree with Devil’s Lake -some of the prettiest scenary in Wisconsin. Peninsula and Newport State parks in the NE have good hiking. Wyalusing in the SW at the junction of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers has hiking and canoeing in the backwaters- watch the current in the Mississippi. Just across the border in Iowa is Pike Peak’s state park (the first Pike’s Peak, but a little shorter than it’s big brother out west), also there is the Yellow River State Forest nearby has hiking.

canoe registration
Be aware that in Minnesota your craft has to be registered. If it is registered in your home state that is fine, make sure its up to date. Or you can register it in MN. They ahve a small decal for canoes instead of a bunch of 3 inch letters/numbers. I think it costs $7.00 for 2 years. MN folks please correct me if this is wrong. Understand, it does not matter to MN officers if your state doesn’t require registration of canoes. Your boat must be registered somewhere and display that registration if it is set on MN waters.

Just a heads up to avoid any hassles

who or where…
would I contact about getting the boat registered? Is it the same as getting a fishing licence - which here you can get in WalMart or do you have to go through state DEP or whatever you call it out there? If there is a specific address could someone let me know it. Thanks

MN Registration
A MN canoe license will cost you about $14 ($12 + a processing fee) for a canoe or kayak less than 19 feet and it is good for 3 years. Be thankful you don’t have to register a 20 foot canoe like I do - that was $42 this year. Here is the DNR website instructions:

Note that a first time registration has to be done in person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicle site. County seats and larger towns will have these. Renewal registration can be done on a website.

canoe registration
You could also check and see if you can register your canoe in your own state.

Sylvania Wilderness - U.P. of Michigan
This is a very nice area with easy access. It’s canoe only, except for one lake. A small version of the Boundary Waters. Not a huge area, but plenty big to keep you busy for a few days, I think there’s about 30 lakes. Very nice scenery, old growth forest, lots of critters. There are some rules for picking up a permit, their website explains it pretty good. Good fishing if you’re into that. Email me if you want more specific info.

Heres a few
Since its the bicentennial of the lewis and Clark expedition why not paddle part of the route. Even through the river is much different than their days its still a great journey.

Youhave some flat water options in the Dakotas on either Lake Sakakawea, Lake Oahe, They are reservoirs now but the landscapes are the same basically as L&C saw them. How about the river section which is wonderful. Put in at the Knife River Indian Village where L&C obtained Sacagawea for their journey. Its near Stanton N.D and/or Ft. Mandan and Paddle down to either Bismark or Ft. Yates. Very beautiful section of the river. Also I would recommend paddling from Pierre to Chamberlain SD or Pickston. Also in the State of Missouri from Boonville to St.Charles.

This past summer I paddled the westward journey of L&C starting in St.Louis and went to the Pacific. You can see hundreds of my photos and journals of the trail at the “updates” section of this web site


paddling places
You mentioned paddling throughout Rochester NY.

I have lived here for 10 years and have paddled every inch of water from Buffalo to Syracuse. The Finger Lakes are awesome! I love to paddled Hemlock and Canadice Lake the most because there are no buildings of any kinds and with motor restrictions there is no wake problems. Fishing is fantastic too. If you want a fishing guide let me know I’ll take you out for a day you won’t soon forget.

Keuka lake and Canandaigua lake (West River) is great too.

In Ohio/Pennsylvania The Pymatuning State Park reservoir is tops for paddling/camping/fishing.

I could go on and on. We have a great variety of paddling places here and most people don’t use them. Good luck, and see you on the water. Buzz

I’d rather be paddling…
but occasionally I’ll let my husband come up to my cousins and stay with us for 3-4 days ( I go up there for a couple weeks at a time ) and he loves fishing. I used to live on Canandaigua and told him and my cousin where to go and exactly how far out from shore… there 2 years ago and didn’t he lay into a 14+ lb laker! I told him I knew where they were. I used to watch our neighbor ( an old fisherman ) do it daily and he’d swing by our dock on his way back in to show us his catch- they were all nice size fish so I figured there must be something there if he did so well year after year! I love West River and we’ve been trying to get our acts together to do the one that starts in Manchester area and weaves around the thruway. Not that I want to hear the highway noise the water intrigues me! Also love Black Creek and its many sections, Red Creek, hemlock inlet or outlet at the south end of the lake, Irondequoit Creek and even the canal through Pittsford during a full moon can be real nice. Definitely lots of options up there. Want to go back and do more of Oak Orchard creek. Never enough time for all the places I want to try. Thats why I figured I’d see where others would suggest I go this summer on my trip so I get to the nice spots where I’ll see the most and get in some nice paddling. Thanks for your suggestions and if you think of any others by all means let me know. I’ll let my husband know someone might show him some good fishing too!

Rochester hot spots
I canoe and fish all over the state of NY and Ontario Canada. I have fished and paddled every one of the places you mentioned. I could write for hours all the places in the area I have fished. There is that many lakes, streams, ponds, rivers. Out of my canoe & Kayak I have caught 15+ pound lake trout. 14+ pound brown. 5 pound rainbow, 2 pound land lock salmon. 6+ pound small mouth, 6+ pound chain pickerel, 6+ pound large mouth, 19 pound northern pike, 25 pound musky. All on local waters in the Finger lakes area. I started hiking the Bristol and finger lakes trail last summer and found a dozen nice size ponds hidden miles off the road that don’t see a lot of fisherman. Will go back with my fish rod next summer and toss out a few. I fish 9 months a year out of my canoe or kayak in the finger lakes. They don’t freeze over so I keep going until Mid Jan. Then I am back on them in the middle of March. I would love to go out and share some stories with anyone in the area who lives to fish and paddle. Have a happy New Year and see you on the water. Buzz