The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

High Island Creek, Rush River

High Island Creek at 250th ave 
 Two days before running both of these creeks I had never heard of them. It was a Sunday morning and the boys and I were looking for something to do, but didn't want to do the same old same old. I began looking at a map of the outlaying towns, just past the burbs of the Minneapolis/St Paul area and noticed a county park I had never heard of....... High Island Creek County Park.
let the fun begin

dirt walls

  We loaded up and headed south, stopping for pop and snacks, obviously. The park was awesome, with a fast flowing creek in a very deep river valley. It seemed out of place in a landscape surrounded by farm fields. Instantly I knew I would have to come back and paddle it. Later that night, searching the internet I found almost nothing about the creek , other than it had a tendency to have a lot of snags and sweepers. Not being a well versed whitewater paddler I was nervous, but the anxiety of missing the high flow and trying something new pushed me to skip a day of work and run this creek solo on Tuesday.   There wasn't anything greater, or barely reaching, class II but it was a blast , and had me grinning ear to ear for nearly the entire six+ mile stretch I ran from 250th ave, to HWY 6.

  The snags were present and had me on edge, moving quickly around  blind corners into a couple of them had me out of the boat in flash. For this reason I chose to use my sit-on-top Ocean Kayak, Frenzy. It's sort of made for this anyway, I can exit and get back on it in snap, also it will not sink. Looking back at the water level gauge, I hit it at just the right time. The day I ran it, the creek was cresting just below 400 cubic feet hour/ 5.5 river gauge , not to say it wont get higher, I just happened to hit it at a good level. Had I waited till the weekend it would have been down to an un-runable state. Rush River was an added bonus to the day. It's less than ten miles away from High Island and runs in a similar type of surrounding, a high walled wooded valley.  Like the previous river, I knew virtually nothing. Somehow I stumbled upon a youtube video Monday night of Rush River that had been posted that day of a group that paddled it the day before. They were fully decked out in real white water kayaks and gear, but the rapids didn't look like they warranted any of it......I decided I would run it as sit-on-top would be just fine.
Rush River....somewhere 

more dirt walls

transportation/ shuttle 
       Rush River was an excellent trip from 300th street to Rush River Park, it was a little wider, with less snags, but not as many rapids like the long chains experienced on High Island. I would recommend checking out either of these rivers,  I will definitely be back when the water is up....with more people. Better info can be found in the book Paddling Southern Minnesota, that I picked up at REI two days after I ran these creeks/rivers. A few things to note: the Carp Dam on High Island Creek is gone, If High Island Creek is up, most likely Rush will be up as they are very close to one another, unfortunately Rush has no river level gauge.  For my pack raft friends...I would't use it unless you want a hole in it, A bike shuttle works awesome if you want a little bit of desolate gravel road riding, There is a car show in Henderson every Tuesday night in the summer.  In the meantime, I'll be paying attention to the rain and watching the river level gauge for another run down these little jems.

D Rider...................out

1 comment:

  1. I live near there and paddle it occasionally. You want to hit High Island Creek when it's over 5 ft on the gauge. I agree with you on using the sit-on-top as you will inevitably have to bail to get around sweepers (and although there's some fun little rapids, there's nothing that warrants whitewater gear). One of these winters I'll take a sled and a saw through there and clear it out.