Tuesday, February 23, 2010

St. Francis River at Silver Mines on Feb. 21, 2010

Nice runnable water, on a slight rise, on last Sunday afternoon. Reminders:

1. The Great Canoe and Kayak Event at the Alpine Shop on March 5th and 6th.

2. This river is far the experienced boater;

This reach of the St. Francis River (in lower water levels) has numerous rapids in the class II to III range that can pose problems for lazy or inexperienced paddlers in canoes or kayaks, though none is a serious threat to paddlers in rafts except at very high flows. Strong cross currents, haystacks and small holes around the large rocks that create the rapids demand good planning and execution to avoid pinning and/or wrapping a canoe or kayak.

Most hazards can be scouted from your boat in the river, but if there is a doubt about the best line, then beach the boat and take a look before proceeding. The largest rapids will be in the lower 2.5 miles of this 15.7 mile run. None of the rapids should pose any serious problems for paddlers with at least strong intermediate level whitewater skills.

Highway H bridge one mile west of Syenite at 0.0 miles; SH 72 bridge at about 10.7 miles; Millstream Gardens State Forest at about 13.2 miles; Highway D bridge at USFS Silver Mines Campground at about 15.7 miles. There may be other access points along this reach of the St. Francis river.

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