Koshkonong Creek II
Britzke Road to Hoopen Road
A good trip for beginners that can be easily shortened (or lengthened) on a narrow, intimate creek that flows through farmland, a public park and finally into an open swamp-like environment.
May 5, 2013
There is no gauge for Koshkonong Creek. A decent visual gauge is the bridge in Rockdale. If the riffles there are shallow, so too is the creek. But Koshkonong Creek usually has reliable water levels.
Britzke Road, Cambridge, Wisconsin
Hoopen Road, Rockdale, Wisconsin
Time: Put in at 12:30p. Out at 3:30p.
Total Time: 3h
Miles Paddled: 7.75
Wildlife: Not much beyond many, many red-winged blackbirds.
Time worth driving to: 30 mins.
What we liked:
I’ve done portions of the “Kosh” before but not upstream from downtown Cambridge or downstream of Rockdale. There are enjoyable riffles underneath two bridges in Cambridge and also the one in Rockdale. The segment south of Rockdale is entirely different than the upper stretch. It’s tree-canopied, leafy green and a little reminiscent of a swamp (but with current).
What we didn’t like:
The put-in leaves nothing to be desired. The 2.5 miles or so upstream of Cambridge are fairly dull; mostly straight and rigid through farm fields. The deadfall debris just before CamRock Park is mostly still present but definitely negotiable. I sawed off a few limbs in one tight spot, while another left no other choice than to paddle full-steam and ramrod over the logjam.
The interior of CamRock County Park is mostly spacious and open. Never dramatic, just pleasant. You will encounter pedestrians, joggers, and mountain bikers alike (the latter in particular, as there are mountain bike trails on the southern end of the park).
The take-out, immediately after the Hoopen Road bridge on river-right, is nice and accessible but there are cranky “no trespassing” signs at several spots on the other side of the road.
At first I was a little disappointed by the lackluster nature of this trip. Saying nothing of my predilection for misadventures, it was pretty tame and calm by any standard. I brought a friend along for whom it was his first time in a kayak, which is why I chose the Kosh in the first place (as opposed to say the Badfish). For a novice, there are just enough twists and turns to experience creek-paddling without it becoming arduous, a couple riffles to feel what they’re like without worry of getting wet and a long enough time on the water to appreciate “river time” without the trip being too long. I think my acclimating was a success. Later that night he emailed me some links to kayaks for sale and asked for my opinion.
Just about any day on the water is better than a day off of it, even if there is nothing necessarily spectacular or superlative. Sometimes pleasant is enough and who can beat a sunny day at 72 degrees with a chorus-thrush of bird song everywhere in the air?
If we did this trip again:
I probably won’t, as I have been here three times in as many months. There are so many other creeks and rivers yet to explore…
Koshkonong Creek I: Cambridge to Rockdale
Koshkonong Creek III: Cambridge to Hoopen Road
Article: Officials Want Cambridge to be Tourist Destination Again
Outfitter: CamRock Café & Sport
Miles Paddled Video: