Koshkonong Creek
★ ★ ★

Koshkonong Creek III

By on July 26, 2013

Cambridge to Hoopen Road
☆ ☆ ☆

A convenient bike-shuttle on CamRock trail and a nice little post-paddle diversion at CamRock Café & Sport makes for a great day trip on the Koshkonong if the water level is right and it’s free of deadfall.

Date:
July 15, 2013

Class Difficulty:
Riffles

Gauge:
n/a

Recommended Levels:
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.

Put-In:
West Water Street, Cambridge, Wisconsin
Take-Out:
Hoopen Road, Rockdale, Wisconsin

Time: Put in at 11:20p. Out at 12:40p.
Total Time: 1h 20m
Miles Paddled: 5.5

Wildlife: Turtles, herons, a beaver, and a ridiculous amount of frogs.

What we liked:
You could call this a tale of two different paddles (or three, really) because normally, I’d heed the advice of previous reports (specifically Timothy’s first couple) and skip this whole Koshkonong thing but paddling this creek became a personal challenge after I had already attempted to paddle this creek but was rejected due to low-water levels.

Last August, I first biked to the put-in (I usually shuttle after…), jumped in my kayak and got about (I kid you not) forty-feet down the creek when I realized it was a futile endeavor. So I paddled back and then biked back, on my way, encountering this scary little creature. And anyone who knows me, knows that I must really want to do something if I’ll willingly put myself in the same environment as a snake (I know, ironic considering this chosen activity).

Anyway, I first heard about this creek from Morrall River Films who included it on their DVD River Trails of Southern Wisconsin and I’ve been wanting to check it out since it’s so close to Madison. I’m really glad I gave it another go because I had a great time.

There is no gauge on the creek but you can (kind of) use the nearby Crawfish River for an indication of whether it’s high enough. If the water is up, it’s probably a go. The Crawfish at Milford was running 3.53 ht/ft and 895 cfs. With current water levels I would reco doing this section soon (unless we get a lot of rain) because they were perfect.

One of the big differences from when Timothy paddled this a few weeks back to now, is that someone has obviously taken the time to clear the creek. There were no portages to contend with and freshly cut branches could be seen wherever there might have been a potentional issue.

The put-in off Main Street (and behind CamRock Café & Sport) is nice, with a couple of put-in options to choose from, a dock or a muddy slope to the water. The dock can be a little difficult if you’re balance-challenged.

Koshkonong Creek is narrow with a mostly sandy-bottom and the color of the water is a copper hue. There were a lots of downed trees but easily navigable (thanks again to whomever cleared it). Since it is so narrow, I can easily understand how frustrating it could be if it isn’t maintained. I encountered turtles, two herons, a beaver and about million frogs.

The most enjoyable section for me was paddling through the former Millpond. Timothy pointed this out on the map but I didn’t notice it until I was paddlng through it. The millpond is anything but “a pond” (which I was actually dreading since I don’t care much for open water) and is arguably the prettiest part of the journey. Flanked by beautiful grassy banks, you wind your way through what once was the millpond until you reach Rockdale where the only riffly section is.

The riffles continue past Rockdale for a bit and then it’s back to tree-covered sections and open farmland. I can see how it could get swamplike as mentioned in the prevous report but I think the very (bordering obscene) warm weather we’ve had, has dried up a lot of that. I found it similar to the section above Rockdale, maybe less-canopied.

The take-out, however, is suffering from extreme erosion. It’s grassy all the way to the bank but it just gave-way step after step as I tried to get out of my kayak. Once you’re up, it’s great but it’s falling apart and isn’t going to last much longer.

After the shuttle, I had to check out CamRock Café & Sport, which is more of a bike shop/café than water outfitter but they do have kayaks and paddleboards for rent to use on the creek or nearby Lake Ripley. If you’re considering lunch, I highly recommend the Smoked Turkey & Provolone on Foccaccio bread which came with some incredible pickled cucumbers (not yet pickles) and a Founders All Day IPA (no Central Waters, I asked). It’s a great café with a nice vibe and friendly people.

What we didn’t like:
Again, that snake. I didn’t see him this time but I know he’s out there.

If we did this trip again:
Sometimes all it takes is a little time and a paddle can be eons different than the paddle before and even just weeks apart.

I will, no doubt, paddle this again since it’s such a short trip from Madison. It’s a great little paddle when you don’t have to worry about blockages and the convenient shuttle between put-in and take-out make it even more appealing. Plus, I’ve also heard great things about Heather’s Rockdale Bar, which will be my next post-paddle destination.

***************
Related Information
Koshkonong Creek I: Cambridge to Rockdale
Koshkonong Creek II: Britzke Road to Hoopen Road
Article: Officials Want Cambridge to be Tourist Destination Again
Map: Lost Waters Trail: Koshkonong Creek
Outfitter: CamRock Café & Sport

Map:


Shuttle Information:

The shuttle is really easy and one of my favorites. It’s farm country to Rockdale where you can hop on the gravel CamRock trail for a short 2-mile ride through the woods of CamRock Park where you cross the creek a couple times and you’ll exit right at the put-in in Cambridge. I enjoy shuttles like these.

Miles Paddled Video:


Photo Gallery:

TAGS
RELATED POSTS
2 Comments
  1. Reply

    Miles Paddled

    October 19, 2013

    Sadly, it appears as though CamRock Sport has closed shop. Traveling through Cambridge last weekend, we stopped for that Smoked Turkey and unfortunately found a "Business For Sale" sign on the door. Huge bummer.

  2. Reply

    Miles Paddled

    January 2, 2016

    Update: CamRock sport has reopened under new ownership (in fact, it's been open for quite sometime now). They don't rent kayaks but they do offer equipment for not only biking but the skiing and snowshoeing contingent. Visit here http://bit.ly/1RWRJJH and here http://bit.ly/1R3y0I4 for more info.

LEAVE A COMMENT

MILES TO DATE:

2117.25
HELLO
Miles Paddled is a tracking journal for a collective of paddlers. We document our travels on rivers and creeks throughout (mostly) Southern Wisconsin.

Say Hello or Contribute
PADDLE REPORTS

Apple River (IL)

    Apple River
    4.20.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    East Canyon Road to South Apple River Road

Badfish Creek

Baraboo River

Bark River

    Bark River II
    4.15.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Merton to Highway 83

    Bark River I
    7.15.10 | ☆ ☆
    Burnt Village County Park to Fort Atkinson

Beaver Dam River

Big Bureau Creek (IL)

    Big Bureau Creek
    6.17.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Red Covered Bridge Park to County Road 1150

Big Rib River

    Big Rib River
    5.10.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Goodrich to County Road A

Billings Creek

    Billings Creek
    8.13.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road F to Landing 10

Black Earth Creek

Black River

    Black River II
    8.8.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Hatfield to Black River Falls

    Black River I
    8.31-9.2.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Black River Falls to Melrose

Black River: East Fork

Bois Brule River

    Bois Brule River
    9.2.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Stone’s Bridge Landing to Bois Brule Landing

Boundary Waters (MN)

Cannon River (MN)

    Cannon River
    5.31.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Faribault to Dundas

Carroll Creek (IL)

    Carroll Creek II
    6.21.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Point Rock Park to Jacobstown Road

    Carroll Creek I
    4.26.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Point Rock Park to Jacobstown Road

Catfish Creek (IA)

    Catfish Creek
    5.7.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Mines of Spain to Massey Marina Park

Coon Fork Creek

Covel Creek (IL)

    Covel Creek
    6.18.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    East 18th Road to Highway 71

Crawfish River

Crawfish River: North Branch

Crystal River

Dell Creek

    Dell Creek
    3.15.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    South Avenue to Dellwood

Duck Creek

    Duck Creek
    3.23.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road G to Duck Creek Road

Eau Claire River

Eau Galle River

Embarrass River

Flambeau River: North Fork

Fox River

Galena/Fever River

Grand River

Grant River

    Grant River IV
    4.24.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road U to Chaffee Hollow Road

    Grant River III
    4.23.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Shortcut Road to County Road U

    Grant River II
    11.21.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road U to Chaffee Hollow Road

    Grant River I
    5.23.09 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Shortcut Road to County Road U

Halls Creek

    Halls Creek II
    8.9.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Garage Road to Halls Creek Landing

    Halls Creek I
    6.28.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Trow Lake Dam to Halls Creek Landing

Honey Creek

Jump River

    Jump River
    8.30.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Luke’s Heights Lane to Big Falls County Park

Kickapoo River

Kickapoo River: West Fork

Kinnickinnic River

Kishwaukee River (IL)

Koshkonong Creek

La Crosse River

Lake Columbia

Lake Michigan

Lake Superior

Lake Waubesa

Lemonweir River

Little Platte River

Little Wolf River

Maunesha River

Mecan River

Mill Creek

    Mill Creek
    6.8.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Loy Road to Highway 23

Milwaukee River

Milwaukee River: East Branch

Mink River

Mirror Lake

    Mirror Lake
    5.23-5.24.08 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Mirror Lake State Park to Lake Delton

Mormon Creek

    Mormon Creek
    8.3.14 | ☆ ☆
    Mormon Coulee Park to Goose Island County Park

Morrison Creek

    Morrison Creek
    9.19.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Cemetery Road to Morrison Landing

Mukwonago River

Namekagon River

    Namekagon River
    7.16-7.19.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road K to Riverside

Neenah Creek

Nippersink Creek (IL)

Oconomowoc River

Old Pearl River (LA)

    Old Pearl River
    4.3.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Crawford Landing Road to Indian Village Road

Pecatonica River

Pecatonica River: East Branch

Peshekee River (MI)

Peshtigo River

    Peshtigo River
    9.2.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Burnt Bridge to Goodman Park

Pigeon River

    Pigeon River
    12.5.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road J to Lake Michigan

Pine River

Platte River

Plover River

    Plover River
    5.19.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Jordan Park to Iverson Park

Prairie River

    Prairie River
    11.17.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Haymeadow Creek to Prairie Road

Puchyan River

    Puchyan River
    04.19.15 | ☆ ☆
    County Road J to Huckleberry Road

Red River

    Red River
    12.9.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Gresham to County Road A

Red Cedar River

Robinson Creek

    Robinson Creek
    7.8.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Old County Road I to Kelly Road

Rock Creek

    Rock Creek
    3.26.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Lake Mills to Millford

Rock River

Root River

    Root River
    8.2.13 | ☆ ☆
    5 Mile Road to Horlick Dam

Rubicon River

Seeley Creek

    Seeley Creek
    5.4.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Seeley Lake to Hatchery Road

Six Mile Creek

    Six Mile Creek
    6.7.14 | ☆
    Waunakee Village Park to South Woodland Drive

Spring Creek

    Spring Creek
    4.20.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Fair Street to County Road V

St. Croix River

Starkweather Creek

Sugar River

Token Creek

    Token Creek III
    5.22.11 | ☆
    Token Creek County Park to Cherokee Park

    Token Creek II
    8.22.09 | ☆ ☆
    Token Creek County Park to Cherokee Park

    Token Creek I
    5.2.09 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    Token Creek County Park to Cherokee Park

Tomorrow River

    Tomorrow River
    7.4.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Rolling Hills Road to Amherst

Trappe River

    Trappe River
    8.2.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Road WW to Wisconsin River Road

Trempealeau River

Turtle Creek

Upper Iowa River (IA)

    Upper Iowa River
    5.24.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Chimney Rock Road to Bluffton Road

Waupaca River

    Waupaca River V
    10.24.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Amherst to Durrant Road

    Waupaca River IV
    4.12.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Highway Q to Brainards Bridge Park

    Waupaca River III
    9.22.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Highway DD to County Highway Q

    Waupaca River II
    7.7.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Highway Q to Brainards Bridge Park

    Waupaca River I
    7.9.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    County Highway Q to Brainards Bridge Park

Wausau Whitewater Park

Wedges Creek

    Wedges Creek
    9.20.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Middle Road to Black River Lodge Resort

White River

Wisconsin River

Wolf River

Yahara River

Yellow Creek (IL)

    Yellow Creek
    4.19.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Bolton Road to Krape Park

Yellow River

Yellow River (IA)

    Yellow River II
    5.6.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Old Sixteen Road to Highway 76

    Yellow River I
    5.5.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Highway X16 to Old Sixteen Road

Zumbro River (MN)

    Zumbro River
    6.1.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
    Zumbro Falls to Millville
Support the Cause
Timothy's guidebook is out! Order on Amazon.com.