• River Routes and River Levels

  • We offer two main runs on the Cannon River, our entry level run from Wilderness Park back to Dundas and our longer more experienced route from Faribault to Dundas.  

    We provide transportation upstream to the launch point at Wilderness Park or Faribault.  You'll land in Dundas about a block from where our outfitter is located.  You will be given landing instructions, a tour of the landing area, transportation to the launch site and assistance in launching.  If you are renting a kayak, you will be provided with your chosen kayak, paddle(s), seat(s), life jacket(s) and paddling instructions.

    The run from Wilderness Park to Dundas is about 7 river miles and encompasses a wide variety of terrain but the river is typically wide, clear of large obstacles and easy for all levels of paddling and is highly recommended for beginners and families.  Depending on water conditions (speed of the river) this trek can take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3 hours, with an average of 2.5 hours.

    The run from Faribault to Dundas is about 14 river miles.  The first 7 miles wind tightly through the river bottoms and along the shores of large sandstone bluffs. The last 7 miles are the trek from Wilderness Park to Dundas.  The first stretch of river is narrow and winds through the river bottoms with water obstructions possible.  This stretch of river is beautiful and exciting but it requires a level of proficiency with paddling to be able to quickly avoid obstacles, handle shallow stretches and allow a sense of adventure for the unexpected.  It is one of our favorite stretches but is recommended for those with paddling experience and it may be restricted/shut down due to water level conditions.  Depending on water conditions, this 14 mile stretch can take anywhere from 3 - 6 hours with the average being about 5 hours.

    Common Questions:

    Q: Are there rapids?
    A: The Cannon River is unclassified because it has no rapids.  It does have ripples which are easy for any level of paddler.

    Q: I'm new to kayaking, what route do you recommend?
    A: We always recommend the route from Wilderness Park to Dundas as a great beginner run

    Q: How will I know where to get out?
    A: Our exit spot is easy to recognize and you won't miss it! We'll walk you through the exit location and make sure you feel comfortable.

    Q: The river looks fast? Is it dangerous?
    A: The river will move at different speeds depending on how narrow or wide the river is at any given point.  We recommend reviewing the water level recommendations below.  

    Q: I want to paddle the Straight River, can you launch me there?
    A: Unfortunately no.  The Straight River is far more unpredictable in conditions and is classified as a Class I/II rapids river that our insurance does not cover.

    Q: Why don't you offer tubing on the river?
    A: First, the river is designated Wild and Scenic, which means no tubing unless your business was grandfathered in back in 1984. Secondly, we love our river quiet, scenic and treated respectfully.

  • River Levels

    You can use the following guideline to determine when it is best to paddle the section of river that you desire.  Please note that if we have experienced a large amount of rain to the south and south west, river levels may rise rapidly over the course of the next 24 hours as it flows north and east.  If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. 

    Current river levels are displayed below

    • Low Water :
      • Straight River < 4ft
      • Cannon River < 9.5ft
      • Rocks, sandbars become significant obstacles; canoes will be bottoming out/getting stuck
    • Sweet Zone : 
      • Straight River between 4.5 - 5.5ft
      • Cannon River between 10.5 - 11.5ft
      • Fabulous paddling conditions for everyone on both runs
    • Sweet with a little spice : 
      • Straight River between 5.5 - 6.5ft
      • Cannon River between 11.5 - 13ft
      • Wilderness run is still in excellent paddling condition; restrictions for novices & tandem kayaks on the stretch from Faribault - depends on your comfort level
    • Edgy : 
      • Straight River between 6.5 - 7ft
      • Cannon River between 13 - 14ft
      • No novices or boats over 12ft allowed on the stretch from Faribault; landing can be a little more difficult in Dundas, Wilderness run is still in great condition
    • Partial shut down:
      • Straight River > 7ft
      • Cannon River between 14 - 15ft
      • Faribault run is shut down to all paddlers, Wilderness run is open to solo kayaks for at minimum semi-experienced paddlers
    • Full shut down: 
      • Straight River > 7.5ft
      • Cannon River >15ft
      • All runs are closed for safety