• Paddling the Cannon River

  • Ready to glide past forested lands, sandstone bluffs, and watch for wildlife? The river is ready for you!

    The run from Wilderness Park to Dundas is about 7 river miles (add an extra 2 miles to land in Northfield) and encompasses a wide variety of ever-changing terrain. The river is typically wide, clear of large obstacles and easy for all levels of paddling.  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.

    With COVID-19, we're running things a little different these days to keep you (and our staff) safe and out enjoying time on the river. Asking people from all over to all get into passenger van doesn't sound ideal with this virus, so we're flexing our creative muscles. You can now choose to park a vehicle in Northfield or in Dundas and drive down to our launch point and start your adventure at your leisure. 

    Want help launching your kayaks? Arrive within 30 minutes of the start time and our friendly staff will be glad to get you on the water! Do plan on wearing a mask for this brief period of time.

    If water conditions warrant a landing for everyone in Northfield and you originally chose Dundas, we will notify you.

  • River Levels

    You can use the following guideline to determine when it is best to paddle the river.  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 :
      • Cannon River < 9.5ft
      • Rocks, sandbars become significant obstacles; canoes will be bottoming out/getting stuck; no tandem kayaks
    • Sweet Zone : 
      • Cannon River between 10.5 - 12ft
      • Fabulous paddling conditions for everyone, easy going, even lazy at the 10.5ft mark
    • Sweet with a little spice : 
      • Cannon River between 12 - 13ft
      • Wilderness run is still in excellent paddling condition
    • Edgy : 
      • Cannon River between 13 - 14ft
      • Landing can be a little more difficult in Dundas, Wilderness run is still in great condition; at 13.5ft we recommend moving to a Northfield landing site
    • Partial shut down:
      • Cannon River between 14 - 15ft
      • Wilderness run is open to solo kayaks only for semi-experienced paddlers
    • Full shut down: 
      • Cannon River >15ft
      • All runs are closed for safety
  • 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: 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 and can pose hazards we may not know about.

    Q: Can I paddle from Faribault?
    A: At this time we are not offering that stretch of river. We have in the past, and it is lovely, but there is a large blockage on the river from the 2018 tornadoes that poses significant risk and hazard.

    Q: Why don't you offer tubing on the river?
    A: The river is designated Wild and Scenic, which means no tubing unless your business was grandfathered in back in 1984 (the year the owner was born). Also, it's just not our style. We love small groups, peaceful relaxation and a deep appreciation for nature

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