Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Paddle the Minnesota River during Henderson’s Sauerkraut Days

Explore the Minnesota River and either High Island Creek or the Rush River (depending on water levels) by joining members of the Minnesota River Watershed Alliance for a couple of paddles on June 23rd (Saturday).  These paddles are being held in conjunction with Henderson’s Sauerkraut Days on June 22nd through the 24th.

We will be paddling the Minnesota River from the Le Sueur to Henderson for a total of almost eight miles.  As a more family-friendly river, this stretch will pass by the confluence of the Rush River as it flows in from the west and a hot spot for bird watching including many Bald Eagle nests.

This paddle will begin at 12 noon from the boat launch (River Mile 82.2) in Le Sueur just off of Highway 12 on the west side of the Minnesota River and end at the Henderson boat launch (River Mile 74) on the east side of the Minnesota River off of State Highway 19.  Transportation will be provided to shuttle people back to their vehicle in Le Sueur.  Check out the Minnesota State Water Trail Map: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/canoe_routes/minnesota4.pdf

A second and more challenging paddle will be offered in the morning (depending on water levels) on either High Island Creek or the Rush River.  Both of these rivers require more expertise for paddlers with tougher conditions (including Class I rapids), hazards and faster flows.  The decision on this paddle will be made closer to the date of June 23rd.  To get an idea of paddling High Island Creek or Rush River: http://mrbdc.mnsu.edu/sites/mrbdc.mnsu.edu/files/public/major/lowminn/subshed/hi/hi_recreation_paddling.html and http://mrbdc.mnsu.edu/sites/mrbdc.mnsu.edu/files/public/major/lowminn/subshed/rush/rr_recreation_paddling.html

Sauerkraut Days is called an old fashioned good time and one of the best small town festivals in Southern Minnesota.  Activities include a Car Cruise, Tractor Ride, Kiddie Parade, Car Show, Softball Tourney, Miss Henderson Coronation, Mini Rods, Live Music Outdoors, Cabbage Toss, World Campion Kraut Eating Contest, and much more.  For more information,   http://kraut.hendersonmn.com/Henderson_Sauerkraut_Days/Home.html

After the paddle at around 3:00 pm, the Watershed Alliance will be presenting a patch or decal to anyone who has paddled the entire length of the Minnesota River; or paddled at least three tributaries plus a stretch of the Minnesota River; or paddled 23 tributaries and three stretches (upper, middle and lower) of the Minnesota River.

The Minnesota River Paddler Program is designed to help connect or reconnect with the Minnesota River and its many tributaries.  By offering three different patches/decals, the Watershed Alliances hopes this will be a fun way to motivate people to explore some or all of the rivers found in the Minnesota River Basin.  The three patches/decals are: MN River Tributary Paddler, MN River Extreme Paddler and MN River 335 Paddler. 

The Watershed Alliance is an organized network of citizens, public agencies and private organizations dedicated to communicating the benefits of an ecologically healthy Minnesota River Watershed to others and are actively working toward its improvement and protection.

For more information on the Minnesota River Celebration please contact Scott Kudelka at 507-389-2304.