by Greg Breining (Falcon Guides)
© Greg Breining/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This was a nice easy afternoon paddle - we put in at the McCarthy State Park boat launch on Side Lake. It took us just about 3 hours of easy paddling to get from there to where we took out - just before the rapids at the road 766 bridge. Note that the section between where the Shannon river joins up with the Sturgeon and where the rapids start there are some large rocks in the river to watch out for. There is a small parking area on road 766 (small dirt state forest road) for a hiking trailhead.
Nice calm water with many bends - saw quite a few waterfowl, and a river otter. The water was a bit high when we went, which was necessary to get over some of the partial beaver dams. If the water was any lower we would have had a little bit of trouble getting over at least one of them - if the beavers are active this summer, it might be more difficult in the future. Nice 60 degree day was perfect with a little breeze - no bugs and not too hot. There isn't a lot of shade on this section of the river, so be prepared!
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