Cannon River Faribault to Northfield

Faribault, Minnesota

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The upper Cannon is an intimate, wooded stream with gentle current. It is a great route for paddlers. Evidence of that is found in its name, which in reality has nothing at all to do with heavy artillery. Rather, it is a mistranslation of the French La Rivière aux Canots, “the river of canoes.” The Cannon soon slips the trappings of town and eases down a wooded valley. Much of the greater landscape is devoted to farming, but the river valley is an oasis of hardwoods and forest wildflowers. Much of this stretch is protected in the boundaries of the Cannon River Wilderness Area. Rice County manages this area and has developed hiking trails, campsites, and other facilities. Wooded bluffs tower more than 200 feet above the river in this stretch. The area comprises a variety of habitat, including maple-basswood forest, oak woodlands, savanna and prairie, and floodplain forests. In spring, seasonal ephemerals cover the forest floor. Woodpeckers of various species search for insects beneath of the bark of standing dead elms, killed by Dutch elm disease, and excavate cavities for nests. Eastern bluebirds and wood ducks also nest in cavities found in standing dead trees.
Paddling Minnesota

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Paddling Minnesota

by Greg Breining (Falcon Guides)

The upper Cannon is an intimate, wooded stream with gentle current. It is a great route for paddlers. Evidence of that is found in its name, which in reality has nothing at all to do with heavy artillery. Rather, it is a mistranslation of the French La Rivière aux Canots, “the river of canoes.”

The Cannon soon slips the trappings of town and eases down a wooded valley. Much of the greater landscape is devoted to farming, but the river valley is an oasis of hardwoods and forest wildflowers. Much of this stretch is protected in the boundaries of the Cannon River Wilderness Area. Rice County manages this area and has developed hiking trails, campsites, and other facilities. Wooded bluffs tower more than 200 feet above the river in this stretch. The area comprises a variety of habitat, including maple-basswood forest, oak woodlands, savanna and prairie, and floodplain forests. In spring, seasonal ephemerals cover the forest floor. Woodpeckers of various species search for insects beneath of the bark of standing dead elms, killed by Dutch elm disease, and excavate cavities for nests. Eastern bluebirds and wood ducks also nest in cavities found in standing dead trees.

©  Greg Breining/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Faribault
Distance: 16
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 5 - 8 hours
Class: Class I
Local Contacts: Department of Natural Resources Information Center, 612-296-6157 or 800-766-6000 (toll free in Minnesota)
Local Maps: MDNR Cannon River Canoe Route
Driving Directions: Directions to Cannon River: Faribault to Northfield

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Apr 2018