Cannon River Cannon Falls to Mississippi River

Cannon Falls, Minnesota 55009

Cannon River Cannon Falls to Mississippi River

Cannon River: Cannon Falls to Mississippi River Professional Review and Guide

"The Cannon races through a series of easy rapids and passes tall, rocky bluffs on its way to the Mississippi River. Less than a mile below the put-in, the Cannon runs through the largest rapids on this segment of river, a wavy, class I drop at the railroad trestle just downstream from the confluence with the Little Cannon River. The river scoots out of the town of Cannon Falls, running through quick successions of easy rapids as it burrows ever deeper into its limestone valley. A railroad once followed the right (south) bank of the river. Today, the rail bed has been converted to the Cannon Valley Trail, a popular route running between Cannon Falls and Red Wing. As you paddle, you’ll spot cyclists and skaters zipping past you, far above the river.

A dam once blocked the river at Welch. The aging, useless structure was demolished several years ago; only a mild rapids marks the spot today. A canoe and inner-tube outfitter operates out of the old mill next to the former dam site. During the summer, the outfitter launches dozens to hundreds of tubes between the Trout Brook access and Welch, so avoid this stretch on pleasant summer weekends if you value peace and quiet. Watch for downed trees on the outside of river bends, especially in very high water."

Cannon River: Cannon Falls to Mississippi River Reviews

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This trail is rated for beginners, but in spring run-off and after hard rains it can become quite dangerous. Get local conditions before cannoeing. For those who have not canoed this river in the last 10-12 years, the small dam at Welch has been removed. There is a public parking area in Cannon falls with an easy put in. There is a place in Welch to put in or take out. Also a canoe and tube rental in Welch. There is a parking lot along highway 61 near Red Wing. For those who want to go all the way to the mouth of the river, there is a city park in Red Wing with parking and a boat landing. This is along the Mississippi River. Bay point park can be seen from the river by three large poles in a tri-pod (called a tipi by us locals). The Cannon itself is in Bluff country with views of wooded bluffs along the river. This is a very pleasant trip and a good place to padle and enjoy the scenery.

Cannon River: Cannon Falls to Mississippi River Photos

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Trail Information

Cannon Falls
Nearby City
Skill Level
9 - 13 hours
Class I
Department of Natural Resources Information Center, 612-296-6157 or 800-766-6000 (toll free in Minnesota)
Local Contacts
MDNR Cannon River Canoe Route
Local Maps