Training for Vatten Paddlar? More Great Paddling near Barnes, Gordon, Minong, and Solon Springs

I’m proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Vatten Paddlar canoe and kayak race, which will be held July 6 on the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes in Barnes, Wisconsin.  I’m grateful for this opportunity to support our local community, and also to spread the word about the natural beauty of the lakes and rivers in this part of northwest Wisconsin.

I suspect a few paddlers and their families have enjoyed extra weekends in the area while checking out the course.  (If you haven’t been able to do that,check out my earlier blog post for a little virtual scouting.)  While you’re at it, please come on back to explore some of our other lakes and rivers, too.

Our local area is famous for paddling on rivers like the Brule, Saint Croix, and Namekagon, but we also have lots of lakes that are great for flatwater paddling.  Even most of the larger, more open lakes have lots of sheltered bays to explore.  Take, for example, the 1,564-acre Minong Flowage, with its meandering, 24.8 mile shoreline.  Or, there’s the 1,913-acre Gordon Flowage (also known as the Saint Croix Flowage), which has over 27 miles of shoreline and lots of isolated bays that offer a near-wilderness experience.  Hug the shoreline for a single lap, and there’s a pretty decent workout.

If you’re racing, even recreationally, then you’re not afraid to paddle upstream now and then.  That opens up lots more options.  Here’s just one example: Instead of merely paddling downstream from Solon Springs and Upper Saint Croix Lake to the Gordon Flowage, you could start in the Gordon Flowage, paddle upstream to Upper Saint Croix Lake, and then paddle back on down to your starting point.

Feeling less ambitious today? No problem.  Here’s a fast canoe being paddled slowly on a quiet corner of the Saint Croix Flowage near Gordon, Wisconsin.  Enjoy!

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