In a recent blog post about the upcoming Vatten Paddlar race being held July 6 on the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes in Barnes, Wisconsin, I included a video showing the boating channel from Middle Eau Claire Lake to Lower Eau Claire Lake. That video’s been getting a lot of attention, so here’s more virtual scouting from my YouTube channel at Jean Hedren, Your Northwest Wisconsin Realtor.
First, for paddlers in the ten-mile race, here’s the boating channel between Birch Lake and Robinson Lake. During the race, you’ll be going the opposite direction. Still, this gives you some idea of what to expect when the course narrows down the very first time. This video is unedited and in real time; during the race this segment will go by much faster. (You’ll also experience heavier traffic, since the field won’t yet have spread out very much.)
Next, here’s the channel between Birch Lake and Upper Eau Claire Lake.
If you’re in the ten-mile race, your next channel between lakes is the one between Upper Eau Claire Lake and Middle Eau Claire Lake. After a quick portage around the outlet dam, you’ll experience a stretch that’s a little narrower and faster than the first two channels. Here’s a photo from the bridge at Outlet Bay Road. It gives you some idea of what to expect.
Eau Claire River
Although you’ll only encounter the previous channels if you’re in the ten-mile race, paddlers in bothevents get to experience the channel between Middle Eau Claire Lake and Lower Eau Claire Lake. Partway through, you’ll also get to stretch your legs on a brief portage around a miniature lock and dam.
(According to the official rules, assistance in portaging is available at both portages, and receiving assistance does not disqualify participants. You also have the option of locking through the lock and dam, but portaging is obviously much quicker.)
So once again, here’s a sneak preview of the channel between Middle Eau Claire Lake and Lower Eau Claire Lake. The portage comes at about 1:35.
Proud to sponsor this great local event. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor.