Date: August 27, 2021; Length: 7 miles; Duration: 3 hours 30 min
Planning: The Crawfish River is a small and fairly flat river in southeastern Wisconsin that flows southeast into the Rock River. Mike Svob has one trip of the Crawfish in his book Paddling Southern Wisconsin, which I used to plan for my trip. I chose for a put in a couple miles downstream of the one he had, with my seven mile section starting at Aztalan state park and ending at the county W bridge takeout.
Paddling: The river was pretty much flat and thankfully the strong wind wasn’t blowing directly into our paddling direction. Paddling was a slow process nonetheless, while some areas got noticeably shallow at times but not enough that we ever scraped or got stuck or had to portage. The river was fairly wide though too and didn’t have much for issues with downed trees or blockages of that nature.
Observations: The river had a light brown color and not much clarity to it. The banks were typically lined with tall grass and trees and remained undeveloped much of the way. One bridge occurred in the last couple miles as we were nearing the takeout right before the confluence with the Rock river. No other paddlers were out there at the time, but some wildlife were spotted, with ducks, geese, hawks, bald eagles, a blue heron, and a few turtles.
Reflecting: This wasn’t a thrilling paddling trip and the lower than ideal water level and subsequent lack of current didn’t help much there. But the scenery was nice and natural, providing some solitude while out there, so if you’re more about that type of paddling experience, then have at this trip on the Crawfish river.