Koshkonong Creek - Wisconsin

Date: July 16, 2022; Length: 5.5 miles; Duration: 2 hours

Put In: W Water St (Cambridge)

Park with a lot and platform to put in off of on the downstream left side of the W Water St bridge.

Takeout: Hoopen Rd Bridge

Side of the road parking with a cleared grass path on the downstream right side of the Hoopen Rd bridge for an easy takeout.

Paddling Experience = 4/5

This section of Koshkonong Creek was an enjoyable paddle. There were few issues with scraping and enough clearance for passage the whole way. It also had a nice current and winded a good deal to break up the paddling.

Natural Scenery = 4/5

The water was fairly clear with a mixture of mud and sand and small rock beds to it. Just off the water were high grass banks and trees just beyond them making for an intimate experience. Bridges were common in the first half, but most were for the trail running alongside the creek, while houses were more common around the town of Rockdale.

Accessibility = 4/5

My put in and takeout to this 5.5-mile section of Koshkonong Creek were easy going. Other access options exist in between that are less ideal but doable. The creek itself is more accessible than it could be as there are several spots of downed trees with just enough clearance thanks to people's efforts.

Gradient & Water Level

Gradient: Flatwater
Experience Paddling at this Water Level: 
The water level was good with only a handful of brief scraping moments and only a couple of those where it was unavoidable.

Gauge Information

Here is information on stream gauge readings around the date of this paddle (Note: There is no gauge for Koshkonong Creek.):

Overall Experience

Planning: I had known of Lake Koshkonong but not its creek until shortly before getting on it. I first came across it while scanning Google Maps for possible local rivers to paddle and then went to see if people actually paddled on it by looking at the Miles Paddled and Wisconsin River Trips sites. Here I found the 5.5-mile section from W Water St in Cambridge to Hoopen Rd.

Shuttle: This 6-mile section of Koshkonong Creek requires a 4.5-mile shuttle. The first two miles consist of back roads leading to the town of Rockdale where there is a trailhead for the CamRock trail that goes two miles up to Cambridge and right to where I intended to put in on the creek. The trail part of the shuttle was great and actually had more traffic than the back roads, with groups of cyclists making use of the trail.

Paddling: From put in to takeout, the paddling was great. The water was deep enough in most places, while the few shallow areas of issue were very brief. Downed trees occurred but were taken care of to have enough clearance to continue on without portaging or really having to work at getting through. The creek was narrow and winded a good amount as well as a nice current to make the two hours of paddling pass by much faster.

Observations: The water was fairly clear, with high banks of grass and trees just beyond or farther off. Trail bridges were common early on until coming to the town of Rockdale where the last remaining bridge was before the takeout occurred. Houses were in the mix especially around Rockdale but were mostly out of immediate sight from the water. As for people, I put in as a group of four kayakers were getting ready and running their vehicle shuttle before getting on themselves, while the only wildlife sighted was an osprey and three blue herons.

Reflecting:  Based on the few past experiences with creeks, I was expecting this 5.5-mile section of Koshkonong Creek to have dead still water with open marsh all around and intermittent scraping and blockage issues. This was far from the case. The shuttle and access points were ideal, while the water and scenery more than held up. I wouldn’t mind returning to paddle this section again for fun at some point in the future.