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