Date: July 9, 2022; Length: 3 miles; Duration: 1 hour 45 min
Planning: The Oconomowoc River is a small river located in southeastern Wisconsin that flows southwest before merging into the Rock River. Mike Svob has one trip of this river in his book Paddling Southern Wisconsin, which I paddled a portion of a few years ago. This year I was looking to paddle a section farther upstream and found this 3 mile route starting out at the Loew Lake trail bridge and ending at the County Line road landing.
Shuttle: The shuttle to this 3-mile section of river is 3.7 miles of mostly Ice Age trail making for an ideal hike of a shuttle with our packed packrafts. The only downfall was the endless swarms of bugs in the woods at this time of year.
Paddling: The paddling was great. This 3-mile stretch of river is flat but we had a favorable wind and plenty of water for uninterrupted paddling. The river also stayed narrow most of the way and winded a good amount.
Observations: The river has decent clarity to it, while the banks are of grass with trees not far off especially on the right or West side of the river where the Ice Age trail goes through. The land is also absent of other bridges and houses in this 3-mile section, but we did come across plenty of other paddlers coming up the river before they started turning back too.
Reflecting: Aside from the bugs while hiking, this round trip of a short trail hike and paddle back was a nice outing. Most people tend to paddle up the river and come right back to County Line road’s landing but if you have a packraft or even a semi light inflatable kayak you could take advantage of the Ice Age trail. I plan to come back to do this trip again or possibly just further upstream where there are light rapids when the water is higher.