Low Water levels Affect Wyalusing Water Trail


canoe trail greyWith the lack of rain north of Prairie du Chien , the Mississippi River and the backwaters create a few challenges for paddlers on the Wyalusing State Park Water Trail  http://www.wyalusingfriends.org/2014/07/glenn-lake-wood-yard-slough-canoekayak.html

Currently, the Mississippi River stage is at below 8 feet . The river stage is measured at McGregor, IA, McGregor is across the Mississippi River from Wyalusing State Park. The gauge is maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  EVERY site along the Mississippi River reports river stage as a measure relative to sea level, but there are some river gauge locations along our local rivers that are NOT reported relative to sea level. Instead, those sites have a subjective benchmark point, often based on something historical about the local area or the river reporting practices from decades ago. For example, at McGregor, IA, the river stage of 7.9 means that the water surface is 7.9 feet above a "benchmark" established years ago.

With lower than normal water levels, paddlers may have to walk and drag the canoe/kayak through sand and/or mud from 20-30 yards in one section and 125-150 yards in another. (See the red areas on the map.)

When paddlers re-enter the canoes or kayaks, some of the sand and mud also comes along. The life jackets get extra dirty as well. Concession stand staff washes all life jackets with detergent  and hangs each out to dry. Dirty, sandy life jackets will incur additional expense to the user.

Water Trail Alternative

Paddlers seeking a water-trail adventure without having to walk in sand and Mississippi River muck can still venture out on an alternative trail. From the Boat landing, travel North along the railroad tracks into the first dead-end inlet. Travel around the inlet, head south and around to the next inlet. Eagles can frequently be found in these areas Glenn Lake. After traveling though the inlets, take the first leg of the canoe trail until reaching the first "walking area". Reverse directions, and travel south along Glenn lake to the lower portion of the lake. Stay up to date on canoe/kayak access by liking the Friends of Wyalusing Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/friendsofwyalusingstatepark or checking the USGS Mississippi water level gauge at http://water.weather.gov//ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=arx&gage=mcgi4&view=1,1,1,1,1,1