Taking on the Namekagon River

The Plan

Over Memorial day weekend a group of us set out to paddle a section of the Namekagon River. Namekagon River is connected to the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, which stretches 200-250 miles depending on what route you take. Our route was 30-40 miles planned out for 3 days on the water. Figured it would be nice to do roughly 10 miles a day, since this was a first river trip for some. Wanted to error on more time for safety reason and to make sure everyone is having fun! Our route stated at Country Road K Landing on Namekagon River just past the Trego Dam. That way we didn't need to start with a portage, which everyone told me sucks. Our takeout point was Riverside Landing on Saint Croix River close to the Minnesota and Wisconsin boarder camping along the way.

The group consisted of Team Minnesota - Brooke and Me with Team Chicago - Seneca, Nick, Steve, Grant, and Haley

Day 1: Meet up and Hit the Water!

Friday Afternoon, we met up at Log Cabin Resort in Trego, WI to park are vehicles, pack up the shuttle/trailer, and head to our landing point. Log Cabin Resort provided our rentals (4 Kayaks, 1 Canoe, Paddles, and PFDs) and the shuttle service to and from the river, super awesome people and crazy slick. I would most defiantly use their services again :) Loaded up and excited to hit the water we headed to our launch point. Got everyones stuff packed up, blew up Nala, talked about expectations, route, safety, first night plan, and launched!

11.13 miles around 3 hours, 3-4 campsites, and paddling through the rain we finally got a campsite. Given we had to piggy back on another 4 pack of ladies, who were are greatly appreciated of! I don't like to intrude on others enjoying Mother Nature but the rain and distance to the next site just didn't make sense. Plus Nick tipped over at the campsite landing, so getting him warm took priority. Originally, we were planning on 5 mile paddle and grab a camp but everyone was just to excited to be on the river, wanted to keep paddling to stay warm, and the water was flowing super fast.

Day 2: Full River Day - My Kind of Day :)

All rested up we were ready to take on the next day. Forecast showed sun shinning all day! We decided with how fast the water is moving we would do a decent push, camp, and finish it out the next day. This would cut an entire day off the trip, which we kind of knew was going to happen with this flow. So we packed up and hit the water to reevaluate later in the day.

15.62 miles and 6:38 hours later we found an open group site for the night. As you saw it was a pretty chill day on the river, but a beautiful section! Awesome campsite layout wise. Not so cool about the crazy amounts of ticks, given they were all attracted to Grant haha. Now to get setup for the night, make some dinner, talk about the day and tomorrows plan, enjoy the fire, and get some sleep.

Day 3: But but I don't want the fun to end!

Night prior we checked out the weather and decided we would do the final stretch and get off the river a day early. With rain/storms coming and the fast flow it just made sense. We waited out a bit in the morning until the rain passed, packed up, and hit the water. I was pretty excited to see the confluence of the Namekagon and Saint Croix rivers. Oh oh plus the rapid sections the map showcased :)

Last stretch was 9.32 miles in 2:46 hours. Put us 4 hours ahead of our pick up time. Thankfully, Log Cabin Resort was awesome enough to send a shuttle right away. We still had some time to blow. So Seneca and Grant got to test out Nala to see what it was like. Both were like, "How did you do this the whole time?!" hahaha Well lots of miles and practice.


Has to be one of the best paddle adventures to date! Probably because I just love rivers. Either way this adventure was awesome and everyone had a smile on their face start to finish. Few hiccups but nothing we could not handle as a group. We all had are own reason why we "needed" this adventure but in the end it seemed like we were all just happy to be enjoying the river with some kickass company. Got to experience all sorts of weather, ticks galore, and scenic views on the 36 miles we paddled. Now to wait for the next adventure together which will be longer :)

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