Sunday, April 25, 2010

River Island Park - April 24th

Had a good time yesterday at River Island Park with Jeff, Andy and Eric. Flow was somewhere between 800 and 850 cfs, around 2.5 feet – a nice relaxed level.

We put in behind the museum and didn’t bother carrying up to the dam. With the hydro plant now running, it’s a long carry for a couple of small waves. There were plenty of other small waves around that were easier to get to.

I brought my Dagger Cascade C1 for Jeff to try, and he took to it immediately. I met him early and he stayed at the put in with the boats while I went down to the take out to meet Andy and Eric. When we returned, Jeff already had the C1 on the water – and he looked real comfortable.

Nothing tough here – at yesterday’s level it was quickwater/easy class I. Here’s how the run goes:

Directly below the bandstand put in is short section of quickwater with a couple of pour-overs at the top. It’s a good place to get warmed up.

On the other side of river (far river right) is a boulder that creates a good size hole, followed by some standing waves. At higher water levels, this hole usually kicks me out. At yesterday’s level, it was an easy surf. There’s a nice eddy there, so we played for a little while.

Underneath the Bernon Street Bridge are the remnants of the old Bernon Dam. In higher water a couple of nice surf holes develop, but yesterday it was just random waves. There is a small eddy on river left just after the bridge. There are also a few small ledges that create surf spots below the bridge.

Beneath the Court Street Bridge is the biggest wave on this section of the river. There are a couple of small pour overs immediately above the bridge. After catching those, you can pull into the eddy behind a large rock in the middle of the river. From there you can surf the pour over created by a ledge between the rock and the bridge abutment on river left. The ledge is angled slightly downstream and toward the bridge abutment, so you will tend to travel down the wave toward an eddy next to the bridge abutment. From there, its an easy ferry back across to the eddy behind the rock, so you can surf the ledge again.

Downstream from the Court Street Bridge, but before the railroad bridge, are a couple of other ledges that create nice waves. The best is on river right about half way down. Since there is no eddy servicing this wave, you have to catch it on the fly at higher water levels. Yesterday, you could paddle right up, so we spent quite a while there. There is also a large ledge in the middle of the river just above the railroad bridge. At most water levels, it just creates a big eddy in the middle of the river.

Below the railroad bridge is mostly quickwater with a couple surf spots. The best one yesterday was created by a pipe running across the river. In higher water, the pour over created by this pipe gets washed out. In lower water, a nice long wave develops. We spent a long time here shredding back and forth across this wave.

The only other feature of consequence below the railroad bridge is a short run of waves created by an old dam below some power lines. You may find some surf spots, you may not depending on the water level. There wasn’t much there yesterday.

Take out is at the boat ramp at Rivers Edge Recreational Complex. Its about a mile from start to finish. If you point your nose downstream and go, you can run it in about 5 to 10 minutes. We spent a couple of hours.

Here's the run from Google Maps

In mid-summer, it also a great place to pole.

Andy's pictures and videos

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