This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  MichaelDee 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #14787


    I’ve been preparing a small group for the clinic in a series of pool sessions, and I’d like to take them out now on some moving water. Usually I like the Meramec River just upstream of the 141 bridge for that purpose, but I think it will be prohibitively high on Sunday when we plan to go.

    Anyone have any suggestions for an alternative? I’d like it relatively close to St. Louis, moving water with few obstacles (especially no strainers), and, ideally, with a pronounced eddy or two and with a riffle that would give them easy ferry practice. It would also be really good if we could park and train without having to shuttle. I know that’s asking alot…

    I’d be grateful, as always, for any suggestions.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by  MichaelDee.
  • #14793

    Dan Prater

    Check out the big river at Rockford beach,  cedar hill park,  or morse mill.  All would be better IMO than what’s typically at 141.

  • #14798


    Thanks Dan. I’m going to scout all three in the next few days–what I can see on google maps looks really good. And, I agree, those spots look better than 141.

  • #14801


    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Be advised that there have been several drownings at Rockford Beach on the Big. Cedar Hill and Morse Mill are excellent options when water levels are not too high.</p>

    • #14806


      Michael, I’m interested in hearing how your site visits go.

  • #14939


    Which was the best?

  • #14944


    Hi Michael, We paddled our 125th monthly “Sunset Race” on Thursday.  We now go from Greentree to 141 and back.  It was perfectly smooth with no riffles and plenty of eddys as it is cookin’.  A thunderstorm came up and scared most of us off the river but those who trudged on said it was no issue in that stretch.



    FYI, on the 2nd Thursday of every month we paddle Greentree to 141.  We have a great clan of people.  It generally starts around sunset and takes about an hour and a half.  In the summer months we start in the daylight and end at Sunset.


    Then we go to TJ Wings afterward.

    Anyone who would like to join please do.



  • #14975


    Thanks Jo–I’d love to join your group sometime. The only problem is that I tend to set at sunset, especially on school nights!

    Of the three sites I scouted on the Big River, I liked Cedar Hill Park the best (thanks again, Dan, for the tip!). At 1800 cfs, it was a bit pushy for novices; it was much better a few days later at about 1400 cfs. We were able to do quite a bit of ferry practice below the constriction, and there was just enough recovery space so that my students could either paddle upstream on river left if they missed their ferries or walk up from a scraggly gravel bar on river left. Above the constriction, I practiced eddy turns, peel outs, and s-turns with another student. Overall, I would have preferred a less squirrelly current at the constriction and fewer boils on the river left side of the ferry (and the staging eddy was really swirly) for beginners. I think I still prefer 141 at low levels to Cedar Hill Park at 1400 cfs for that reason. But it was good enough given the conditions elsewhere. I’d like to see how it is at lower levels.

    Morse Mill didn’t offer much other than river wide swift water. At 1800 cfs, there was no recovery spot for beginners–they would have been swept downstream.

    Rockford Beach offered a really dynamic constriction against a cliff face on river right–cross currents, rapid standing waves… If you had a group that mastered Cedar Hill Park, it would be fun to take some laps at Rockford Beach on the way back to St. Louis (it’s right off 30). I didn’t paddle it, but it looked fun. No way I would take rank beginners through that constriction at the level I observed. It would have been difficult, as well, to accomplish much ferry instruction there.

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