Sunrise Paddle on the Embarrass River

Embarrass River starting at hwy 76

Paddling at sunrise is a beautiful was to start the day. Sunday morning, September 11, 2011 Debra and I decided to start our day with a joyous float and paddle on the Embarrass River northeast of New London. It was a great day and we were on the water for 5 hours taking in a beautiful little river that few people paddle.

We had three tricky spots getting around fallen trees on the journey.

The slideshow captures some of the moments on our trip from the hwy 76 bridge to Pfeifer Park in New London. Photos and slideshow by Debra Gehrke.


The length of this paddle was a good 12 miles. Give yourself at least 4 hours to complete this trip. We did it in 5 hours of light paddling. There are no great alternate takeouts between hwy 76 and Pfeifer Park. Spur Road does cross the river about 9 miles into the trip but the takeout would be challenging. Three log jams we had to figure out how to cross also slowed us down. With the river being narrow and lightly used, expect a few log jams and places you may have to portage. The Embarrass is named for it’s frequent obstructions that French voyagers frequently encountered.

The water level was low on this day and the river banks were mostly muddy. There are many shallow areas where the river bottom is solid and sandy giving you a few options for taking breaks right in the river when it’s low.

We are happy to report that the bugs were a non-issue for us in September. I recommend paddling the Embarrass in the Spring or Fall to avoid the mosquitos and deer flies. I paddled a section of the river upstream from hwy 76 to Cty F in July. During the middle of the Summer the Embarrass was the most buggy river I’ve experienced this year.

The Tri-Rivers Nature area map shows some additional put it spots on the Embarrass.

Also, here are some additional Embarrass River Paddling photos from earlier from June when the water was at least 2 feet higher. These photos from June are from the last third of the trip we did on September 11th.

4 thoughts on “Sunrise Paddle on the Embarrass River

    • Lucky you to have property along the river. I don’t think the Embarrass gets paddled a lot. It’s a great river. The section between hwy 76 and New London is a long stretch and when we were on it part felt almost like wilderness. I’ve been all along the river from the mouth to the area where Cherry Rd. comes close to the river. I’m looking forward to exploring the upper sections of the Embarrass in the spring.

  1. Paddled from Range Line Road (Bridge) to the town of Embarrass (Bridge). About a 4 hour easy paddle with no rapids but a few fallen trees to go around or over. Easy in at Range Line Road (Bridge) and easy out in Town of Embarrass (bridge). Another nice run is between Town of Pella (Dam) and Range Line Road (Bridge.) 4 to 5 hours and one streatch of class 3 rapids depending on water flow. Easy in at Pella (Dam) and easy out at Range Line Road (Bridge). Another run that looks good is from Haymans Falls Park to Town of Pella (Dam). Easy in and out for this run, I havent done it so im not sure how long it would take. Very nice streatch of rapids in Hayman Falls Park but you can put in before or after depending how crazy you want to get. One other run that looks very nice would be between Town of Caroline and Haymans Falls Park. Easy in and out in both spots. Just not sure how long it would take since I havent done it yet. All of these runs are on the Middle Branch which is the widest part of the Embarrass FYI. Hope this is helpful. cheers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s