RiverFest is an annual fun and relaxing paddle down the Black River. The 2021 Riverfest started at 8am at the Lower Lyons Falls Canoe Launch. This years route was 8.6 miles on the Black River. The event ended in Glenfield by the canoe launch near the bridge on Greig Road. There was a midpoint at Burdicks Crossing.
Paddlers were urged to participate in a trivia contest on their way with questions provided by Lewis County Soil & Water on large pool floats positioned along the river. There was food available at the mid-point and a shuttle was available in the morning so paddlers have their vehicles waiting for them at the end. RiverFest is a fundraising event held by the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce.
Kathryn and I left early such that we could leave a vehicle at the take out and not have to rely on the shuttle. At the launch we observed 6 canoes and many dozens of kayaks. Based on the 30 vehicles in the parking lot at the take out I estimated at least 50+ vessels over all.
We launched at 0835 behind about a dozen other boats. Due to recent thunder storms the river was bank-to-bank high and the current was strong; estimated flowing at 2 mph. We saw a few birds: herons, cedar wax wings, an osprey and a bald eagle that stoically sat as we floated by.
Kathryn set a healthy pace and after one hour we arrived at Burdick’s Landing where we found the LaMont’s Food Fair food truck and bought drinks and shared a hot dog. The on-site volunteer stated the water was the highest she had experienced in her 6 years of service. The 55 minute paddle to the destination was uneventful. We loaded up and hate lunch at the Pioneer Cafe where the service was slow, but the food was delicious.