Swan Creek A Little Whitewater Gem
I was recently able to catch Swan Creek two days after the recent rain that we had although it was lower than I typically like it still made for a great run, as swan always does when floatable. If you have not had a chance to paddle Swan Creek yet and have a good amount of paddling experience then I would highly recommend it. If you would like to know more about this creek check out our Paddling Page for the full write up. The morning started off a bit on the chilly side, but with the forecast predicting temps in the lower to mid 70’s we were looking forward to a beautiful day on the river.
My friend and I put in at the Hwy. 125 bridge in Garrison and planned to float down to Forsyth, 21 miles down stream. This was the first time that I have put in this high on the river and was excited to paddle the new section. The water had cleared up after the recent rain and was beautifully clear and moving at a pretty good pace. The first 7 miles of the creek to Hwy. AA bridge were a mix of wide sections, with the flow of the water choosing to take many different channels, and narrow sections with steep banks and swift water. Even with lower water levels Swan Creek manages to keep a great flow rate with it’s bed rock bottom and steep banks that shape the majority of this little creek. This makes for a quick float if you don’t spend the time to swim and play in the water. We managed to make it to the AA bridge in under 2 hours where we stopped for a quick lunch break and hopped back on the water. The section from the Hwy. AA bridge down to Forsyth is where the excitement of Swan Creek starts to shine. At this water level and higher you can do the 14 mile stretch to Forsyth in under 4 hours. I personally prefer the water at a higher level, but this did not take away from the fun in store for us this day. Swift water, narrow turns and big waves are whats ahead for you if you paddle Swan Creek after the AA bridge. In my canoe I was able to stay relatively dry, but my friend, who was in his sit-on-top kayak, had a blast getting soaked as the waves crashed over the bow of his kayak. I really enjoy this section of the creek, from AA bridge to Hull’s Ford low water bridge, it had everything I needed to have a relaxing day on one of my favorite creeks with the occasional spot of exciting rapids. If your looking for a great whitewater run that is close to home Swan Creek will not disappoint, particularly the last section of the Creek, from Hull’s Ford LW bridge to Forsyth. This is where the greatest concentration of waves, rapids and play spots are located. We made our way down this section with our favorite waves and play spots in mind. These are sections where the creek narrows and drops, and you are guaranteed to have a nice big wave train to enjoy! We spent our time over the next couple of hours playing around surfing big waves, practicing catching eddies, and just seeing what are boats were capable of handling. This why I love this section of the river! There are few downed trees to worry about and plenty of flat bed rock to make nice waves and rapids to enjoy with little worry. The last two miles of the creek start to flatten out as you approach lake Taneycomo and can be slow. This however is a small price to pay for a creek that offers so much this close to home!