Churchill Dam to Montevideo


The stretch of the Minnesota River from the
Churchill Dam down to Montevideo is a great day trip. It is about 15 river miles, five hours, and it’s a nice stretch. There are not any rapids to speak of, there is a small
set right as you get in and then almost towards when you get
out, but that is only during low flows, but it’s great, you know, it starts
there at the dam so you’re going to see a lot of pelicans… because the largest pelican
rookery in the lower forty-eight United States is up there by Marsh
Lake, so the pelicans are taxiing and flying overhead.
If you’re lucky, you’ll see an otter. They’ve reintroduced the otter and so I’ve
seen those on that stretch before, and of course owls, eagles, the kingfisher, belted kingfisher,
green heron… I’ve seen those, so you’re going to see lots of
great wildlife. Right after you get to the
Camp Release landing there, that is about
halfway. Then about four miles down there is a primitive
kind of water access campsite… single campsite there, right on the
river that you can stay at for free. If you’re more interested in
something else, you can canoe all the way down to right before
Priens Landing where the Chippewa River enters in there at the (highway) 212 bridge. You can take a left
and go up the Chippewa River and camp out at out at the Lagoon Park in Montevideo. It is a great
stretch and I encourage everybody to get out and see the Minnesota River.

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