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Old 06-10-2019, 10:55 AM   #1
KenM
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Default Trip Report - Upper Grand River (20 mi overnight trip)

Mike and Jessica weren't the only ones paddling the Grand this weekend.

While this wasn't a TCT trip I seldom hear of anyone paddling above Harpersfield bridge...let alone doing an overnight trip. Here's a trip report for your amusement...

__Some of the folks in our hiking club have been doing a yearly overnight paddle trip. This year we returned to the upper section of the Grand. We had previously done this trip in 2013. Put-in was at Callendar Road (Grand River Conservation Center) and take-out was at Camp Kenisee since the takeout above Harpersfield Bridge is now blocked. This made for a 20 mile trip. Options for camping overnight along the river are mostly non-existent in this section. The only reason we can pull this off is because one of our members (Charlie) grew up between Austinburg & Rock Creek and still knows a few folks in the area. Charlie managed to find a resident that was amenable to letting us use his (sloping) back yard as a camp. We rented a toilet and had it dropped off up by the road (which is a very steep walk up). There was even a pile of firewood for us to use! Since the yard here is VERY sloped, a number of us set up tents in the side-yard up by the street. Lots of people milling around & lots of bright tents. The neighbors were obviously nosey especially since the resident here was out of town for the weekend. At one point a drone flew overhead checking us out! I wished for a sign to put out that said "Gratefull Dead Reunion".

__ With all the recent rain the river was running high and rather muddy (about 4.1 on the gage which is 45 miles downstream). Current was swift for this section, moving at mostly 2.5 mph. The banks were very slippery and steep. Places to stop for a break were difficult to find. (At this water level there were no blockages and only a few minor sweepers to avoid. (The river was sharply different from our last trip here in 2013 when the water was low and we dragged over logs). The nature of this section is very different from what is seen below Harpersfield bridge. The river corridor here is almost completely tree lined and with heavy vegetaion. For the first 14 miles of this trip the river is not very wide. It's quiet. You get a good sense of remoteness. Much of the land along the river here is protected by the Nature Concervancy or Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The river eventually widens and houses start appearing, but it's still nice. It is a designated Wild and Scenic river.

__Our rag-tag group of 17 had seven canoes and several kayaks. Some rentals and some private boats. We made arrangements with Grand River Canoe Livery for rentals and transportation.

__We had a few experienced paddlers along and a few newbies. A few paddlers had never been on moving water but did well. There were 4 swimmers. One person twice! A new club member and first time kayaker was the first to go for a swim in swift, deep water. She was terrified while hanging on to another kayak as the banks were too steep to get her out for quite a distance.

__It was a good trip with lots of stories to tell. Not too hot. Not too much sun. Unfortunately my bow paddler (Cheryl) could not make this trip so I had to forego the canoe and used my kayak.

-KenM
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:00 PM   #2
BandanaDan
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Interesting. This is in my backyard and I have never paddled between Callendar Rd and Fobes Rd (where the canoe livery is). I always wondered how passable it was. It certainly is remote-feeling until it opens up at Cork-Cold Springs Rd. Thanks for the report.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:21 PM   #3
mfdanko99
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That is so cool,
Not sure to call the section in painsville the upper or lower?
We were right at the gauge at the take out
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