Maumee / St. Joe Rivers
August 12, 13, ,14, 2016



Put In

At about 10:30 on Friday morning Tom and Lance met at the boat ramp of the Johnny Appleseed Park. We went over the map and the shuttling plans and finished our lunches and were off. We parked Tom's car 6 1/2 miles downstream in New Haven. Due to parking restrictions at the river crossing, we had to park it 0.3 miles away, but it was an easy walk down a bike trail to the car. We drove to the put in, just a few feet downstream of the Maumee dam. Very good parking and a gravel ramp made for easy access. We got our gear down to the water and put in. We dodged a couple of gravel bars and were on open water. It was a hot humid day and Tom and Lance were both very warm and welcomed the 15 minute shower that came over them. The water was surprisingly clear. Similar to the color and clarity of the Little Miami. The river was mostly canoeable across is width, with a couple of chutes to maneuver. Wildlife included 2 mature bald eagles, an osprey, herons, turtles, geese, and ducks. Finishing up the trip, we pulled over and retrieved Tom's car to do the shuttle. We ended up crossing the river and pulling the canoes up next to the riprap of the bridge and walking them up a trail to the road, rather than risk getting a ticket in the No Parking zones.

We headed back to the Johnny Appleseed Campground for check in and camp set up. Wil and Gloria and granddaughter Lillian arrived a little after 5:00 with their camper followed by Denny and Kathy and their granddaughter Hannah. After getting settled in we had a late dinner at Granite City. Everyone really enjoyed their meal! Since we didn't get back until around 10:00 we just went to bed.

Put In

Saturday morning was humid with a light overcast. Our takeout was just above the Waterworks dam just upstream of the campground so we just had to run a couple of vehicles up to the put in. There is no good direct access to the St. Joe in that area, so we put in on Cedar Creek, which leads directly to the river. While the ladies went shopping, Denny, Tom, Wil, Lillian, Hannah, and Lance head north to begin the trip. The creek was clear and about 6 inches higher than I had seen it a couple of weeks earlier, however, that section of the creek was just pools backed up by rocks or sand bars. We ended up getting out 4 or 5 times in the 1/2 mile down to the river. But it was nice clear water with some sandy bottom. It was quite obvious when we got down to the river, considering the width and somewhat muddy looking water. The St. Joe was fairly wide, and around 2-3 feet deep for the first half of the trip. It was mostly canoeable for the width of the river, but there were numerous boulders just under the water, so vigilance was required to avoid those. On this river we saw a very large mature bald eagle, herons, and a deer. We were taking an easy pace. Just before lunch there was a 15 minute light shower, which felt great. We had planned to eat lunch at a golf course a little over half way, but due to low water, the banks had limited access. We finally found a cleared area with shallow water. We ate lunch there and the girls went swimming. We saw several pontoon boats and a few motorboats parked along the river. As we were getting closer to our takeout, a speed boat passed us several times. The first pass he did not slow down in time and Tom got a few good waves. The motor boat driver looked out for us after that first pass.

Group Picture

We pulled over to stretch about a mile from the take out. The girls swam again and enjoyed that area very much. We soon passed under a very attractive pedestrian bridge, followed by the Coliseum Road bridge, and pulled over just before the Waterworks dam. We ran back up to get the cars and back down to load up.

After relaxing a while, Lance ordered pizza and wing delivery for the Saturday feast. We were going to eat over at Lances campsite but a short shower chased us under Denny's tarp. To go with the ordered items there was bean salad, corn and tomato salad, melon, and chips. Everybody got full.

Tom headed for home after the meal, and most of us decided to hit the hay by around 9:00. No fire for us Saturday either.

Kathy made an excellent pancake, egg, and bacon breakfast Sunday morning. Camps were broken fairly quickly and everybody headed off to see what the rest of the day would bring.


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