Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NIOBRARA RIVER Trip - April 16th & 17th

Valentine, Neb – SDCKA members Pete Larson and Cory Diedrich will be organizing an exciting early season paddle on the Niobrara River on April 16th and 17th. This will be a two-day, one-night paddling and camping trip on a scenic river about 4 hours drive from Sioux Falls.

We plan to paddle from Cornell Bridge about 5 miles east of Valentine to Smith Falls State Park on Saturday. We will then paddle from Smith Falls State Park to Rocky Ford on Sunday to complete the 25 mile section on the beautiful Niobrara River.

Participants will meet about 10am on Saturday at Cornell Bridge and expect to paddle by 11am. We plan to shuttle vehicles after arriving back at Smith Falls State Park.

Camping is available at Smith Falls State Park on Friday and Saturday evenings. The majority of the group did camp together for the weekend and had a really amazing time enjoying the vast array of wildlife, scenery, and camaraderie. The park was completely empty except for the kayaking enthusiasts. Please feel free to join us at Smith Falls State Park on both evenings. If you are an enthusiast about outdoor cooking, bring your Dutch ovens and grills for a community cookout on Saturday night at the park. There is no requirement to do so, but participants must “fend for themselves” when it comes to food on the trip.

On Sunday morning, we will break camp and again shuttle the vehicles downstream to Rocky Ford, the site of the trips conclusion. We will return to Smith Falls to begin our paddle with the expectation to be back to our vehicles by 2pm on Sunday afternoon, April 17th.

There is no cost to take part in this event, but you must provide your own canoe or kayak, camping gear, food, and water. There is a $4 nightly camp fee at Smith Falls and a $4 daily park entrance fee per vehicle. There may also be a $2 per person access fee at Cornell Bridge, but that depends on whether the wrist bands are available this early in the year.

To make this cruise event successful, Pete and Cory hope to get confirmed numbers of participants prior to Tuesday, April 12th.

Direct any questions you might have about this trip to Pete Larson at 605-934-1995 (day) or 605-934-2338 (evenings). You can email Pete at Leisuresports@alliancecom.net.

You can also contact Cory Diedrich at 605-321-6554 or at cory.diedrich@sanfordhealth.org.

Information on the Niobrara River is available online at these links:

National Park Service Website: http://www.nps.gov/niob/index.htm

Google Photo Collection of the area: http://tinyurl.com/yhc6z5w

Valentine, Neb Website with river information: http://www.visitvalentine.com/attractions/niobrara.aspx

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