Kayaking on Turtle Creek
Kayaking in Beloit: An adventure story from Visit Beloit’s director of marketing—a novice paddler.
Kayaking in Beloit on Turtle Creek is a great way to get away from it all and enjoy nature—at times, right in the middle of the city!
The section of Turtle Creek that runs through Beloit is quite a hidden gem. From bridges, to blue herons, to cows grazing in fields, you can expect to experience a variety of environments.
As the director of marketing and public relations for Visit Beloit, my job is to promote all types of activities including kayaking in the Beloit area. But, I have to admit, I have been a little reluctant to kayak on Turtle Creek, as I usually just float around on local lakes. I have only been kayaking on a river once; and it was a guided trip from Rocktown Adventures with the rest of the Visit Beloit crew. (FYI: there are also guided paddles from Paddle Adventure Club that I can’t wait to experience!)
I was determined to conquer my fears, and I recruited an adventurous friend, Kerri, who has joined me in floating around this summer.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we headed to Schollmeyer Park (the take-out spot) to park one of our vehicles. We took a good look at the surrounding landscape so we would be sure to spot our exit when we arrived. There were pretty great markers: two large buoys and a big shed. I was confident we would not float past the spot!
Then we headed to Sweet Allyn Park, the starting spot for our adventure. There was plenty of parking and it was a great place to launch. We both dropped our kayaks in the shallow water and scooched our way into the creek. Being novices, we got a little nervous because it’s quite shallow there, with a lot of small rocks which made it a little challenging to get started. Next time, I think we would walk out a ways and then get in.
But, after our “rocky” start, we were off!
The first thing we noticed was that the Turtle Creek seemed more like a river than a creek. It winds its way for more than 30 miles from Turtle Lake near Delavan, Wisconsin to the Rock River in South Beloit, Illinois. In addition, it ranges between 50-100’ wide.
We also noticed that we had to keep our eyes open for rocks peeking out and for super shallow areas. We never had to get out and walk, but we could tell if the water level was any lower that could be a possibility in certain places. For the majority of the paddle, we kicked back and relaxed.
It was fun exploring the landscape. At one point we could hear cows mooing. Kerri was sure we were hearing some kind of machinery. I assured her the sound was coming from cows. She asked me to demonstrate, and she got a great video of my impersonation. However, that is NOT going to be included in this post!
We also saw many chairs and benches set up along the creek banks where the residents of waterfront properties can enjoy the sites and sounds. I imagined folks settling in with a cool lemonade in the shade of a hot summer day or a cocktail for a peaceful sunset.
One particular property got our attention and a good laugh. Oh, how we hoped this was truly a supper club accessible only by kayak on the Turtle Creek!
Another part of the paddle we enjoyed was going underneath roads and bridges. There’s another section of the Turtle Creek where you can paddle under the State’s oldest stone five-arch train bridge. You can read more about that here.
As I had predicted, we had no problem spotting the area where we would land. The current was not strong, so it was a breeze getting over to the shore. The entire trip took less than two hours and was a great way to practice kayaking in Beloit on Turtle Creek.
I look forward to more adventures on other sections of Turtle Creek!
If you would like to share your paddling adventure in the Beloit Area, please email us with your adventure.