Kayaking in Beloit on Turtle Creek—Going Under Tiffany Bridge
By Lisa & Craig Hurda
Lisa & Craig’s Adventures Kayaking in Beloit on Turtle Creek
My husband and I are both full-time professionals with teenage kiddos. In between working and parenting, we make getting outdoors together a priority. One of our fave things is kayaking in the Beloit area on the secret gem of Turtle Creek. Ok, ok, so it’s not SO secret, especially to fellow local paddlers. However, if you haven’t thought about giving it a try, or you’ve driven over one of its several bridges without giving it much thought, you’ve been missing out!
One of the biggest draws to kayaking in the Beloit area on Turtle Creek is the accessibility. There are several put-ins and take-outs along the way. This allows you to customize your trip’s length to suit almost any time window you have. You can enjoy an all-day trip or go after work for a sunset paddle.
Navigation Help for Kayaking on Turtle Creek
- Click here to see a map of several spots to launch or take-out.
- Miles Paddled documents canoe and kayak trips on rivers and creeks throughout Wisconsin including the Rock River and Turtle Creek.
- If you don’t own your own kayak, or you would prefer a guided trip, check out Paddle Adventure Club and Rocktown Adventures.
- Check Turtle Creek’s cubic feet per second (cfs) flow at Carver Rock Road in Clinton here.
On our latest trip, we kayaked 10 miles in four hours. We started at the O’Riley Road Landing to Sweet Allyn Park. The weather was beautiful, and the water levels were almost perfect for a leisure paddle, about 210 cubic feet per second (cfs). Anything approaching 100 cfs or below may be too low for your kayak; you’ll be scraping the bottom and likely walking. In addition, be careful if it’s a lot higher—this means the current could be dangerously fast, especially around corners and such.
With the right water levels, your trip will be highly enjoyable. The current will push you along gently, and you can always go faster or slower with your own paddle. It’s generally flatwater, with only the slightest riffles to engage in. The water is clear yet caramel-colored, with an almost constant view of the bottom. The river bottom itself is almost all a continuous mix of sand, pea gravel, and river rocks.
Wildlife on Turtle Creek
There is plenty of wildlife for you to see while kayaking in the Beloit area on Turtle Creek. We saw Great Blue Herons swooping out ahead of us as we cleared a blind corner and a couple of turtles on the bank and on the bottom because the water is so clear.
In addition, we saw muskrats busily gnawing on their wood and the great bonus of not one, but TWO Golden Eagles perched right along the creek bank in old branches. They even gave us a show of their immense wingspans and beautiful voices with short flights between trees.
In addition to just watching wildlife, you can catch it! If fishing is your thing, bring your rod & tackle (and Wisconsin fishing license, of course), as Turtle Creek is known to have many Smallmouth Bass.
Towards the end of the trip, we came across my personal favorite moment on the creek, the oh-so-old but oh-so-majestic Tiffany stone arch bridge. It is a towering railroad crossing that spans almost 400 feet long over the creek built in 1869 (and preserved pretty darn well).
We’ve paddled the entire stretch of Turtle Creek including the segment that flows into and through Beloit proper. That stretch is just as pretty and even more engaging in terms of its riffles, twists, and turns.
In the end, no matter which segment of Turtle Creek you choose, you will find your own combination of peace, engagement with nature, fun, and memories that will bring you back to paddle it again!
If you would like to share your paddling adventure in the Beloit Area, please email us your adventure.