Canoeing the upper Cache

Recent flooding in southern Illinois has led to many opportunities to play in the many rivers and creeks. Posted here are a few shots taken during a short paddle in a tributary of the Cache River.

canoeing the cache
Opportunities to paddle in the headwaters of the Cache are rare. The upper Cache rarely carries enough water to navigate during flood event.

The brown line above the surface of the water is the level of the water from just a few days prior. It had already dropped enough to make canoeing over log jams a bit of a hassle. The brown color is from silt–one of the big problems in the Cache watershed. Fortunately, many landowners and farmers in the watershed have been working diligently to slow the infiltration of silt into the Cache River proper. 

Upper Cache River
Paddling the upper Cache River.

Finding public access to the Cache can be challenging. We entered near a railroad bridge where we could park on RR right-of-way. A later look at the map revealed that we had not entered the actual Cache, but a small tributary instead.

floating under the railroad track
Floating under the railroad track.

Just a day or two earlier and this maneuver would not have been possible–as it was be barely fit beneath the tracks!

beautiful swamp
Peaceful, forested swamp--we encountered some huge oaks and bald cypress.

After slipping under the railroad track the creek opened into a wide, swamp-like body of water.

happy paddler
Happy paddler!

It was a beautiful and a fun way to spend an afternoon in southern Illinois.


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