Merrick State Park

Last night I arrived late to camp. Several strong thunderstorms threw off some plans so I bailed on that & headed to Merrick State Park in Fountain City, Wisconsin. This is one of the smaller state parks but does offer camping, 2 miles of hiking trails, and plentiful boating opportunities.

Unfortunately the entire Mississippi River area has been getting slammed with rain and trails were muddy and/or closed on this occasion so I opted to paddle the Fountain City Bay water trails instead. Weather today wasn’t that hot but an empty boat launch and parking lot should have told me something was off.

First lesson learned: Paddling a fishing kayak here is more or less a chore and not for pleasure. The current is just too fast really with this high of water levels. I did successfully paddle to the north end of the park where a large staircase descends from the RV camping area – it too is under water.

I paddled south to the more exposed campsites directly on the river banks – most of these are closed and half are completely submerged. Not ideal to say the least but would be a very cool spot to camp and just wake up and hop in your boat!

All in all I basically paddled the main boating channel and nothing more. The “self-guided canoe trail” was impossible as all the trail signs/markers were submerged under the water. I tried using GPS but some spots weren’t passable due to downed trees. Not the best idea with my current setup but I will be back another time for more exploration!

Lat = 44.1533127 , Long = -91.7530899 -- Show at Google Maps

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