Paddling conditions will vary according to the weather and season, so always exercise caution and always wear a lifejacket; be prepared to swim and never boat alone. File a float plan with a friend who will check up on you. With good judgment and proper equipment, the risk associated with paddling can be minimized. Respect the natural world and the rights of landowners, and be considerate of other outdoor enthusiasts. Paddlers should seek to avoid causing erosion, trampling vegetation, disturbing wildlife, and harming water quality.
Stay out of the main channel (designated by green and red buoys) and industrial areas, and be aware of traffic when crossing the river. At first sighting, a tow heading in your direction is usually 2-3 miles away, leaving you 20-30 minutes to relocate to a more comfortable location on the river. Being aware of river traffic can help you safely paddle the Mississippi.
Safety is critical when paddling the Mississippi or Rock Rivers. Be sure to monitor water conditions before starting your trip. Remember, Mississippi waters are the first to cool off and last to warm up. Be sure to check current conditions at Locks & Dams 14 and Locks & Dams 15.
Put-in: Credit Island, Take-out: Andalusia
After putting in at Credit Island, you’ll need to choose a safe crossing to the Illinois shoreline. Enjoy the beautiful backwaters of the Andalusia Slough. Continue the trip to Loud Thunder Campground for an extended paddle.
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