Trip to Sioux Falls

Little Indian Sioux River

Little Indian Sioux River

Not Sioux Falls South Dakota, but a daytrip via canoe up the Little Indian Sioux River. I say “up” because the river flows north and by travelling south we were going upstream. This part of the river is lined with bog on either side.

Kestrel

Kestrel

I was surprised to see an American Kestrel in this bog, I’m used to seeing them out in the open country.

American Kestrel

American Kestrel

He took flight when we got too close, but you can see the beautiful russet color of his tail. In Minnesota, the Kestrel is our smallest Falcon, and the most colorful.
Merlin

Merlin

Around the next bend, we ran into a Merlin. This little Falcon is just barely bigger than the Kestrel, and not so colorful. It was an opportunity to contemplate the flight styles of the two Falcons. The Kestrel really has kind of a sloppy flight compared to the Merlin. The Merlin seems to fly like a little jetfighter and is much faster than a Kestrel.
Little Indian Sioux Falls

Little Indian Sioux Falls

After an easy 5 mile paddle, we saw the falls.
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls

The falls drop about 12 feet and there’s an easy 8 rod portage around the falls to the river above. We didn’t take the portage, but paused at the site for a little fishing and some lunch.
fishing Sioux Falls

fishing Sioux Falls

It was a beautiful, sunny day with very little wind.
Indian Sioux River

Indian Sioux River

We weren’t the only ones out enjoying the nice day, we met this family taking advantage of some great weather. This is a very easy day trip.
Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked Duck

On the river was a little family of 3 Ring-necked Ducks. It looked like two of the ducks couldn’t fly yet, which seems rather late in the season. The mother Duck kept trying to distract us by flying low over the surface of the water and landing just a short distance away.
Ring-necked Duck taking off

Ring-necked Duck taking off

The other two Ducks would dive under the water and hide by the shore.
Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked Duck

She would eventually completely take flight and circle back over the bog to the previous spot where her young ones were. We saw this Duck family on the way up the river and then back down.
Because this river runs into the BWCAW, you do need a day use permit. The permits are available at the landing parking lot. You’ll need to get an overnight permit if you are going to camp and those are available at the ranger station in Cook, or at Anderson Outfitters in Crane Lake. This river will eventually get you to some bigger lakes in the southern portion of the BWCAW; it is not an easy route and it has many long portages. But because of the difficulty, it may be just the type of seclusion that some people seek out.
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2 Responses to Trip to Sioux Falls

  1. Dennis Holme says:

    It is one of my favorite day trips but more often I stay over someplace. In June this year I pitched camp just short of the BWCA line (across from the sign post). No permited needed here. I was harrased, however, by whip poor wills who kept me up late and roused me early. I have made several trips up south on the LIS for as long as 8 days in April when the lakes are still socked in with ice. Yup, there’s seclusion up there.
    I like your blog. I discovered it a few weeks ago and have been through most of the archives. So much to learn there!

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