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Paulding to Ewen via Roselawn to the South Branch

24 miles

June 2024

The Bond Flowage outside of Paulding was designed to divert water from the Middle Branch to South Branch Ontonagon River.  That sends it through the hydropower turbines at Victoria Dam instead of over Bond and Agate Falls.  How does it get there?  Via the once-tiny Roselawn, Bluff, and Sucker Creeks!  These supercharged little rivers are very tight and Class I-II rapids for almost their entire length.  It's a thrill to run and should be on everyone's list.  Yeah, it's a shame that the water doesn't go down the Middle Branch Ontonagon River, but what can you do?  I'm not an ecomentalist who is gonna blow up the dams just so I can paddle somewhere slightly different.  Enjoy it!


Eventually the diversion system meets up with the South Branch Ontonagon River.  From here on out things slow down to a comparative snail's pace.  There aren't any more rapids but the forest is still quite scenic.  You've got ample opportunities to camp if you want to break up the trip, otherwise expect a full day to travel from Roselawn all the way to Ewen.  I biked back to the start and missed getting ice cream in Paulding by 5 minutes.  That hurt most of all.


I paddled this stretch when both the UPPCO canal system gauge and Middle Branch gauge above the Flowage said 120 CFS.  More water always would help but it was plenty runnable at that level.

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