On Saturday we joined friends for a lovely little canoe trip down the Wolf River through the Ghost River canoe trails. Well, they all kayaked and we canoed since we don’t currently own kayaks… but that might change soon after this trip!
It was a gorgeous sunny fall day with temperatures in the 50s and 60s making it perfect weather for a day time canoe trip.
As you can see from the video, the river is very peaceful and beautiful.
We did the section of the Wolf River from LaGrange, TN to the Batemen Bridge known as The Ghost River Section
From the Wolf River website: For centuries, the upper Wolf River has been largely unspoiled by human hands, never having been channelized or subject to industrial pollution. The section of the river between LaGrange, TN, and Bateman Rd., just east of Moscow, stands out as unique and deserving of special attention. It is beautifully representative of a wild swamp river, and paddlers can observe five distinct ecosystems, or plant communities, as the river meanders through: (1) bottomland hardwoods, (2) open shrubby wetlands, 3) cypress-tupelo swamp, (4) open water swamp, and (5) grassy wetland.
That’s right, 5 different ecosystems! It was incredibly interesting to see how many different types of land we passed while we were out there. You can see a few different types in the video and photos.
The Ghost River section of Wolf River can be done in four to six hours. We took roughly five hours with a long stop for lunch. There are blue signs marking the trail the whole way and 6 signs mark important landmarks and places where you can stop as we did for lunch at stop number 3.
My favorite part was the Ghost River section that is a cypress-tupelo swamp with lots of twists and turns and obstacles. The trees were beautiful… even when we were running into and pushing off of them at times. However, following this was the hardest part since there is no flowing water. The only movement here is what you create for yourself because the river channel basically disappears, which is where the name “Ghost River” comes from.
After the Ghost River section you go through a lake-like area that is an open water swamp where again there is no flowing water or river current. Luckily the signs keep you coordinated but it’s a long way through this area and we took a couple shortcuts through more tree filled areas. I’m not sure how long it took us to work our way through the lake but the website said most paddlers do it in 45 minutes.
We made it! All in all, it was a fantastic day!
Honestly, canoeing for 5 hours through some very slow moving areas was a lot of hard work. It also took a good deal of teamwork and learning to work together to maneuver the canoe properly. It was a challenge that we worked our way in order to have a fun time on the river. It definitely helps to have a great partner when you’re in a canoe! Thanks to Jason for being the best at steering and being encouraging.
The trip was definitely a workout and I left feeling tired and energized at the same time. The next day I’m feeling it in my trapezius muscles. Those don’t usually get a big workout so I’m feeling it there for sure after almost constant rowing in the canoe for hours!
We are already planning to go back with kayaks next time so it’s a little easier to keep up with the group through the winding areas. I’ve loved kayaking for a while and can’t wait to go back through the river with a kayak. Now that I know how easy it is to get to this little river trek I’ll definitely be going more often.