While the unseasonably warm weather is preventing the enjoyment of various winter sports around these parts, it is lengthening the season for fun on the water. From the Wisconsin River to the lakes around Madison, waterways in southern Wisconsin generally remain open. It's a good excuse to learn about a lesser-known canoe destination in the region. This is the Badfish Creek, about a dozen miles of winding water that runs roughly about a dozen miles along the path of State Highway 59 from Cooksville to the Yahara River, all several miles south of Stoughton.
A short documentary looking at the canoe tour follows below.
The narrator describes the creek as an "infrequently paddled delight," beginning with the starting point at Cooksville. Founded by John Cook in 1842, the village is now home to the Cooksville Historic District, included in both national and state registries of historic places. It is located south by southwest of Stoughton on State Highway 38.
The narrator describes another peculiar characteristic of the creek:
Another great, or not so great thing about the Badfish, depending upon your perspective, is that it can almost always be paddled as long as you start by 9:30 a.m. and are off the river by 2. The reason for this weird schedule is that the creek receives most of its water from the Madison Metropolitan Sewage District, which follows this schedule of releases every day. Some people find this disquieting, but the water quality has always seemed extremely good with only the occasional whiff of chlorine to indicate its origin.
The paddle ends at Murwin County Park, located on the Yahara River a few miles west of Edgerton.
This video is accompanied by several others in a series titled "Wisconsin Paddles," all taking looks at canoeing trips through southern Wisconsin. This includes tours along Turtle Creek in Beloit, the Grant River in the Driftless Region, and along the Wisconsin River from Muscoda to Bascobel.