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Unsafe Paddling Conditions

(Updated May 21)

Fast moving creek

Due to high flows in Minnehaha Creek and in anticipation of rain this weekend and into next week, we are advising people to avoid paddling Minnehaha Creek at this time. Any flows above 150 cubic feet per second (cfs) are considered dangerous, and discharge of water from the Gray's Bay Dam is currently over 200 cfs.

While the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) does not regulate recreation on Minnehaha Creek, we provide guidance for safe paddling. Ideal creek flows for paddling are between 75 and 150 cfs. Flows above 150 cfs can make it difficult to react to obstacles (downed trees, branches, etc) in the creek and to pass under some bridges. Individuals have reported trees down in the creek (details on our paddling page). City crews are not able to remove the trees at this time due to high flows.

Conditions can change rapidly, especially after rainfall. You can view real-time creek flows at Hiawatha Avenue on the USGS website. This is a good gauge of how the eastern half of the creek is flowing. The discharge rate from Gray's Bay Dam is a good gauge of how the western half of the creek is flowing.

Learn more about paddling the creek.