Bevent to Shantytown Road on the Plover River
Launch on Hwy 153, just west of the Co. Y junction, where St Ladislaus Church is visible. This is private property, but a nice path leads down to a suitable launch area. Just downriver from the bridge is the closest thing to a rapids on the river.
There are 4 farm bridges and you can usually fit under the first one in a kayak. This area of the river has wooded banks, but is fairly open. Don’t underestimate these small bridges. If you can’t fit under them, they can be quite a problem, since some of them have concrete abutments. Portages are not always simple. The river is wide enough and the trees are far enough back that it is quite open and there isn’t much in the way of deadfalls.
There is decent access at Pinery Road, but watch for Poison ivy at all landings and portages. This is followed by two farm bridges. The first one was too short for me in a kayak and had concrete abutments, so I had to walk through the brush to find a launch point. I fit through under the second, but remember, I am a large guy in a small kayak. OTOH, the water was very high.
Now comes a dangerous spot that makes this section a problem for family canoers. I came around a corner and found three trees laid across each other. This spot collects deadfalls. I was able to zigzag through this, but lower water might make that impossible. Backup, take a look and don’t rush. Portage if you have a doubt. This is a good place to tip over, get caught on branches and otherwise get into more trouble than you want.
There is another farm bridge after that, but I fit through it. Again, concrete abutments make this difficult to portage around. There is access at Co. J, but I wasn’t using it. After Co. J, there are two fords, where farm equipment passes without benefit of a bridge, but one of them had an irrigation pipe running across it when I passed. Most people will need to portage this.
Most people will end this stretch at Shantytown Road, downstream right, just after the bridge.
Comments: This is a wilder stretch of the river and I saw deer several times (6 point buck). Surprisingly deep water and wider than I expected, since the lower Plover can be narrow and shallow. It also has a steeper gradient than the other stretches, so that you can actually see the river fall away from you