Spring Creek

This is a small tributary to the Wisconsin River near Lodi.  Logjams can be an issue though.  If these were ever cleared out, this would be a fantastic paddle.

Trip Reports

Lee Road to Riddle Road Bridge

Date Paddled: May 3rd, 2014
Distance: 6.6 Miles
Time: 5 Hours (do the math)

Lodi Marsh is a very nice natural area located a half hour north of Madison.  Basically, it is an open valley marsh that is fed with freshwater springs and accumulates into “Spring Creek.”  There it in turn flows through the city of Lodi and then eventually into the Wisconsin River at Okee Bay.  There is […]


Riddle Road Bridge to Hwy 113

Date Paddled: May 23rd, 2015
Distance: 5.08 Miles
Time: 4 hours 55 minutes

Spring Creek is an obscure water trail north of Madison.  Good water clarity, current and minor riffles but log jams were challenging.


Lodi Spring Creek Fishery Area to Lake Park

Date Paddled: May 18th, 2013
Distance: 2 Miles

This is a very nice creek that starts near the town of Lodi and empties into the Wisconsin River close to (and across from) the city of Merrimac. Spring Creek itself primarily starts in a marsh southwest of Lodi (which would be a nice kayak spot if there were access). It then winds through town […]


Overview Map

Detailed Overview

Nearby Guages



Mar 27th, 2024 - Aaron from Dell Creek
Hi Peter, I think you can contact them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LiftLodi/ There is also contact information on their website: https://www.liftlodi.com/
Mar 25th, 2024 - Peter M Chase from Spring Creek
Do you have a contact for Lyft Lodi so I can pitch in on the clean-up?
Aug 8th, 2023 - Aaron from Dell Creek
A new kayak rental place has opened up in Lodi: https://www.peacefulvalleylodi.com/
Jul 5th, 2023 - Aaron from Dell Creek
Logjam Update: Significant work has been done to clear logjams off of Spring Creek from Veterans Park to the Bay. As of 2023-05-10, Spring Creek should be clear (but shallow) from Veterans park to the Sanitation Plant. I've heard there are still logjams between the Sanitation Plant and the Bay (figure three portages). Lyft Lodi has an annual cleanup every May if you want to chip in on the cleanup efforts. If you the reader knows more about the logjam situation on Spring Creek, please leave a comment below.
Jul 5th, 2018 - Aaron from Dell Creek
I appreciate the update and the details. I didn't consider this before but in later summer, weeds can be an issue in marshes like this. Your idea to do an up-and-back was a good one...very easy to backtrack if things go wrong.
Jul 5th, 2018 - Jennifer from Starkweather Creek
My partner and I tried this creek for the 4th of July. We put in at the bridge at Riddle Rd and paddled upstream so that we would not need to shuttle. It was slow going with lots of overs, unders, and throughs to negotiate but we accomplished most of them by shimmying over logs. Our 10-ft, hard plastic recreational kayaks worked out perfectly and allowed us to make tight turns to line our boats up in snags to shimmy over the lowest parts of downed logs. I would not take a delicate boat here. Taking a longer kayak or a canoe would have meant more portaging, which could make this an annoying creek. We were able to stay in our boats almost the whole time by shimmying. My partner cleared some branches which made our return trip smoother. If you are inclined to carry a small saw with you, that could be helpful for yourself and future paddlers. We were able to travel much more quickly after we reached the snowmobile bridge; there were far fewer snags. However, we did not paddle long before the creek became too weed-choked for our kayaks. There was also a lot more foul-smelling algae at this point. I did not bring great portaging footwear (I'd recommend rubber boots) so we turned around when we reached this shallow part. We paddled for about 3 hours, which included about a 15-minute break for an Independence Day cold one. It broke down to about 2 hours on the way upstream and 45 minutes on the return trip. I can't believe it was only 3 hours. We felt like we had entered a whole new world (the solitude and obstacles really were fun), even though we were close enough to the roads to hear cars. If you are trying to put on the miles or going for a workout, this is not your creek (though I'd love to come back and try it earlier in the spring after some rain for comparison). However, we had the creek entirely to ourselves, and I thought all of the obstacles added a sense of adventure or exploration. We had a great mini-adventure here. I was also impressed that on a 90+ degree day, we were mostly in the shade and never felt overheated. We even left our lifejackets on because, after putting in, we simply forgot to take them off and tuck them behind our seats. We were in more sun after reaching the snowmobile bridge (again, traveling upstream) but we were fine. This is a great creek if you enjoy observing plant and wildlife species. Do watch out for cow parsnip. We were able to avoid it without issue. I read this page before picking our put-in site. I'm glad we put in at Riddle Road. There was ample space to park on the side of the road. Although we traveled much faster on the return downstream route, the current was not strong and paddling upstream was just fine. Our speed probably increased as a result of our bushwacking and experience negotiating the obstacles on the way out as well. It would have been great to continue paddling downstream to Lake Wisconsin if we had had a shuttle.
Apr 6th, 2018 - Aaron from Dell Creek
The logjam situation really is quite tragic. Hopefully somebody will clear this out in the future.
Apr 6th, 2018 - Hans Klopp from Spring Creek
Ive canoed or kayaked this a few times. Its a beautiful and scenic trip but access is tough I have carried out my canoe from by the snowbile bridge on spring creek because lower portion has log jams.
Jun 17th, 2016 - admin
Appreciate the information as my depth of 3.8' was too bumpy for rapids. Sounded like a lot of fun!
Jun 16th, 2016 - Karl K from Yahara
I just ran the rapids in section 2 at 5.5 feet after a rain and pulled out after the sanitation plant. 5.5 feet is amazing for waves and dips -- very little scraping, nice speed. I ran it twice (it only takes 15 minutes) and next time I think I will take someone to ferry me back to the start and do it several times. There were a couple fallen trees to steer around. I was not quite worried about being pinned on them as strainers, but a bit faster and I would have been. I took out so early because I was worried about getting swept against those cow fences, but in hindsight it wasn't that fast. However, there are a ton of deadfalls everywhere I've been recently and I didn't want to deal.
Sep 24th, 2015 - admin
Thanks for the feedback! Hope you enjoyed the trip. Despite all its challenges, Spring Creek IMO is a very cool water trail.
Sep 24th, 2015 - Noumenon72
This is a very accurate review. Thanks for all the takeout detail. I did sections 2, 3, and a bit of 4. There's really not good parking by the first Hwy 113 bridge either. The third cow fence I almost got stuck up against - thanks for the warning.

How did your trip turn out? Questions or comments? Feel free to leave your feedback.

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