LOCAL OUTDOOR HIGHLIGHT : Nippersink Creek in Richmond, Keystone Landing to Pioneer Landing

Southeast Wisconsin is littered with lakes and rivers and the Illinois borderline does not stop that geography. Nippersink Creek flows south out of Genoa City, Wisconsin into Illinois and McHenry County. Just south of the town of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin is Richmond, Illinois and Glacial Park Conservation Area. Nippersink Creek bisects the Park and McHenry County created a water trail system of boat landings to facilitate paddling the creek in a canoe, kayak, or on a stand-up paddle board.   

^Paddling Nippersink Creek through Glacial Park
is a two and a half hour to four hour paddle depending upon your ambition. It winds through the Park from Keystone Landing off Keystone Road to Pioneer Landing off Pioneer Road just south of the town of Richmond.

^Take Highway 12 out of Wisconsin through Richmond and just south of town Highway 12 merges off to the east and continue south onto Highway 31. Soon after take a left turn heading east on W Solon Road to the intersection with Pioneer Road to Pioneer Landing. This is where you'll stage your first vehicle for the pull out of the Creek. 

^Back track to Highway 31 and head back north and then go west on E Tyron Grove Road until you intersect with Keystone Road and then drive south to the Keystone Landing. Keystone Landing is the put-in of the paddle on the water trail.

^From the parking lot at Keystone Landing follow the path down to the creek to get started. Stop by the trailhead kiosk to get one last look at the layout of the park to get some familiarity with the park and the landmarks. It is always a good idea to snap a picture of the map on a phone. 

^Nippersink Creek winds its way through a variety of landscapes of ancient glacial topography. The creek is not incredibly deep, but in the spring it runs well enough to be a really fun paddle. It is littered with small riffle rapids throughout this section. Be aware that in the late summer into fall the creek can sometimes get too low to float all the way through. Hit it early and it is a really good paddle. The Glacial Park Conservation Area is full of a variety of species of birds, fish, and all kinds of creatures.  

^From prairies to forests and everything in between.

^The progress is most easily marked by passing under a few key bridges to mark your travel. The first bridge crossed under is the Prairie Trail bridge and soon after is the bridge for Highway 31. The Highway 31 bridge is the last one before reaching the Pioneer Landing. 

^This sign pictured above marks the Pioneer Landing on the south bank of the Creek. Reach the Pioneer Road bridge and you've gone too far. 

^The creek continues on and there are two more landings on the water trail distinction at Lyle C. Thomas Memorial Park and Nippesink Canoe Base, but that turns into a much longer paddle to go on further. For more information go to the McHenry County website.