Where should we go toobin'?
June 27, 2010 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Please describe your river tubing experience in Minnesota!

In a couple weeks the future Mrs. Lips and I plan to go tubing for a day. What we haven't decided on is where.

We've both been tubing on the Apple River in Somerset, WI. But even though it'll be on a Wednesday, that ride is just too 'partyish' for our taste on this particular trip, plus we're just looking for a new experience. If you have gone toobin' around other areas of the Twin Cities, please give any thoughts on your experience. Bonus points if you can give comparisons to Apple River.

The Rum River is most appealing since it's a 5 minute drive from our house, but we're willing to make a reasonable drive from the Cambridge area. (Zumbro = probably too far; Cannon River = marginal but would consider if it gets rave reviews.)

We're looking for commercial outfits; we don't have our own tubes nor do we want a 'shuttle yourself' solution. Yes, we've googled most places; just want to get opinions on where we can find the best experience. Thanks!
posted by SquidLips to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I went to college in Northfield. Don't go down the Cannon. It's a slow, sluggish river with an industrial past. And most of its drainage area is heavy farmland, so by all accounts it's pretty full of pesticides and fertilizer. However--although it's been a while--I'm pretty sure I remember hearing good things about the Rum River.
posted by colfax at 9:44 PM on June 27, 2010

Best answer: I love tubing the Root River out of Lanesboro, but it's further from you than the Cannon. The Root has much less of a party atmosphere for most of the route. There is one section in particular where a lot of party types do hang out, but I found it far less obnoxious.
posted by advicepig at 6:59 AM on June 28, 2010

Best answer: I like the Cannon downstream from Lake Byllesby. It's not too fast, but there's a couple of small rapids, and it's shady and pleasant. A bike path runs from Cannon Falls to Red Wing, and at least that stretch is a Wild & Scenic River. It's been a while for me, too, but when we wanted to go tubing and party with friends, we'd go on the Apple; when we went tubing with family, we went on the Cannon.

There's an outfit in Welch that will rent you tubes and pick you up.

The Rum River sounds lovely, but I've never been.

We also used to go on the Kinnickinnic in WI, but we brought our own tubes.
posted by mgar at 7:10 AM on June 28, 2010

Oh, wait, maybe scratch the Cannon until the river goes down:
Welch Mill Canoeing & Tubing
We are temporarily closed due to hazardous waters caused by heavy rains. We will update our website as soon as we are able to re-open for business.
posted by mgar at 7:13 AM on June 28, 2010

Response by poster: Just to follow up:

We ended up going down the Rum yesterday. (Yes, yesterday here in MN. Was perfectly beautiful when we left, and for the last 30 minutes of the journey it was raining with lightning and thunder all around us. If you get the chance to try this... dont!)

At any rate, it was still a very nice ride, albeit a little shorter than I expected, and while the staff were nice, the park could stand for some upgrades. We waited a good 45 minutes for an available bus, since the two shuttles they have can only hold a combined 20-24 people, and there were quite a few people there. It was the weekend after all, I guess, but just be prepared.

Their hours are fairly limited; you'll only get in two trips max in a day, and only one if you don't get out on one of the first few shuttles. The float down was maybe 2.5 hours max, probably closer to 2.

But, the route itself is very beautiful. Peaceful, quiet. No 'party' problems at all, even being on a weekend. There's no other campsites or any activity at all, really, until the last couple hundred yards as you approach the exit point. Lots of wildlife; several eagles in the area, and what we believe were river otters (may have been muskrats, but seemed too slender and quick to me, compared to the confirmed muskrats we have in our pond).

I don't know that I would travel a couple hours to do it unless you had some other plans in the area, but all in all a nice trip if you're nearby.

Thanks for the tips. Will definitely try to give the Root a shot someday; maybe try the Canon if we're bored too.
posted by SquidLips at 10:36 PM on July 18, 2010

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