Cannon River segments and maps

Map 1: Tetonka Lake to Dundas

This segment of the Cannon River has wooded shorelines, a moderate current and few rapids. The level is usually enough for canoeing except during very dry periods. Look for bald eagles, herons and painted turtles. This stretch is also home to walleye, catfish, northern pike, smallmouth bass and a few species of rough fish. This river segment shares a map with the Straight River.

Near Faribault, you can continue along the Cannon River or turn onto the Straight River, which winds through farmland bordered by trees. Along its path the Straight River varies from 30 to 80 feet wide and one to four feet deep. Mild rapids, fast water and rocky, narrow channels make canoeing some stretches a challenge. There is one area of difficult rapids at Clinton Falls that should be portaged. Spring and early summer are the best times to paddle the Straight. By July, the Straight River is often too low for enjoyable paddling.

Hazards include dams; be sure you know their locations.

Recommended day trip

Two Rivers to Dundas

  • Put-in location: Two Rivers City Park carry-in access, river mile 58.4
  • Take-out location: Dundas City Park carry-in access, river mile 45.2
  • Length: 13.2 river miles

Paddle below sandstone bluffs and watch for wildlife along wooded shorelines. The river widens a bit along this section. Shorten the route by putting in or taking out at the Cannon River Wilderness Area. (50.6) Portions of this route are shallow and rocky during dry periods.

Explore on shore

Sakatah Lake State Park
Hike park trails, cast a line for fish, enjoy a picnic, or camp along Upper Sakatah Lake. (Reservation and fee required.)

Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail
This converted rail-trail offers over 30 miles of paved trail. The path follows the Cannon River, giving paddlers the option to shuttle by bicycle in places.

Local contacts

Rice Lake Area Office
8485 Rose Street, Owatonna, MN 55060

Nearest medical facilities

District One Hospital
200 State Avenue, Faribault, MN 55021

Owatonna Hospital
2250 NW 26th Street, Owatonna, MN 55060

Cannon River
The Cannon River.


Downed trees and snags
Watch for downed trees and snags.


Cannon River area map

Map 2: Dundas to Mississippi River

This river segment has a moderate current and few rapids. The river's upper reaches are bordered by rolling hills, farmland and forests. Below Cannon Falls, the river enters a picturesque gorge with bluffs that rise up to 300 feet above the valley floor.

The Cannon flows into the Mississippi River, so expect a wide variety of fish species like walleye, catfish, northern pike and smallmouth bass. Also watch for bald eagles, herons and painted turtles.

Unless it has been unusually dry, the river can be paddled and has few rapids to cause problems in low water. Stream flow usually peaks in early April. Very heavy rains can cause the river to flood. The dam at Lake Byllesby affects water levels and canoeing downstream.

Hazards include dams; be sure you know their locations.

Recommended day trip

Riverside park to Miesville

  • Put-in location: Riverside City Park carry-in access, river mile 25.5
  • Take-out location: Miesville Ravine County Park carry-in access, river mile 18.5
  • Length: 6.9 river miles

This gently winding route flows past fields and forest and typically takes 2-3 hours. For a longer paddle, take-out at the County Road 7 bridge in Welch. Parking is at a premium in Welch with no developed public access; consider contacting a local outfitter for shuttling.

Explore on shore

Mill Towns State Trail
Several miles of this paved trail can be found between Cannon Falls and Lake Byllesby, as well as between the cities of Northfield and Dundas. This offers the opportunity to shuttle by bicycle along some areas of the river. 

Regional, county and city parks
Stretch your legs or enjoy a picnic at one of the many regional, county and city parks along the river. Some parks even offer camping options.

Local contacts

Rochester Area Office
2118 Campus Drive SE, Rochester, MN 55901

Nearest medical facilities

Northfield Hospital
2000 North Avenue, Northfield, MN 55057

Mayo Clinic Health System
32021 County 24 Blvd, Cannon Falls, MN 55009

Paddlers on this river segment
Canoeing this river segment.


Aerial view of this river segment
Follow the river's twists and turns through varied landscapes.


Cannon River area map

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