Map: Chippewa River
One of the more popular rivers to paddle in the Upper Minnesota River Basin, the Chippewa River twists and turns down to Montevideo. This river shares a map with the Minnesota River (Map 2).
The Dakota called this river Maya-waka-wapan, or "remarkable river with steep places." Bluffs up to 200 feet high add to the beauty of the river as its heavily wooded banks meander through the farmland of southwestern Minnesota.
This is a family-friendly river with a gradient of four and one-half feet per mile. The water is mostly flat, with some challenging Class I rapids cutting through a few forested and open grassland areas near the riverbanks. The closer the Chippewa River gets to the confluence with the Minnesota River, the steeper the banks and faster the water flows.
Recommended day trip
Chippewa River - Lentz Access to Watson Lion's Park
- Put-in location: river mile 21.1
- Take-out location: river mile 12.7
- Length: 8.4 river miles
A favorite stretch to paddle, the Chippewa River begins to flow a little faster meandering around glacial boulders of all sizes. This route covers a variety of landscapes ranging from agricultural areas to forested sections with a few farmsteads and going under a historic truss bridge.
Explore on shore
River mile 1.9. A beautiful spot that highlights the Chippewa River as it twists and turns downward to the Minnesota River. Access, camping (fee) and toilets. Ten campsites, eight with electrical and water hookups. Available on a first come, first served basis.
DNR Southern Region Headquarters
21371 State Highway 15, New Ulm, MN 56073
Nearest medical facilities
1825 Wisconsin Avenue, Benson, MN 56215
824 North 11th Street, Montevideo, MN 56265
Wide channels make for an easy paddle.
Calm waters on the Chippewa River.