The Lower Zumbro River Valley
is as picturesque today as it was when the first explorers
viwed the steep, rugged dolomite cliffs that overlook
the deep scenic valleys and stands of hardwood forest.
The Zumbro River twists and turns
for over 80 miles as it flows through the lower Zumbro
River Valley. The river gather's strength and wides
as the North, Middle and South Forks join the main channel,
The most popular stretch of the river for paddlers
are from the Zumbro Lake power dam to Zumbro Falls or
from Zumbro Falls to either Hammond or Millville.
Canoeists will be taken by surprise
if they expect to drift down the Zumbro. The river's
lively current make it highly likely that they will
have to manuveur around an assortment of snags--- even
at moderate levels. These snags are the origin
of the French name for the river---"Riviere des
Embarras" or "River of Difficulties."
The Zumbro's water level depends on the flow at the
Rochester power dam. Generally, the dam operators release
water on weekends to raise the level sufficiently for
canoeing. Several canoe liveries operate along the Zumbro
Everyone who uses the Zumbro should
be aware of how rapidly the river can rise after rainstorms.
The Zumbro is a good river for fishing
with catfish, small-mouth bass, walleye, and suckers.
Wildlife that can be observed along the banks include
deer, fox, grouse, eagles and herons. The wooded floodplains
and slopes are habitat for wood turtles. The rare Blanding's
turtle can be found on the upland sand prairies and
savannas around the Zumbro's mouth. Pickerel frogs
live in the marches, while fox snakes, racers, hognose
snakes, gopher snakes and timber rattlers can be found
in the valley. Rare birds that can be viewed include
red-shouldered hawks, bald eagles, osprey, cerulean
arblers and Acadian flycatchers. The open marshes give
sandhill cranes and moorhens habitat. MORE