Villa Louis

Posted by Doug Shidell, November 11th , 2020.

The Fourth Ward in Prairie du Chien was a neighborhood on Feriole Island in the Mississippi River. After a massive flood in 1965 nearly wiped out the neighborhood, many families abandoned their homes and left the island. Two years later another flood inundated the island. All but one of the homes was removed and the island became a park.

Villa Louis, an historic estate sits on high ground on the island as does the Historic Dousman Hotel below.

Historic Dousman Hotel, now called the Dousman House
Dousman House as seen from a kayak on the flooded Feriole Island
Brick walk and flooded basement of the Dousman House

Heavy rain in 2019 flooded the island again, so I toured it by kayak. The garage door for a park board storage building was left open, so I paddled in and took pictures.

Inside a park board storage building on Feriole Island
Outdoor chairs on Feriole Island, Prairie du Chien

The Fourth Ward and nearby Wyalusing State Park play an important role in my novel “On His Own Terms.”

Filed under: OHOT News, Paddlesports

Updated Paddlesports Map

Posted by Doug Shidell, August 18th , 2020.

The Twin Cities Paddlesports Map has been updated again and the new map is free for anyone who downloaded the map in the past. Updates include new routes and boat launch information at Pelican Lake, Lake Phalen, and Spring Lake. The update also has more wetland information in and around lakes and rivers.

Filed under: Paddlesports

Bikeverywhere Launches Paddlesports Map

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 24th , 2020.
Overhang on Mississippi River

The Twin Cities is a paddler’s paradise, and I’m hooked. I’m still an avid, die hard cyclist, but take a look at these photos of parts of the Twin Cities that can’t be explored by bike and you’ll see why I’ve added paddling to my explorations. Being a map guy, I couldn’t resist creating the Twin Cities Paddlesports Map. It even has bicycle shuttle routes for folks who paddle downstream and want to ride their bikes back to the put in spot, so I’m not straying too far from my roots.

Marsh Marigold
Boat Launches and Scenic Spots

Twin Cities Paddlesports Map

Bicycle Shuttle Routes

Twin Cities Paddlesports Map

Unique Structure on the Rum River in Anoka
Filed under: Paddlesports

Kayak from Dayton to Anoka

Posted by Doug Shidell, May 22nd , 2020.

Kayaked from Dayton to Anoka the other day on the Mississippi River, then used our bikes for the return shuttle. The wind pushed us downstream, but created a real battle on the return bike ride.
The photo is of a structure in the Rum River near the dam in downtown Anoka. Does anyone know what it is?
The screenshot is from a prototype Paddlesports map I’m developing. More on that later.

Filed under: Paddlesports

Mississippi River Near Anoka

Posted by Doug Shidell, April 3rd , 2020.
Mississippi river bottom. This is the only low spot subject to flooding

Love the Mississippi River, but not the crowds? Try this bike ride in Anoka. Mississippi West Regional Park is a little gem of prairie, woods and river bottoms. My ride started at Levee Rd, off Benton Rd, just after crossing the Hwy 169 bridge in Anoka. Note the parking- enough for four cars. Alternate parking in the park. Total distance about a dozen miles, including exploring residential streets off the NW corner of the park.

River viewing spot
Prairie grasses along Mississippi River Trail
Starting spot on Levee Rd just off Benton St.
Filed under: Paddlesports