The Tri-States and the Driftless area offer countless outdoor adventures. From hiking and camping to biking and boating, there's no shortage of trails and rivers to explore.

On Sunday, with sunny skies and cool temps in the mid-70s, I finally got out on one of the rivers on my checklist.

The Galena River is a tributary of the Mississippi with a storied past. Originally named the Fever, or Fevre if you're to go with the French spelling, the river and the City of Galena were an essential hub for the steamboats running up and down the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri and St. Paul, Minnesota.

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While the river is no longer available to large vessels, it is easily accessible and popular with kayakers and canoes. With a couple of public drop-in locations in town, it's typical to see paddlers enjoying the historic waterway.

Photo Credit: Keith B.
Photo Credit: Keith B.
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For my initial voyage, I chose local outfitter Nuts Outdoors for my gear and guidance in navigating the meandering 52-mile river.

Photo Credit: Keith B.
Photo Credit: Keith B.
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Nuts Outdoors offer a few trips of lengths ranging from an all-day 8-hour adventure to shorter trips of 3.5 hours or 2 hours.

Photo Credit: Keith B.
Photo Credit: Keith B.
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I chose the Buckhill drop-in 2-hour+ trip as my introduction.

The Nuts Outdoor staff were incredibly professional and helpful with information, gear, and transportation to the drop-in spot conveniently located just 5 miles north of town. Still, it is a terrific option for getting in the water for a relaxing trip back to town.

Photo Credit: Keith B.
Photo Credit: Keith B.
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There are small rapids, and much of the river is shallow, so this trip is ideal for beginners and intermediate kayakers.

Photo CreditL Keith B.
Photo CreditL Keith B.
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There was an impressive symphony of birds, including a crane. A small beaver also swam alongside my kayaks for a spell.

Overall it was a great first outing, and kudos again to Nuts Outdoor for providing great gear and a streamlined operation from start to finish. From taking my last-minute reservation, dropping the kayak in, to picking up the boat at the public launch right in town, it was fun and pleasant to experience the Galena River.

Photo Credit: Keith B.
Photo Credit: Keith B.
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For more information visit: NutsOutdoors.com | Call: 815-238-0023 | 336 1/2 Spring St, Galena, IL 61036, USA

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