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Adventures on Bass Creek

This year the Bass Creek Dam Association bestowed the Bass Creek Canoe Launch on Green-Rock Audubon Society. I love canoeing; I knew I had to get out there. On the first hot day in June we got together with my folks, packed up the kids and a lunch, and headed out to the launch to check it out. Here are visitor’s notes from my family adventures on Bass Creek!


The launch is situated in Afton, WI, right across from the delicious Bass Creek Café next to the County D bridge. It’s about half way between Beloit and Janesville.

Flows to the Rock River

Bass Creek flows to the Rock River. Rock Trail Coalition, which maintains the waterway, clears away debris and downed trees from the creek every spring. A canoe can pass from the launch in Afton all the way to the Beloit dam.


The launch has gravel for parking. A grassy trail leads from the gravel to the banks of the creek; it’s about 20 yards long.

We unloaded our vessels and coolers and kids at the canoe launch. Then my dad and I dropped off one of our cars downstream at Happy Hollow Park in Janesville. This landing point is situated on the Rock River and even has a boat launch to get canoes out of the water. Better still, it’s only a six-minute drive away. That distance made for a canoe trip of about 2 hours— though we did stop and wade a bit.

Skill Level: Easy Peasy

My kids are nine and four; this was their first canoe trip. Bass Creek proved to be a great introductory spot. There are no rapids. The creek is shallow, and fairly slow moving. My four-year-old could wade without trouble until we hit the river. We did have to scoot our vessel over rocks once or twice.


Bass Creek passes private residences and a good deal of scenic terrain including passage under an old stone bridge. We saw red winged black birds, butterflies, and fish. We heard frogs. We stopped to eat lunch on a sandy bank of the river.

It was a great first adventure and we plan to do it again in late summer.

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