What’s your favorite river season?

While seasons change, our love for rivers stays the same.

Just like the seasons, rivers change, and change is hope (a particularly valuable commodity nowadays). While summer and spring tend to receive the most fanfare, we think each season on the river holds its own special beauty and adventures. These are a few of our favorite things about getting out on the river, no matter the season:

More than any other season, a river in spring is a messenger of hope. Their floods nourish the ground with fresh soil. They invite us to join in the songs and dances of animals, to do something new and bold. Watching life sprout up after a long winter can sometimes be all it takes to regain the strength inside us to keep pushing for a better world. 

Spring also brings the start of National River Cleanup® season! Across the country, people volunteering for National River Cleanup® commit their time and energy to keeping our rivers clean for all to enjoy. We are grateful to our sponsors for helping to inspire their communities to join us – in 2019 Cascade Blonde pledged to work in their communities along side National River Cleanup and local river organizations to keep 100,000 pounds of trash from waterways. There’s no better (or more fun) way to see the power a single person can have within a community than joining a river clean up. 

Summer on the river gets all the attention, with good reason! When the thermometer starts creeping up, nothing beats hitting the gravel road, rolling down the window and making your way to the river. It’s not just about beating the heat and escaping to bask in the cooler temperatures rivers provide. From serene paddles to whitewater action; from lazy floats to fly-fishing; from riverside hikes to family picnics — summer rivers have it all.

Honestly, the only hard part is, no matter how excited we are for fall, it still hurts to see the treasured days of summer slip through our fingers. Oh, and toxic algae.

Ah fall: when every leaf is a flower and every river a painting. Every autumn, river and stream valleys around the country erupt with beautiful fall colors and the chorus of migrating birds making their way south. Finally, the perfect opportunity to flex those photography skills!

It’s also the time for bundling up in flannels and hiking boots. Finally, you can explore and camp without every insect in a five mile radius begging to make your acquaintance. The change in humidity, that crisp air we all love, also means hiking doesn’t have to drench you in a layer of your own perspiration. The same is true for heading to the river to help clean up plastics and litter. You’ll be surprised how long you can stay out there on a cool fall day with a thermos of something warm. 

When the days grow short, some of us prefer hibernating. But for the winter river warriors out there, new sights and adventures await. Where it gets cold enough, ice crystals turn ordinarily beautiful rivers into extraordinary exquisite rivers and skiing makes their trails even more accessible.

Middle Fork Flathead River, MT | Photo by Lee Cohen
Middle Fork Flathead River, MT |
Photo by Lee Cohen

Even in the middle of winter, water and rivers are the ultimate source of life. If you’re lucky, you might catch a peek at some of the amazing animals that take on the cold temperatures, harsh weather, and limited food supplies in their own special way. Plus, we all know there’s no better feeling than really earning that cozy cup of hot cocoa after a day out in the cold. 

If nothing else, the winter gives us the opportunity to mark the end of another year with the people and rivers we love. 

Let’s be real: 

Rivers are perfect every second, minute and day, no matter the season! 

Whats your favorite river season?

One response to “What’s your favorite river season?

  1. In central Wisconsin, streams such as the Mecan flow through areas of tamarack bog, and the autumn gold needles of the tamarack brighten the sky as the sun heads towards its winter low. While low flows may necessitate getting out to pull or push our canoe in places, this gives us one last opportunity to enjoy feeling the sand and gravel of the stream bottom beneath our feet before winter’s ice covers the stream.

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