Today the Shoo-fly Landing is the gateway to the TIFFANY WILDLIFE AREA.
There are two large paved shelters for your use with picnic tables in the park and plenty of space for camping and parking. For some, it is a little piece of heaven. There are no restrooms or trash containers in the park. Some times we must work around trash bags left by visitors who didn't bring their mother to clean up after them.. We are working to have electricity available in the future for a nominal charge.
There are numerous fishing spots along the banks of the river. On a warm summer day shaded by some lush green trees with a slight breeze blowing, a fella can almost fall asleep waiting for his bobber to go under. Spring, summer and fall the landing is a popular destination for a number of reasons. Fishing, boating, tubing, partying on the sandbars, canoing, hunting, bird watching, eagle watching and much more.
The launch has a gentle sloping slotted concrete surface ending in a quiet pool beside the river. Put in and take outs are protected from the river current. A small sandbar runs south along the shoreline. A place for the crew to assemble during the launch and contribute helpful directions and words of encouragement when needed. It can also be used for fishing if you don't have a boat to launch.
This is a view looking down river from the launch . The view is south on the Chippewa River. The trees on the right are part of the landing. The distant big hill and all the land south to the Mississippi is part of Tiffany Wildlife Area. The nine-mile trip south to the Mississippi River is a unique experience taking you through the undisturbed beauty and peacefulness of the Tiffany Wildlife Area. This stretch of the river is wide and shallow with a 4 to 5 mph current. The east side of the Chippewa is a bottom land hardwood forest, while the west side is an undisturbed steep hillside of trees.
MORSBACH FARMS has two guest homes close to the landing. The NORTH GUEST HOME is 1/4 mile north of the landing and the SOUTH GUEST HOME is 1/2 mile south of the landing.
The park was decidedly larger back in 1957 when, as a conservation measure, Dad and the USDA (United States Dept. of Agriculture) corrected an erosion problem up stream from the landing. Just south of the north guest home is a very deep washout we call a gully. In big storms the rushing water brought all kinds of rocks and some very large ones (I was impressed) down into the river. Through the centuries this had formed a rock wall the width of a football field sticking straight out into the river. Now-a-days we might call that a wing dam. The height of the land where we built the dam is 200 feet above the river level which allowed the water in those large rains to flow in torrents into the river. That's why the wing dam was there and protected a wide strip of land out into the river from the road.
We constructed a dam across the upper end of that gully with a pond large enough to hold that 50 year rain. Only the water that could flow through a 2 foot diameter pipe could flow down the gully. So instead of all the rain water coming down the gully in a short time (a torrent) the dam held the water and let only what could flow through that 2 foot tube into the gully. No more big rocks for the wing dam. Pictured is the springtime snow melt. The only time the waterfall is happening. This waterfall is almost down to the river level.
The mighty Chippewa River however kept flowing year after year, slowly removing parts of the wing dam and and the land it protected down stream. When it was obvious that the highway had also been protected by this wing dam, and eventually it would be undermined, the state decided to rip rap the river bank to protect what was left. Thus a much smaller park.
As a kid we lived in the north guest home and my favorite fishing hole was right in front of the north house. At that point, the river current pushed out past the end of the wing dam and a small portion of it flowed along the wing toward the bank and actually flowed upstream in front of the house. It was a nice quiet fishing hole.
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