CLEARWATER - This week on "Your Town Tuesday" we take a trip down the Mississippi River to Clearwater. This stretch is the only stretch of the river that has been deemed Wild and Scenic by the Minnesota DNR.

Mississippi River in Clearwater
Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON News

Owner of Clear Waters Outfitting Dan Meer has been paddling this stretch of river for many years.

Meer says, "It's a very nice stretch for paddling because it's very shallow stretch. There's a lot of sandbars, sandy shorelines. Because it's wild and scenic many miles are just in their natural state. Lots of wildlife, and it's also a state water trail also."

Because of its natural state, the river is a premiere spot to see wildlife. Meer says he had one group that saw twelve eagles on one trip. With the natural shoreline and possibility of seeing wildlife, the Mississippi in Clearwater has become a popular spot for canoers, kayakers, and paddle boarders.

We hear a lot of comments from our customers, various customers actually paddle many different rivers  around the whole mid-west, we get a lot of compliments about how nice this is.
Fishing at Clear Waters Outfitting

Even fisherman like to drift down the river in search of Smallmouth Bass.

"One thing that a lot of people don’t realize about this stretch of river is actually it's a world class Smallmouth fishing water. So some professional fishing magazines have ranked it top ten in the country for small mouth bass," says Meer.

All in all Meer says this stretch of the Mississippi is a great place for anyone wanting to experience it.

It's actually perfect paddling for beginners, for people that want to learn because you do have a current going with you. You always are going to be going towards your destination even though you may not be the best paddler. And, the people that paddle a lot like it too because it is somewhat secluded, there's a lot of wild life, it's unique. We get a very wide range of experience levels from beginners to advanced paddlers.

We move from the water to land as we head to the Clearwater Rodeo. The rodeo is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

Clearwater Rodeo
Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON News
...but the big one is the Clearwater Rodeo

Silver Bullet Saddle Club Member Russ Pekarek currently works with the Clearwater Rodeo. He says the Silver Bullet Saddle Club has multiple events throughout the year, including three horse shows and trail rides.

Pekarek says the rodeo has become a great community get together that continuously draws people back.

"For the last several years we have had two or three, more than that, of people that don't miss the Clearwater Rodeo and they are proud of it, because one they started out on the other side of the freeway, and we come over here, and they've seen how we progressed."

Clearwater Rodeo
Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON News


Being a non-profit organization the Club runs off of volunteers.

Pekarek says, "You've got people coming here that are volunteering  for their family, for their kids, and not one penny goes into our pockets."

And it's these volunteers that put on the Clearwater Rodeo. A fun day that Pekarek says is for all ages.

"Like I said we've got them from 90 years old all the way down to little newborns, and we try to cater to because we try to make it family oriented and have fun."

The Clearwater Rodeo has been voted the Rodeo of the year three times by the Minnesota Rodeo Association in 2008, 2010, and 2011.

"It's just because we have good people in the club, we got a good stock contractor Triple B, and great contestants, and most of all fans that love to have fun. It's great when I see all the fans here I just love it, because I know we are doing something good for the community."


We have already been to FoleyRiceHoldingfordAvonAlbanySt. StephenGilman, and Royalton. Let us know what makes your town special to Central Minnesota and it might end up on "Your Town Tuesday."