MONTEVIDEO -- Some of the state's best paddling waters are found in the Upper Minnesota River watershed.

But until now, only a handful of people could offer information on how to access the waters of rivers like the Whetstone or Pomme de Terre, or what to expect once on them.

That information is now readily available in a handy guide complete with maps.

Thanks to a summer-long project by interns and volunteers for Clean Up our River Environment, all of this information has been assembled in "Paddling the Prairie, a Canoe and Kayak Guide to the Upper Minnesota River Watershed.''

The guide includes information on the scenery and wildlife to expect, as well as words of caution when appropriate. The waters of some of these waterways -- such as Beaver Creek in Renville County -- can be dangerous due to rapid flows and downed trees.

Waterways featured in the guide include the upper Minnesota River as well as the Whetstone River, Yellow Bank River, Pomme de Terre River, Lac qui Parle River, Chippewa River, Yellow Medicine River, Hawk Creek and Beaver Creek.

The guide is part of CURE's ongoing effort to encourage people to enjoy the area's water resources. Those who experience the water resources are most likely to take an active interest in protecting them, according to Patrick Moore, director of CURE.

The guide is available free by contacting the CURE office in Montevideo at 320-269-2984 or visiting its web site, www.curemnriver.org.