Map of Reviewed Water Trails

You can select a trip review, by clicking the appropriate icon below on the map.  Zoom-in to untangle the markers.  Yes, yes…most trips are in south-central Wisconsin (where I live), but I hope to move that button blob further north in the future.  Want to see boat landings instead?  See this map.

Map Key – Star Rankings

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10 Comments to “Map of Reviewed Water Trails”

  1. I am hoping to take my boys(ages 12 and 16) and their friends on a kayaking day trip. We are close to Milwaukee. They like rapids ( of course) but have only kayaked and canoed a few times so they certainly are not experienced nor am I. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi Sara,

    Check your email as I sent you a bunch of suggestions. I suspect the Illinois Fox through Waukesha might be a good bet for your family.

    Questions, let me know.

  3. Looking to confirm that you CAN take out at Ferry Bluff on the Wisconsin River. hoping to canoe from VFW in Sauk to Ferry Bluff, hike the trails, then head back home. Concerned that the current from Honey Creek will make it difficult to paddle UP stream to the canoe access. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Sally, yes you can. Was just on this section recently the current won’t be a problem. In fact, you most likely will have to get out and wade a little to access the Honey Creek Landing.

      Funny you should ask about this as I’m just a few days away from posting a review for Mazo to Arena.

      Here is a map:

      https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en&authuser=0&mid=zDdhE2jJ0Eic.k7KLY9pBVOpg

      As you’ll see, another option is the sewage plant which is actually a good alternative (you miss nice bluffs though). But honestly, your better bet is to put in at the Mazo boat ramp and take-out at Arena. That has MUCH better sandbars and bluffs. Wish my review was done…

      Questions let me know.

  4. Hi my family is planning a canoe trip and looking for somewhere around the Beaver Dam area no more than and hour away. We have about 26 adults and 10 children. Any recommendations? Thanks

    1. Hi Sandy,

      There are a number of ideas… The Beaver Dam river itself is a very good prospect but it does have rapids and runs shallow in the summer frequently. I hope to review this pretty soon!

      Horicon Marsh is the closest mainstream watertrail. I’ve reviewed this before and there is a local livery.

      You might also checkout my reviews for the South and East branches of the rock river.

      The Crawfish River from Columbus to Astico Park is a solid prospect that I hope to do this spring as well.

      If you’re willing to drive a bit further, the Oconomowoc River, Milwaukee River and Wisconsin River are good options.

      Horicon Marsh is probably your safest option for such a large group, but honestly for some this isn’t as interesting.

      For big groups, you can’t go wrong with the Wisconsin River. The Bark River which I recently reviewed is actually one of my favorites in the area and you might consider that too. The Mecan River is an option to the north and is a great option within an hour and has a livery.

      Questions, let me know.

  5. My wife and I are looking for a nice 3 – 4 day canoe backpacking trip. Looking for a scenic river with lots to look at and the possibility of seeing wildlife. Need to be able to camp along the river each night. Would welcome any suggestions?
    Thanks Mike Saxion

    1. Hi Mike,

      Surprisingly enough, there are many rivers in Wisconsin that you can’t really camp on. Here are the ones I know of that you can.

      Lower Wisconsin:

      By far and away the best option. Many liveries and landings, and the best and largest sandbars for camping in the state. The grandest sandbars will be in the middle portion of the river (close to the Prairie du Sac dam and the mouth there are few sandbars. If you view satellite view, you can get a great idea of where your best prospects are. The sandbars disappear under high water (>10k CFS at Muscoda so pay attention to the weather forecast).

      Lower Black River:

      Start in Black River Falls and float to the mouth. A neat river, but not as many sandbars and some property owners don’t care for sandbar campers (still popular though). View satellite view for best options and don’t go when the water is high.

      Lemonweir:

      From Mauston to the Upper Dells is maybe 20 miles and there are small sandbars to camp on in low water. Be wary of mosquitoes.

      Lower Dells to Lake Wisconsin:

      Launch below the dam to enjoy the lower Dells rock formations and some great sandbars by Portage and upstream of Lake Wisconsin. Can be very busy though especially near Lake Wisconsin and in the Dells…best to go on weekdays.

      Namekagon:

      A great camp/paddle option. Start maybe upstream of Hayward by the Namekagon Dam landing and float to the mouth on the St. Croix. While few sandbars, there are many streamside campsites. https://www.nps.gov/sacn/planyourvisit/upper-riverway-camping.htm

      Flambeau River:

      Another classic for paddling/camping with special riverside access points. http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/StateForests/flambeauRiver/camping.html

      Kickapoo:

      Aside from Wildcat Mountain (great campground), there is a small riverside campsite you can use, but it does require reservations and does fill up fast. There are neat hiking trails in Wildcat Mountain Park (especially the Ice Cave trail by Billings Creek).

      Chippewa:

      Multiple sandbar options between Eau Claire and the mouth on the Mississippi with some big ones. View satellite view for best sandbars. Neat bluffs in this area. Similar experience to the Lower Wisconsin.

      Eau Claire River:

      One of the better kept camp paddle secrets in the state. Launch below Lake Eau Claire by the dam to see some cool bluffs. Keep paddling past Harstad and you’ll encounter some really nice sandbars (clean sand no other people). Could take out at Seymour or Eau Claire. Local liveries can provide more info.

      That’s all I can think of…I’m sure there are more.

  6. I’ve got a group of guys that go on a 3 day float trip every year. We’ve done the Buffalo River and Upper Iowa floats. Looking to explore into Wisconsin now as well. Looks like the Wisconsin River might be our best bet based on drive time (need to stay south of the Dells). What section would you suggest floating? We would prefer scenery and fishing over a big party.

    1. Hi Steve,

      The Lower Wisconsin is of course a classic. However, the main strength of the river are its sandbars which only occasionally come out depending on the flowrate. My advise would be to do the trip if the levels are under 10k at Muscoda, else maybe plan a backup plan (like the Kickapoo River by Ontario).

      For specific sections, the closer you get to Sauk City, the more crowds there will be. But if you go on a weekday, this will significantly cut down on the competition for sandbars. However the closer you get the Mississippi (roughly) the less sandbars there will be.

      A good cross segment of sections for a 3 day trip would be Mazo to Arena (9.7 miles), Arena to Spring Green (10.2 miles) and Spring Green to Lone Mock. Perhaps the best and most scenic section on the Lower Wisconsin.

      More information at: http://www.wisconsinrivertrips.com/segments/wisconsin-river-mazomanie

How did your trip turn out? Questions? Comments? Or just say hi.

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