Comment Overview readers often leave some great paddling tips. Below are all comments left on the site organized by page.  Click here to see the most recent comments.  Check back often for updates.

2022 Year End Review
Dec 29th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the encouragement!
Dec 29th, 2022 | Jim Moreau from Beaver Dam River | Link
Keep up the great work. I love what you are doing.
2023 Year End Review
Dec 10th, 2023 | Rick Hannah from Starkweather Creek | Link
Absolutely love your posts! Looking forward to your new entries in 2024. Hope we have better water levels.
Dec 11th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment!
Andy’s Wisconsin River FKT Thing
Jul 2nd, 2023 | Joe GW from Puchyan | Link
Are you going to tell that to the Indianapolis 500 drivers too? The Olympics contestants? How about the Brewer's when they are running the bases? "Take it slow, enjoy the sights and sounds".
Dec 30th, 2023 | Chuck from Pine River(Waushara Co.) | Link
Thanks Andy for documenting your experience on the Wisconsin. Very interesting and inspiring. Congratulations on finishing especially considering the health challenges you experienced.
Jun 15th, 2023 | Andy Nevitt from Big Rib River | Link
Rick, it's not like the shoreline was blurry as I was blazing by at an average speed of 5-6mph. I was definitely able to take in the "sights and sounds"; I was just able to do it in a short time period. For some, testing physical limits and accomplishing a goal produces a sense of achievement and purpose; I believe that is the very core of true adventure. If you don't understand or agree with that sentiment, that's ok. The river is for everyone, at whatever pace they decide to take it in.
May 29th, 2023 | Rick Hannah from 6 mile creek | Link
I don’t understand why he feels compelled to make this a sprint. The heck with setting records, take it slowly and enjoy the sights and sounds. Life is hectic enough without making our “leisure time” a contest.
Announcement – Kayak and Roof Rack Accident in UP
Nov 6th, 2022 | Jim Moreau from Beaver Dam | Link
I use 2 around the boat to the rack and then 2 on front of boat and 2 on rear of boat in a “V”. I have hauled boats all around Wisconsin and the UP with no problems. I also firmly believe you need to check the boat within the 1st 30 minutes at highway speeds. I have seen people use bungee cords and truthfully I am surprised more people don’t get hurt with how some people tie down boats.
Nov 6th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good points.
Nov 5th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I think the absolute key with j-bars is you must use front/back tie-downs as an extra level of protection.
Nov 5th, 2022 | Richard Hannah from 6 mile | Link
I’ve had no problem using my J-bars, even in windy conditions. I make sure that the kayak is tilted back instead of vertical. I also make sure the straps are installed properly, with a front rope, using the loop straps.
Announcement – Wisconsin Rivers Poster
Dec 22nd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yep...the link just changed. Try:
Dec 22nd, 2022 | Nicholas Mathwig from New Lisbon | Link
Is this poster still available
Announcement: DNR Proposes Kayak Fee
Mar 16th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I agree!
Mar 15th, 2022 | James Morea from Beaver Dam River | Link
I think this is a horrible idea. Would keep low income people out and younger kids. I know kids under 18 with no job that have kayaks. We already have to pay to kayak in State Parks, which all users have to pay. Most places don’t charge for people to walk on hiking trails outside of state parks. We need more people to get outside and stop watching TV and playing video games.
Announcement: Small River Canoe Adventures of Wisconsin
Feb 22nd, 2022 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
Thanks for the resource, coincidently I just happened to stumble across it at the downtown library in Madison last week, so it is available there as well, and thus you should be able to get it delivered to your local library through the inter-library loan program.
Feb 23rd, 2022 | Denny Caneff from Madison, WI | Link
Frank's book is a classic "period piece" of Wisconsin river adventures. He was out there on obscure streams before most of us knew they were there. Aaron's caveats about dated material are well placed. The beauty of downloading it is you can keep this under the seat of your car and spill coffee and beer and river water on it and make it your personal classic.
Feb 24th, 2022 | Paul Vastag from Menomonee Falls | Link
Thanks for this wonderful paddling book!
Feb 23rd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The first edition is available at Baraboo and Madison PL-Central libraries. The revised edition (which includes more trips) is available at the Madison PL-Hawthorne and Sauk City libraries.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Apr 10th, 2016 | TERRI GRANGER from GRNT MI | Link
I have a group of 5 that are going to paddle Stockton Island to Devil's Island and I can not for the life of me find any published kayaking mapped out routes. We are not going with guides. We have the trip planned all except the apparently hard to find routes online. Any recommendations would be awesome and appreciated. We will be starting out at Sandy Bay
Ashippun River
May 24th, 2020 | Jim Smith from Ashippun River Washington Road | Link
Did this trip today May 24 2020. Very nice trip since River is up due to heavy rain early in the week. Beautiful eagle where river connects to pond by Harding road. I actually own the land where foot bridge is and every winter clear downed trees from Washington road bridge to Hwy p. Last week I did trip from my footbridge south . Four areas with logjams and had to portage each time. but once you get past Roosevelt Road it’s been cleaned out all the way to Mill pond in Aulderly (Hwy O) deertrak golf coarse. The eagleShas been behind the house by me for Last six years. Carp are starting to swim upstream also. Hugh snapping turtles also.
Apr 20th, 2023 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
I paddled this segment of the Ashippun last Monday (04/10). The river was more shallow than I expected at this time of year given high water across most of SE Wisconsin. However, outside of scraping a bit toward the beginning, this turned out to be a lovely paddle through an area that truly felt more remote and free of road-noise than other paddles I've done in SE WI. Given that I enjoyed this trip so much, I did scope out and paddle the ~3 mile segment to the north through Erin Hills Golf Course. This I cannot recommend to anyone at all. There are multiple residual barbed wire strainers, and the part entirely through the golf course is choked with deadfall and logjams. Your paddle will be scraping brush more than water the first half. However, about 2/3 through it did open up into a shallow/flowage/marsh that was pretty scenic. Although the entire section was technically navigable, it was even more shallow than the southern segment, and I would never try it again sadly.
Apr 20th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for an update as I was curious about the leg by the Golf Course. It is a shame it didn't work out. I wonder if P to Alderley is better?
Apr 20th, 2023 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
I may try it out sometime soon as I fear this river may be too low to run soon. Although it wasn't super high on my list due to the review from Rick Kark's comments you had linked, he says "“I chose the more challenging idea of putting in on County P upstream of the pond. As I feared I encountered countless fallen trees in the bottomland.” Although it's encouraging to hear Jim say maybe that is clear now since Rick's review was in 07. I'll let you know if I complete that section.
May 24th, 2020 | Aaron Smith from Dell Creek | Link
I was wondering why that section was so clear when I did it...I and other paddlers definitely appreciate your hard work. That's also an interesting observation about Roosevelt Ave and it's a section I want to do in the future. Thanks for all your tips. If hear anything further about logjams on this river, feel free to share on this website.
Apr 22nd, 2024 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
I got back on the Ashippun last week (04/5/24) and put in at the intersection with County Road P, and paddled to take out on Lincoln Road. I had fun on this trip although can't recommend it much due to all the log jams and obstructions near the farm on the County P to Roosevelt Road section. Beyond Roosevelt Road, the river opens up, although the Alderly Mill Pond is very shallow. I had to portage the dam there at the golf course and hit a few more jams going toward Lincoln Road. Not sure if I'm confident enough to take the trip any further due to obstructions, but I have enjoyed the peacefulness of Ashippun Creek.
Apr 22nd, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Ashippun is a definitely an underrated prospect. Appreciate the intel on the logjams before Roosevelt Road.
Badfish Creek
Feb 24th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update Katie! I believe Mad City Paddlers is organizing a cleanup in March to clear out the jams you encountered.
Sep 1st, 2016 | Jessica Riphenburg from Madison | Link
This is a great guide- thank you! I love the photos & video.
Dec 6th, 2022 | Eric from Wingra | Link
I try to paddle this section once a month all year, so I took advantage of a "warm" and sunny 40 degree day to get my December paddle in. The creek was at 70 CFS, a bit lower than I like, but if you pay attention to where the chanel is you should be OK. We bumped a bit in a few of the rapids and scraped bottom in a few shallow spots, but never had to get out and walk. I was a bit surprised to see both duck and pheasant hunters at the Zelensky on Old Stage Rd, bit now I know that the upriver section is a public hunting area. Fairly good day for wildlife, deer, geeses, ducks,1 racoon,1 opossum,1 muskrat, great blue herons, kingfishers, and lots of fresh sings of beaver activity, including a new (to me at least) beaver dam on the little creek at the take out. Video/pics and map of our trip
May 1st, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Friends of Badfish Creek Watershed have created an online map where they post logjam updates.
Jul 13th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update and the kind words!
Feb 21st, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm surprised how open your trip was...snow is still everywhere where I live. Hopefully it warms up soon here...but long range forecast says we are in for a cold March which is bad news. Nice pictures!
Jul 13th, 2020 | Joey from DuPage River | Link
We did the Badfish on Sunday, 7/12, from Hwy A to N. Casey Rd, an 11-mile stretch. The river was at ~220 cfs and it took us 4 hrs, no doubt helped by a nice current. It was a good stretch with nice stretches of shade in the earlier sections but also open meandering and winding river stretches towards the end. The occasional riffles were enjoyable, too. We'd recommend putting in on the NE corner of the Hwy A bridge, as there's no thick overgrowth at all there, just a bit of a steep bank, but nothing too bad. Exit at N. Casey Rd. was a breeze as well as there's a decent landing area there. While there were some tree and branch obstacles, we never had to get out of our boat to navigate through. Because we don't live in the area and only had one vehicle, we contacted Clark at Drift Away Paddle (608-295-4348) for a lift (with our kayaks) back to our car once we got out at N. Casey Rd. Their rates are VERY, VERY reasonable and certainly helped us in our situation. Thanks Badfish, this website, and to all those who've posted before to help make our planning considerably easier!
Dec 7th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Nice pictures and video. Creek looks good even with all the trees bare!
Feb 21st, 2022 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
we took advantage of a sunny and usually warm (50!) February day to do this section. The river was low 4.9 ft (USGS CFS gauge was indicating ice, but was probably low as well) so getting in and out was a bit more difficult and muddy than usual. We saw a group of four eagles, hawks, geese, deer, and one trout fisherman, but no other paddlers. However,there were a few vehicles at the put-n and on Hwy 138. Lots of sun, blue sky, and some interesting ice formations and frozen seeps made for a good day for pics. Short video of our trip can be seen here
Feb 12th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Because of a recent tornado, the Rock County Sheriff's is warning kayakers of heavy debris in both Badfish Creek and the Yahara River:
Jul 4th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Glad you had a good time.
Jul 9th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great info! I've updated the main write-up and am now very interested in doing the upper Badfish. Hopefully later this summer...
Sep 4th, 2017 | Marsha Cohen | Link
Oops, sorry for the duplicate posting. I didn't think the first one went through as I messed up on the "I am not a robot" verification
Sep 4th, 2017 | Marsha Cohen from Yahara | Link
I did this today & enjoyed the challenge of swift current with light rapids. It took me just over 2 hours. The 5 mile bike shuttle on country roads was fine. And at the take out, there is a wooden ladder--how cool is that?!
Sep 4th, 2017 | Marsha Cohen | Link
I did this today, and really enjoyed it. It was challenging (as noted in the report: swift current, some shallow areas, light rapids and sharp turns) but a good skill builder. And there's a wooden ladder at the take out--how cool is that!!
Sep 3rd, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra creek | Link
Aaron, The Badfish is great with a canoe, there is always enough water, but you will have to be good at controlling the boat to avoid obstacles and shallow spots.
Sep 8th, 2018 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
I did this section Fri 9/7/18, the creek was higher than usual after several weeks of heavy rains (230 CFS, 5.9 ft), but was very runnable. No obstructions and almost constant riffles and light rapids, plus the trip was fast,took us less than 2 hours. If anyone wants a fast fun trip I'd strongly recommend doing this trip soon before the levels return to normal. All this week should be good
Sep 9th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update!
Jul 4th, 2021 | Kelly from Madison | Link
Thank you SO much for the great rundown of this trip. The trip map was super helpful. What a fun run! We have pretty long kayaks, so it took some maneuvering but it was a great time. Will do again.
Oct 25th, 2017 | Dave Birren from Yahara River | Link
Caution: Always check the USGS gauge to see how fast Badfish is flowing. Normal summer flow is 100-150 cfs. At 200 cfs it starts getting to be fun. I paddled it once at 525 cfs and I needed every tool in my toolbox, in particular the backferry, to keep from getting slammed into the banks. At that level I'd say it was a solid Class II. Lots of fun, but if you don't have basic whitewater skills paddle the Yahara instead.
Jul 9th, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
There's a newly developed put-in via the parking lot northwest of Old Stage Rd. Link to map: Here's a link to a news story: The stretch from Old Stone Rd. to Old Stage Rd. has been cleared for paddling. Some tight turns, but no portaging when we paddled it on July 8, 2018.
Jul 18th, 2017 | Rick | Link
I've used my Mad River solo on this stretch, plus other sections many times over the years. Love it. Just enough of a challenge.
Jul 15th, 2017 | Dan of Madison from Yahara | Link
Curious if anyone has taken a canoe down this stretch. Doable?
Jun 13th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm shocked that you were able to run this in a 17' canoe...great to hear you had a nice trip though!
Jun 13th, 2021 | Collin Roland from Starkweather Creek | Link
We ran this Saturday 5/29 at around 120 CFS. The bike shuttle was an easy 5 miles on lightly traveled roads. The paddle took us about 2 hours and was great boat control practice for our 17' canoe. Lots of beautiful views and a few nice sandbars to hang out on. Saw some sort of weasel and of course ducks and geese. Love the large bur oaks along this reach!
Apr 22nd, 2022 | Avery Chappell-Walkwitz from Lake Monona | Link
I made this trip yesterday, April 21st. There were quite a few strainers and near complete jams. The bridge at Leedle Mill Rd was nearly completely jammed up except for a spot on the southwest corner that I managed to squeeze through. There was another area just downstream of 138 that would've been completely jammed if the water level had been any lower. Managed to hop over the log in the middle, but just barely. It was at 130 CFS when I went. Definitely a nice little challenge for a novice/recreational paddler though and I couldn't have asked for better weather.
Apr 22nd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update!
Jul 9th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Joey, I'm not familiar with any shuttle options. You'll likely have to self-shuttle or take an Uber. As for conditions, the creek is fine now but may spike after today's big rain. I advise keeping an eye on:,00060
Feb 24th, 2024 | Katie from Starkweather Creek | Link
We paddled Old Stone Road to Old Stage Road today in a two person canoe with our dog. 103 CFS - only scraped a little at the put in. We were a little curious what we would find after the storm earlier this month, but it was a good sunny day for a winter paddle. Trip took us about 1.5 hours. There were 5 log jams total. Three we were able to slip under, one we were able to saw through and one we portaged. Since this is a good reliable creek to paddle in the winter, I am curious how the lower sections handled the storm... Thanks for all of your reviews Aaron!
Apr 10th, 2015 | KC from Madison | Link
Has anyone gone through Badfish creek this early in the season (Spring 2015)? Trying to figure out if the creek is clear or if portaging is necessary.
Oct 8th, 2022 | Joe from Madison, WI | Link
Just did the old stage coach rd to Casey route. No jams, good current. Water did seem lower than normal, lots of scooting. Weather was a little chilly but doable. 40s to 50s F. Saw a bald eagle flowing all around us. Leaf colors were amazing.
Jun 13th, 2018 | Scott J. from Badfish Creek Area | Link
We paddled our 17' canoe from Hwy 138 to Casey Road last night. It was great: lots of wildlife (saw over a dozen deer, all down in the creek, plus herons, cranes, snakes, turtles, etc.), challenging but not too challenging riffles, some overhangs but no jams, and swift current. It took us 2 hours with a dinner break pulled up on a sandbar. Put in at 138 was rocky but take-out at Casey was fine, even with a two-person canoe. Don't take your $1000 kevlar canoe down here, though, as you will bump some rocks and sand bars, even with a shallow draft.
Apr 11th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update on that logjam. Any updates on this situation feel free to post a comment here which will help out other paddlers.
Apr 11th, 2020 | Eric William Graff from Rock | Link
Just did this section of the Badfish. Cool day (about 60 degrees) started sunny turned cloudy. Fast paced row with one portage. One limb has fallen over the channel about 2 miles after the put in. My son and I gave it the old heave howe but it would not budge. I will be back with a saw by the middle of May unless others can remove it. The portage was super easy. Saw a big turtle, pan fish, possible bass, ducks, geese, blue heron, hawks plenty of spring birds. Saw nobody today on the creek. Always take a saw if you can. Today I learned my lesson.
Oct 8th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update!
Jul 10th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update! I definitely need to get back to the Badfish.
Mar 19th, 2015 | James from Badfish | Link
Any idea what fish species are in here? Different fish in different sections? I live very close and enjoy the scenery on this creek. I'd love to wade and fish it. Thanks!
Jul 9th, 2019 | Rick from Cherokee Marsh | Link
Paddled from Old Stage to N.Casey, with Jon. Lovely outing. New signage on 138, that says “Canoe Landing”, which directs you to Old Stage. Be wary of the wild parsnip! Its sap is phototoxic, which burns the skin, especially with sun exposure.
Jun 13th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Scott for the comments. Great to hear a 17' canoe can make it through he creek!
Oct 27th, 2014 | Dave | Link
I've paddled Badfish Creek dozens of times and assure you it is not just cosmetically clean. Since improvements were made in sewage treatment and disposal, the fish populations in Badfish have rebounded, which is why kingfishers and great blue herons are commonly seen. Please update your review to reflect this more accurate state of affairs.
Jul 9th, 2020 | Joey from DuPage River | Link
I will be kayaking from Hwy A to N. Casey Rd. this weekend for the first time. Any insight into current creek conditions would be helpful. Also, are there any livery shuttle services to bring us back to Hwy A. from N. Casey Rd. once our trip is done? Or will we simply have to Uber it back? That's our biggest unknown at the moment. Thanks
May 9th, 2015 | Donna from Badfish Creek | Link
Can people rent canoe/kayak for these creek trips or do we need to have our own equipment? THANKS!
Badfish Creek – Hwy A to Old Stage Road
Jun 10th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good to hear that logjams weren't more of an issue. Strong winds did down a lot of trees in the area.
Jul 13th, 2020 | Joey from DuPage River | Link
We did the Badfish on Sunday, 7/12, from Hwy A to N. Casey Rd, an 11-mile stretch. The river was at ~220 cfs and it took us 4 hrs, no doubt helped by a nice current. It was a good stretch with nice stretches of shade in the earlier sections but also open meandering and winding river stretches towards the end. The occasional riffles were enjoyable, too. We'd recommend putting in on the NE corner of the Hwy A bridge, as there's no thick overgrowth at all there, just a bit of a steep bank, but nothing too bad. Exit at N. Casey Rd. was a breeze as well as there's a decent landing area there. While there were some tree and branch obstacles, we never had to get out of our boat to navigate through. Because we don't live in the area and only had one vehicle, we contacted Clark at Drift Away Paddle (608-295-4348) for a lift (with our kayaks) back to our car once we got out at N. Casey Rd. Their rates are VERY, VERY reasonable and certainly helped us in our situation. Thanks Badfish, this website, and to all those who've posted before to help make our planning considerably easier!
Jul 30th, 2020 | Clark conway from Badfish/yahara | Link
Drif away paddle company offers rentals and shuttle for the bad fish and yahara.
Jun 10th, 2024 | S. Johnson from Badfish Creek | Link
We paddled from "A" to Cooksville (138) yesterday (June 9, 2024). The county road A bridge is brand new as of last year and the put-in is steep but do-able. The water is in the high 100s and passable the entire way with current rains. We did have to slide over a few tree trunks but we were in a 17' canoe and made it fine, so kayaks should be no problem. It took us 2 hours but we actively paddle the whole way, and your time may vary.
Badger Mill Creek
Jun 19th, 2019 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
Just did the section from Bruce Street to 2nd Hwy 69 bridge, clear water with a good constant current. Water was a bit low so we scraped in a couple of places and most of the cattle gates are still there, but it is much easier with 2 people, One person can hole the gates up as the other person scoots under. Really pretty easy as all the gates are located in shallow areas. A true diamond in the rough for local paddlers, but do it with a friend and on a warm sunny day because someone is going to be getting out of the boat at least 5 times. I'll certainly be doing it again soon
Jun 7th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's too bad...hopefully this is removed in the future.
Jun 19th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Definitely on my todo list. This would be a great section to do when most other rivers are too high.
May 5th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Madison is seriously considering moving it's Badger Mill Creek effluent discharge to Badfish Creek. This would hurt Badfish Creek (higerh water levels, more erosion, more polluted) and could literally dry up Badger Mill Creek. Many locals are speaking out against this. For more information see:
Jun 7th, 2020 | Meg from Sugar River | Link
The fence was electrified! We could hear the hum! We were too paranoid to go under it...not enough room to safely get under. Electricity and water is not a safe combination. This has to be a liability issue. Who puts an electric fence over a public waterway?!?!
Feb 1st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's unfortunate to hear of your experiences. It is indeed an outlet for MMSD. But maybe this is mostly unfortunate timing. Many creeks and rivers are outlets for sewage, and yet if properly treated these can still be neat paddles (such as Badfish Creek). Perhaps the key with Badger Mill Creek is timing as I'm certain there are certain periods in which the creek is much better than others.
Feb 1st, 2020 | Astrid Scholz from Madison | Link
I have walked many times over the past years along Badger Mill Creek in Verona and have noted the foul sewage smell. Badger Mill Creek is suffering from residential and commercial runoff and insufficiently treated wastewater and sewage. It is a lovely creek surrounded by recreational trails, baseball fields, residential homes and playgrounds. In summer kids play in the water by the covered bridge and near the playground. So much potential here but I do think it is a health risk to get in that water or let your kids and animals near it. Trust your nose. If it smells like sewage it probably is sewage! Please make others aware and let’s clean up Badger Mill Creek so it can truly be of recreational use.
Baraboo River – Dutch Hollow
Jul 15th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
River update from 'Friends of the Baraboo River': "Loggers spent a week clearing 30+ logjams from LaValle upstream towards Wonewoc. The river is cleared almost to Kalepp Road. Clearing efforts have been temporarily suspended due to high water. The next section to be cleared will be from North Freedom to Rock Springs."
Nov 17th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm surprised the Baraboo has frozen this quickly already. It's definitely too bad to hear about those ice jams...those ice waterfalls sounds really cool though.
Nov 17th, 2019 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
We attempted this section on 11/16 (620 CFS, 9.2 ft) and a relatively balmy 42 at put-in. with a bike shuttle using the 400 trail. The first mile or so was great but then we encountered an area that was completely covered with ice, we portaged around that but after another 1/4 mile encountered other area covered with ice, that continued as far as we could see, maybe 100 yds. We were less than half way, just a bit upstream from Hemlock Slough, so we decided to bale. Unfortunately, our car was parked at the end, so we decided the best option was to turn around and paddle upstream back to our bikes. Although not a successful trip per se, we still hand a wonderful time, beautiful rock outcroppings,ice waterfalls, many deer, 2 bald eagles, an otter, and even got hot thanks to having to paddle upstream. Certainly a trip I'll do again anytime of year, but not right after a prolonged cold snap
Baraboo River – Kalepp Road
Jul 15th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
River update from 'Friends of the Baraboo River': "Loggers spent a week clearing 30+ logjams from LaValle upstream towards Wonewoc. The river is cleared almost to Kalepp Road. Clearing efforts have been temporarily suspended due to high water. The next section to be cleared will be from North Freedom to Rock Springs."
Baraboo River – La Valle
Aug 19th, 2017 | Gail from Wisconsin River | Link
Any idea how the Lazy Beaver Canoe and Kayak Race turned out today? Thanks.
Aug 18th, 2017 | Gail from Wisconsin River | Link
Six of us put in today starting in LaValle. We had planned to go to Reedsburg. USGS 05405000 was 463 CFS and the gauge reported 8.6 ft. Fun rapids right off the bat and a few trees in the water downstream, but nothing we couldn't get past. At the railroad bridge about 2.5 miles into the paddle, however, there was a log jam with very steep, muddy banks on either side. We turned around and went back to the takeout about 100 yards below the Hwy. 58 bridge. A little disappointing that we didn't make it all the way to Reedsburg. We will try again from Co. V to Reedsburg soon.
May 28th, 2015 | Noumenon72 from Baraboo River | Link
Regarding jams, I paddled from Redstone to Reedsburg while the flow was at 280. There was one jam I had to portage, one or two where I climbed over a log, and I ran into one big sandbar and had to turn around and go on the deeper side. So I think that's just fine! It turns out that I love how river kayaking presents you with occasional obstacles that keep it from being an endless paddle and force you to find a way through. I've been working on paddling from Reedsburg to Baraboo, taking the boat out at the bridges. Do you allow others to submit reviews to the site? Of course, the flow went to over 800 two days ago, so it won't exactly be a representative trip. I got a video of several two-foot-long fish spawning or something in a flooded grassy meadow... By the way, thanks for that link to the river flow, I could not find anything so useful on Google. Can you give me a link to how I could search the site for other river levels, such as Token Creek? I couldn't figure out how.
Jul 14th, 2022 | Mary Wentzel from Lawrence Creek | Link
Currently all log jams have had a path cut through them, with one exception. I believe is actually cleared through the center but there was a sandbar blocking the view as I approached, but it looked like a good option from the backside. (I ended up portaging on the right side which I do not recommend)
May 27th, 2015 | Noumenon72 from Baraboo River | Link
Nice review! Wish I'd found it before making the whole trip to Reedsburg and getting in at 9:30 at night.
Jul 14th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update!
Baraboo River – Rock Springs
Aug 22nd, 2023 | Jeff from Madison | Link
Hi, has anybody done this trip recently? Wondering if there's any log jams anymore. And I wish that the reviews had dates I had said this before and you said you may be able to rectify that lol.
Aug 22nd, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the heads up about the dates. There was a bug that in the templates that sometimes hid these. I think this should be fixed now. As for the status of Rock Springs to North Freedom...I'm not sure. I suspect there are 1 or 2 logjams that will have to be portaged.
May 17th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
There has been an update on the logjam situation on the Baraboo River: "Starting last year and continuing this spring, the Friends of the Baraboo River hired Straight Up Logging to clear out jams in three sections of the river. Local canoe/kayak liveries had already cleared the stretches from Union Center to Wonewoc and from North Freedom to Baraboo in recent years. Last year and this, thanks to generous grants from Sauk County, the Friends of the Baraboo River was able to hire Straight Up Loggin' to clear passages through more jams in stretches previously not cleared. The work started last fall between Rock Springs and North Freedom and between the Sauk County line by Wonewoc to La Valle and was finished up this spring. Straight Up is also clearing from La Valle to Reedsburg this month, opening up new paddling opportunities on the Baraboo River. "
Baraboo River – Wonewoc
Apr 26th, 2016 | smoucka from Yahara River | Link
I just found this site and it seems like a fantastic resource. I look forward to exploring it more! Now the river- I initially read about this stretch in Mike Svob's "Paddling Southern Wisconsin". Canoed this section two weeks ago on a very warm and sunny spring day. Discharge according to USGS at Hwy X bridge was about 490 cfs. Water level was very manageable on this stretch with no depth issues. Plenty of logs just below the water that could pose more issues with lower water. Banks were very steep and rather tall with the water level that day. Ran into a number of log jams, two of which required portaging. It must have been before anyone had been through to clear it out. Lots of navigating required. We shuttled ourselves via bike on the state trail, super convenient. The access at highway 33 was less than ideal. We pulled into a clearing just west of the bridge on the south side of highway 33. It was very easy to miss and we only saw it after going past and turning around in the first business driveway then heading back east. Easy enough to pull in and unload the boat although had to drag it through some brush and the flood plain. Very pleasant paddle. Current kept us moving along but plenty of time to relax. The paddle took just under 3 hours with plenty of time spent floating. Couldn't believe how remote it felt considering Hwy 33 isn't far away but the flood plain keeps the development away. There is a small picnic site with a bench and fire ring directly across from Third Castle. I wish we'd had time to stop and relax. I will plan for a good 20-30 minute stop to enjoy the area next time around. Access at takeout in Wonewoc was very good. Canoe landing well marked on Hwy 33 and FF. Highly recommended!
Jul 19th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Update for paddlers. Beyond Boundaries no longer clears out logjams on this stretch and it has gotten REALLY bad. At this point I advise avoiding this leg, until the logjams get cleaned out. When this is, I don't know. Friends of the Baraboo River might do this in the future.
Baraboo River: Gander Outdoors to Glenville Landing
Jul 16th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
So you must have gone at 350 CFS about a 100 CFS lower than our trip. So it sounds navigable but not as ideal. I appreciate your comment and your referrals!
Jun 13th, 2021 | Collin Roland from Starkweather Creek | Link
We (1 17' canoe and a kayak) paddled Geise Park to Glenville Landing on May 31 at about 600 CFS. It was a beautiful paddle! One of the lesser rapids was a little bumpy, would love to see this reach with more flow.
Aug 18th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the updates...that new take-out is nice. Hopefully the city creates a nice launch area by Slumberland so paddlers can start their trip above the Hwy 12 rapids.
Jun 13th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's a great of my favorite Class 1 stretches in Southern Wisconsin. It's interesting that you got to paddle this at 600's really low now. 299 CFS and dropping...might not be that navigable for much of summer.
Jul 16th, 2018 | Daniel H. from Mirror Lake | Link
Paddled this very trip on July 8th with a friend of mine. Water might have been a little low because of dry conditions so the hiding rocks made for a bit of a bumpy ride at times. We both got wet just past Broadway Street. Being from the area, I was excited to paddle the Boo again (try to go at least once a year). Saw the ATV signs on 113 and wondered how much they talk... Love to read your experiences nearly every week. I direct people to this website all the time!
Aug 18th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this trip on Wed 8/12/20 levels were approx 400 cfs and 8.25 ft so there were a few bumpy sections and more rocks to avoid, but the drops were fun and splashy. For those of you using google maps, the Gander Mountain is now closed and the building vacant, but there is a Slumberland in the same parking lot that comes up on the map. The city is doing a lot of work on the Maxwell-Potter Conservancy and Liston Park, just past the Manchester street bridge on river right . They have redone the buildings, put in bathrooms, and installed a dedicated launch. If you just want to do the rapids this is a great place to take out.
Baraboo River: Giese Park to Gander World
Jul 2nd, 2017 | Jennifer Sellek from Black Earth Creek | Link
My husband and I did from Haskins Park to the Glenville landing at Hwy 113 last week. It was fantastic! The rapids through Baraboo were fun and the river was flowing fast. We did the trip in an hour. Our average speed (according to cell phone GPS) was 4.1mph and our fastest was 5.5mph. Something new to note is that there is a handicap accessible kayak/canoe ramp on the dock at Haskins Park. Very cool! We noticed it after we put in just upstream of the dock. I took a picture of it. If you want one to post on your site let me know and I'll email it to you. Thanks again for a great site!
Jul 31st, 2017 | Gail from Wisconsin River | Link
Three of us kayaked this section from Giese Park to Hwy 113 take out July 31, 2017. Water was running at 995 CFS, gauge height was 10.95 ft. The 7-mile trip took us about 3 hours of easy to moderate but steady paddling. Rapids were quite doable, there were no log jams, and it was a wonderful run. The concrete take-out at Hwy 113 had about 4 - 6 ins. of mud on it due to recent flooding. Kinda nasty.
Bark River – Delafield
Jun 18th, 2021 | Gary Kutzler from Rock River | Link
Been very dry. Last night storm motivated me to try. Gage just under 20CFS. Nice trip. Bumpy at the removed dam site above Upper Nemahbin. River was beautiful after Sawyer rd. Clear and hard bottom. Got out at Genesee Lake rd. Had to drag through some shallow just before Gen. Lk Rd. Easy Bike shuttle, little narrow on Sawyer Rd and a short section of Delafield Rd. Seemed like we had river to ourselves, but much evidence of river use based on the cars with kayaks and racks parked at put-ins and take-outs. All-In-All we had a great trip thanks to
Apr 29th, 2023 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled from Sawyer Rd. to Hwy 67 on 28Apr2023. This gauge was at 43CFS, 12.7FT: I'm not sure how well this gauge predicts paddling conditions, so we scouted at the Mill Rd. rocky riffles to see if we wanted to put-in in downtown Delafield. The water level looked scrapey, and I didn't feel like walking my kevlar canoe, so we put in below the weir/dam at Sawyer Rd. instead. (See this link to photos: ). The water was crystal-clear for almost the entire trip. Notable wildlife included a pileated woodpecker, sandhill cranes (flying), cardinals, lots of Canada geese and red-winged blackbirds. As usual, we portaged some of the pedestrian/farm bridges and ducked under others, but I recommed careful scouting. Beware of the large downed tree just past the arched pedestrian bridge downstream from Genessee Lake Rd. Unless this blockage gets trimmed, paddlers will probably want to portage around it. My friend managed to make it through (see video in photo album), but described it as "a little gnarly". As usual, we parked on Whitaker Ln. near the Hwy 67 takeout. The Bark River between Delafield and Hwy 67 is one of my favorite paddles in the area. Note to Aaron - maybe you want to update your descriptions of construction to reflect conditions in 2023. Also, during the summer, Sawyer to Genessee Lake Rd. has become a popular run for tubers, with lots of cars parked on the shoulder of Sawyer Rd. (Thanks, Aaron for this site.)
Oct 19th, 2017 | Theresa Stegemann from Bark River | Link
Thank you so much Aaron for your very helpful review. Six of us paddled this segment (Delafield to 67) on 10/19/2017 (CFS 31.7, Height 12.70'). Our group enjoyed this paddle very much and plan to keep it in our regular rotation. We put-in at the Delafield post office (across the street from St John's park), which eliminated having to transport our kayaks 400' at St John's park. After shuttling the cars to Whitiker Lane (at the intersection of Whitiker and 67 (Summit)), we transported the drivers in one car back to St Johns park to leave the car there. The put-in and take-outs were easy to manage. We were able to find our way into the cattail area channel on Lower Nemahbin Lake quite easily. On the day we paddled, the channel was much wider that what you describe as a tunnel. There was an area in the cattail channel, just as we were approaching Crooked Lake, where we could go either left or right. We initially chose right, but a low bridge would have required a portage. We decided to backtrack and follow the left channel which had low bridges that we could squeeze under. We were fortunate on this particular day that we were able to scoot our kayaks over the new spillway dam at Sawyer Rd and the water level was shallow enough that we were able to squeeze under numerous low bridges. I am happy to report that not a single portage was necessary the entire distance. Our favorite aspects of this segment of the Bark is the intimate river feel, ever changing landscape, quick current, rock garden run and crystal clear water.
Jun 25th, 2018 | Shelley from Lower Nemahbin | Link
Has anyone recently taken this trip in a canoe? In some of the photos and video posted the water levels seem quite low. I'm concerned about scrapping the bottom with the canoe. I'm also interested in knowing if there are any areas this year that need to be portaged. Thank you!
Apr 29th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Jon for all the updates. Hopefully somebody clears out those low branches by the arched bridge. I did just recently update the main review to show that the construction is done and the dam is mostly runnable. The news about the tubers is actually really bad. Tubers can be noisy, drunk and disruptive. Hopefully they don't ruin this stretch of the river for paddlers.
Jul 7th, 2018 | Jessica from FOX River | Link
So I'm sure this is a dumb question, but I'm a novice kayaker. Does anyone go down and then paddle back instead of shuttling cars back and forth?
Jun 21st, 2018 | Kristen from Columbia River | Link
Hi Aaron, i am curious about some of the photos. Can we learn more? Thanks
Jun 25th, 2018 | Shelley from Lower Nemahbin | Link
Does anyone know if you are able to get through the river at hwy 67 in Dousman? They are working on the bridge that crosses there, and there are signs posted about not crossing the river there. Just curious if you can still get through there.
Jul 16th, 2022 | Megan Ehster from Bark River Hartland | Link
My husband and I did this section of the Bark today. CFS around 23. I would highly recommend putting in at Sugar Island in Nemahbin and then taking out no later than the first HWY 18 Bridge. Delafield to Nemahbin is very shallow and we were constantly getting out of our yaks to get over rocks. It's a scenic stretch to be sure, but more frustrating than fun. After the 1st Hwy 18 bridge all the way to the Hwy 18 Wayside takeout is log jam after log jam. There are quite a few downed trees across the river that necessitate a portage. Again, this section is more frustrating than fun. I In between was beautiful and I would highly recommend.
Jun 21st, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Kristen. Each photo in this write-up corresponds to the above write-up and map. If you have specific questions, I would be happy to help you.
Jun 25th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The water levels are at 30 CFS now, which is much higher than the 18 CFS. I would aim for a minimum of 20 CFS...but you will still hit some rocks regardless. You could scout this before running...if too shallow, you could just do the section below I-94 which is much deeper. There are no real hazards, but there are a few low bridges that might need to be portaged later in the trip.
Jun 22nd, 2018 | Kristen from Columbia River | Link
Hi Aaron, ok, figured it out, a couple photos are near the Nemahbin Dam removal, if we would like to borrow images when discussing recreational opportunities around the removal, whom shall we talk to? Thanks
Jul 16th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update...I think these downed trees are recent as that stretch used to be open.
Jul 3rd, 2017 | Allison Curty from Bark River | Link
Hi, we took the canoe along this stretch today, this guide and photos were really helpful so thank you. We put in at Sawyer Rd. just below the dam, and took out at Summit/67. The water was high and fast and there were more bridges than I remember from the last time we paddled this. We passed easily under some, VERY narrowly squeaked under two more but had to portage three, including one that required a steep bank climb and descent, and the final (the farm bridge at the end) that required us lifting the canoe straight up and over and straight down, which was challenging for me and my kiddos. The rains have left a lot of downed trees and branches also, making navigation a little challenging in parts. We will look into the Delafield stretch next time, maybe taking out at Sugar Island. Anyway, thanks again for the info and the photos. Happy 4th!
Jun 18th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment...your timing is funny. I was just thinking of doing the Bark tomorrow.
Jul 27th, 2020 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this trip on 7/22 levels were about 33 CFS and 12.68 ft, higher than in your review but the water clarity was still fantastic. There is now a dedicated kayk/canoe launch across the street from the post office. Very nice concrete ramp that goes right into the water (see pics) There were a few low bridges to deal with but no blockages. I was able to get under all the bridges by laying down in my solo canoe but my paddle pal had to portage one bridge, but it is a very simple portage. We were both able to easily run the low head dam at Saywer Rd. Usually not recomended but it was easy and safe at these levels as there was plenty of water going over the lip and there was no backroller/hydraulic, but I cant speak for other levels. There were several people swimming there and they said kayakers run it all the time. We did a bike shuttle which I would strongly recommend as it is paved, fairly flat and goes through several very pretty areas. The amount of flowers, insects, wildlife and fish we saw was simply amazing, deer, eagles, owls, heron, crane, ducks, geese, muskrats, monarchs, swallow tails,and 1000's of dragonflies link to a couple of pics!AjC8S6n5i35VgnfajP3H8Km6SFSR!AjC8S6n5i35VgnfajP3H8Km6SFSR
Jul 12th, 2018 | Brad from Bark river | Link
You won't be able to due to the construction. But you can park on Whitaker ln and take out at the last bridge. The farm has a grass path to the east of the bridge that runs south to the road.
Jul 12th, 2018 | Brad from Bark river | Link
I've gone up river from genesee lake road to the nemahbin lakes several times. It might be a bit much at times for smaller children if that as a concern. However as long as you stay to the slower side of the river (typically the inside of the bends) it can be a nice way to work your way up to the lakes to spend time at one of the sand bars that always have people hanging out around. While still having a nice lazy river float down the bark to end the day.
Aug 15th, 2021 | Willie Gonwa from Underwood Creek | Link
I just Kayaked from Delafield to Hwy 67. There are no snags that impede navigation but the low water level caused a lot of walking through the water between Delafield and Upper Nemahbin Lke. It was a very nice paddle.
Aug 9th, 2021 | Cat Fleming from Menomonee River | Link
If anyone does the stretch from the Sugar Island launch to Whitaker Lane after the rain Aug 9th-10th, can you let me know if you come across any major obstacles and also the navigability of the bridges and low head dam? I am looking to take Girl Scout's on this stretch and need to assess skill level required. Thanks so much!
Apr 27th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Second hand report from April 27, 2024... "Bark River. Hwy 67 to Atkins Olson Memorial Park. Went today and had to portage 4 times for fully blocked river on the second half of the trip. . Be ready if you take this route."
Aug 1st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I honestly don't know if there are practical camping options on the Bark. Sorry :(
Aug 1st, 2021 | Richard Shaw from Brookfield | Link
Looking to a 2-3 day camping trip. I would like to do some fishing. Is that possible? If so, how do I set this up? Thank you.
Aug 12th, 2018 | Steve Bettwy from Pewaukee River | Link
Nice paddle and very much like you described. Two updates 1) They have re-done the river banks at the put-in in Delafield. The nice sloping grass is replace with a steeper bank and rip-rap rocks. Launching is still very do-able, but it's either a 2 person job now or a scrape across some rocks. The launch / take-out at the base of the dam is not as friendly anymore. There's still construction going on we'll see how it all ends up. 2) There is bridge construction at the Summit Rd take-out through Sept 2018. The river is actually closed about 2 miles upstream of that, right at the take-out at Genessee Lake Road.
Jun 15th, 2019 | Shawn from dousman | Link
So i live in dousman and if you go past 67 and on to the park takout o. The far side of dousman there are a few spots where a tree is particularly blooking the river. A bit past the BP you will hit the first it is low so you have to go over the second there is a small slot on the left hand side there is a 3rd a fair bit down river from there where someone cut a path through it. Thats all i can remember its a really nice trip but the water is not as clear as pre 67
Aug 12th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the updates!
Jul 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Eric for the update!
Jun 21st, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah the Post Office sounds like a nicer launch option than the park. The bike shuttle also sounds great and I wasn't aware it was paved. I do agree this is a must do trip for those living in SE Wisconsin...I would never have expected a Milwaukee suburb paddle to be so nice.
Jun 21st, 2019 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
We did the section from Delafield to Hwy67/Summit St. bridge in Dousman yesterday, with a bike shuttle. The water levels seemed perfect (39 cfs and 12.75 ft) just a few shallow spots and we were able to squeeze under all the bridges. The only portage was the low head dam, but that was very simple. Excellent water clarity and a nice current the whole way. This is a trip I would recommend to anyone, truly a delightfully diverse and enjoyable trip from start to finish. Great scenery, lots of wild life, some development, but we only saw a few other people and that was on the lakes. It would be a great trip for someone who wants to try a bike or walk/running shuttle, as it is only about 6.5 miles, and it is on paved level bike trails (Glacial Drumlin , Cushing Park, and Ice Age Trail) the whole way except for a very short 2 block section from the take out to where you get on the Glacial Drumlin bike trail. The trails lead right back to the post office and go through some beautiful natural areas. I would recommend putting in across the river from the Post Office as it is a bit more level and there is a small gravel parking lot for unloading (I'm not sure if you can leave a car there but there is street parking nearby) at the take out there is a spot for parking on the north side of Whitaker Lane, we spoke to a nearby resident and he said it was fine as long as you were off the road way. A must do trip for anyone in southeastern Wis, and one well worth traveling to for the rest of us.
Aug 28th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment!
Aug 28th, 2019 | Phil (PJ) Williams from The Bark at Delafield | Link
I was raised in Delafield from about 1950 until 1966. I now live in the Seattle area. Me and one of my friends had a canoe that we mostly used on Lake Nagawicka. But in around 1960 (I was about 12 or 13) we launched our canoe just below the Nagawicka dam and paddled to Upper Nemahbin. Your pictures brought back so many great memories. Wow. Thank you so much.
Jul 31st, 2020 | Joan from Mukwonago | Link
We put in at summit. We took out on e. The last 2 miles were horrible. Apparently there had been a tornado that took out a lot of trees. Guess where we found them. We had to wade in chest high water and pull our kayaks through it. Our 11 mile kayak trip took almost 8 hours because of the last two miles. Before that it has been beautiful. Saw an eagle cranes and even a painted turtle.
Jul 31st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
So that mess must have been between Hwy 18 wayside to E. It's too bad to hear about your experience...but hopefully others can learn from this.
Jul 7th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Typically no. The current is usually too strong. But there are exceptions. Flowage and lake paddles can be done as round trips. Some slow rivers like the Crawfish or Rock can be done (partly) also as round trips. I usually post the gradient on a review. Anything over 1' per mile is likely too fast to paddle against.
Jun 16th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That doesn't seem too's definitely on my todo list. Thx for the heads up.
Bark River – Hartland
Jun 21st, 2020 | Ryan Rodriguez from Elkhorn | Link
Google "kayak 2154128". In the website description it list a phone number for Clearwater outdoor in Lake Geneva. The number listed is incorrect. That number belongs to me. Please correct the number as I am recieving multiple calls a day asking for kayaks.
Jun 21st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
At the time the Delafield branch did list your phone number as the contact. This has been updated and you will no longer receive kayak inquiries from this website. Thanks for the heads up.
Bark River – Merton
Apr 26th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Bark has recently been cleared out from Centennial to Nixon Park which is great news!
Bark River – Rome
Jun 7th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I believe it! Southeast Wisconsin is I believe technically in a drought and it's really affected local rivers.
Jun 7th, 2021 | Jody from Bark River | Link
We "paddled" from Rome to Hebron on 06/07/21. ~1.54ft... Super low! We walked our kayaks a lot! Still a beautiful stretch. Saw a ducks, herons, turtles - maybe even the snapper you saw and a young bald eagle with a mature eagle.
Sep 19th, 2017 | Jack Manierre from Whitewater Lake | Link
I have kayaked the Bark on 3 different occasions. Saturday was our best trip. Put in Prince’s Point. Take out Burnt Village. Easy put in...gravel ramp. Take-out had improved concrete. Portapotty & picnick table at the take out. The bark has been cleared with no snags. 2 1/2 hrs-3 hrs. Mild current. No nearby farms or bridges crossing over the river. Abundant wildlife: eagle, cooper hawk, many blue herons, green herons aand kingfishers. Worth highlighting on the web site.
Oct 10th, 2015 | Theresa Stegemann from Bark River | Link
Thank you so very much for your excellent review. We kayaked from the Rome Pond Dam to Hwy 106 for a total of 9.6 miles, on October 9, 2015, @ 45 CFS. We did not have to portage at all. There were some areas where we scraped, but we could either scoot over those areas or walk our kayaks. Rapids were very mild and not quite class 1. The river was shallow enough to walk almost the entire distance. The highlight of the trip was the crystal clear water and ever changing scenery. Lots of maples were lit up with beautiful fall color and the wildlife was amazing! This truly was one of the best kayak outings of the year! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your awesome review! One thing: I worry about for future paddles on this stretch of the Bark, I noticed, after returning home, that the CFS climbed to above 70 CFS. There was no rain that day, so I'm assuming that water was released upstream for some other reason. I worry that I would unknowingly be in a situation of high/fast water. Do you know anything about the Bark's CFS fluctuations?
Dec 9th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback Jonathan. I'm surprised that you had some hangups at 74 CFS.
Dec 9th, 2020 | Jonathan from Starkweather | Link
Paddled from Pickets to Hagedorn Rd. on 09Dec2020. Rome gauge at 74 cfs at ~2.06 ft. Some scraping and hanging up, especially below Cushman Rd. I'd recommend taking out at Cushman if in doubt about how much water you need to avoid knuckle walking your kayak.
Oct 23rd, 2015 | Timothy Bauer from Madison | Link
Also, for point of reference, there are two alternate takeouts in between Rome and Hebron. The first is at the confluence of Duck Creek and the Bark River, along Hagedorn Rd (hard to find but easy to access; there's a walking trail that many others have used -- plus it's a great alternative to the "ask for permission" dilemma at Cushman Rd immediately upstream)​. The second is at the Hebron Campground just downstream from the fun drop at the dam remnants at Green Isle. The owners of the campground, Ralph and Joann, are very nice and supportive of paddlers. There's no official launch, but it's easy to use the grassy banks, and parking is nearby.
Dec 13th, 2015 | Timothy Bauer from Madison | Link
FYI, I paddled this exact trip yesterday, Dec. 12, 2015, at 125 cfs. The riffles were delightful, and the 1-2 light rapids were fun play! It was an overcast drizzly day, but still the river was clear. Water clarity was not compromised at all despite the higher level. 125 cfs is the highest I've paddled this mid-section of the Bark, and I absolutely recommend it!
Oct 22nd, 2015 | Timothy Bauer from Madison | Link
I've been on this segment of the Bark as high as 90 cfs, and it is by no means dangerous. I've been on it as low as 40 cfs, and the difference between the trips in terms of depth or current speed was not terribly notable. Except for in times of intense rain, this segment is typically below 80 cfs due to the decent gradient.
Dec 20th, 2015 | Timothy Bauer from Madison | Link
One final update: I paddled this again yesterday, 12/19/15, at a shocking 250 cfs. Put in at Rome, took out at Green Isle bridge in Hebron, just below the 2' drop. The current was swift from Rome to the Duck Creek confluence, the riffles were exquisite, and the light rapids approaching Cushman were wavy and rollicking. Water clarity was hardly compromised at all despite the higher level, and rarely was the river deeper than 2'. After Duck Creek the gradient disappears in a floodplain forest more reminiscent of the lower Bark by Prince's Point and Burnt Village. The notable exception to that is the short mile-and-change segment below Hwy 106. There the current picks up again, the gradient increases, and it's constant riffles and light rapids. At 200+ cfs there were fun standing waves below the pedestrian bridge, and the rapids at the dam remnants in Hebron, immediately upstream from Green Isle Rd bridge, were raging. There's a formidable backroller hydraulic at the bottom of the drop in the center section -- be careful. My friend got caught in it and capsized -- and it was 23 degrees outside! (He's fine; the car was right there.) It's a rare river than can be paddled at 41 cfs and 250 cfs without its appearance or the experience of paddling it changing drastically!
Oct 6th, 2016 | Barry from Rock River | Link
We paddled yesterday from Slabtown to Cushman. It was very pleasant. We like it better than Princes Point to Rock River.
Beaver Dam River
Jun 24th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great news! I'll post an update on social media tonight to let other paddlers know.
Apr 22nd, 2018 | Jonathan from Starkweather | Link
Paddled Cooper St. to Hwy S at 100 CFS. A couple of scrapey spots, but otherwise a fun 1.5 hour paddle. Saw 3 juvenile bald eagles upstream from Hwy 151, and one downstream a bit. (Was probably one of the 3 from upstream.) Boat control needed to avoid strainers.
Apr 24th, 2018 | Smoking Joking from Beaver Dam | Link
First 150 CFS all day A gift from the city of Beaver dam Please show and thank them. May 5th. 2nd the day of the city's great beaver paddle June 9th. I will be hosting and guiding a trip thru meet up my wilderness adveture group if you would like to paddle with me. But no need to sign up The river is public and has been cleared the logs before the tracks are gone the the tree by craft is gone I paddled it today with a chain saw It is open and lots of fun at 150 CFS This was a hard one to catch at the right flow NO MORE! It took almost a year and a few meetings with the city but I got er done! The city is also looking into a WW park downtown!
Apr 24th, 2018 | Smoking Joking from Wisconsin | Link
Hi guy's guess what. I was just at a meeting with the city and they are going to be doing weekend water adjustments for paddling!!!!
Jun 24th, 2019 | Joseph Schroeder from JUNEAU | Link
All the big tree's by Kraft just south of mill st. Were removed today 6/24/19 Crane service and tree service. It is very nice wide open. There was a tree by cooper it has been removed. There is one tree about half way down to Hwy J. We have cut a passage there is a canoe stuck in it also. This run should be wide open and we are getting a flow adjustment this weekend the 29th june 2019 start at cooper for experienced paddlers and cooper for no so experienced paddlers. Start time 10 am. Come and have some fun!
Jul 14th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great to hear that this leg is finally in good shape.
Jun 7th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Update as of June 7th, 2024...there is a nasty logjam after the Davis Street bridge. Here is the approximate location of the jam:
Jun 26th, 2019 | Joe M Schroeder from Juneau | Link
other date's for 2019 July 13th, aug 10th and 24th, sept 21st. Planning a prerun tomorrow to make sure it is open for the big one this weekend free kayak live music and deals on ice cream on dogs.
Jun 26th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update...I posted this on Facebook as well which should help get the word out.
Apr 22nd, 2017 | Mythbusta from Coloma | Link
We literally just paddled this! There's a book by Timothy Bauer that gave us the idea. Paddling Southern Wisconsin or something like that? You should get it, I bet you'd like it. Thanks agin, just brought back instant memories. It was such a fun trip. Sounds like we liked it more though. Ha ha ha. Take care!
Jul 14th, 2019 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section from Cotton Mill Park to Canary Rd on 7/9/19 (approx 190 CFS/ 840 FT) Fantastic Trip, perfect levels for running the low head damn (usually a big no no) and all the rapids, a few obstacles to avoid but no major jams the entire trip. I was planning on doing a bike shuttle, but County G was very busy with heavy construction traffic, so I decided to try hitchhiking for the first time in 20 years, and I got a ride in less than 10 mins! All in all an absolutely perfect trip
Jul 11th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
SmokingJoking from Youtube posts that he has cleaned up the river and there are no jams (as of this writing) from the dam to Hwy J.
Apr 24th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update!
Jan 6th, 2023 | Mike manthey from Fond du Lac | Link
Did this trip in spring of 2022. Small log jam in beginning, but managed to get through. It’s just south of Kraft Factory. Then great ride to the train bridge. Shortly past that huge log jam, got scratched and scraped up trying to climb over it. We made it to the next road just passed J”, better parking options . Despite the log jams was a great ride. Even city portion seemed as if u were not in the city .
Apr 17th, 2023 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
A friend and I did this trip on 4/13/23, water level was 840 ft and 230 CFS, making for a fun and exciting trip. There were no major obstacles, but there were some things to avoid, as well as some 2-3 ft standing waves that made us wish we had thought to bring our skirts. Luckily it was warm and windy so we dried off quickly. This was truly a delightful trip, with numerous sections of fun riffles and several drops just challenging enough to be exciting. While nothing was too dangerous at this level, a certain amount of skill and moving water experience is required before paddling this river at these levels, especially in the first section. We put-in (Zelenskyed ?) right across the street from Annabel’s Ice Cream Parlor, where there is a parking lot and a dedicated canoe/kayak launch. Be sure to scout the low head dam under Madison St. as it is just a few feet downstream and you want to be ready for it, alternatively there is another dedicated launch 100 ft upstream if you want to give yourself some extra time to pick your line. There is a new dedicated takeout on river right downstream of the Hwy J bridge with a gravel parking lot and room for several cars. video/map/pics Photos
Jan 6th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update! Hopefully those two logjams get cleared out in the future.
Apr 23rd, 2018 | Jonathan from Starkweather | Link
The put in was downstream from factory (Cooper St). Old railroad bridge was fine, but there were a couple of others that could be tricky depending on skill and water levels and boat type. Thanks for the website!
Apr 17th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks as always Eric for the updates. The new landings are great news as is the removal of the fence(s). I've updated the main maps to add notes about the new access points.
Apr 23rd, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the feedback Jonathan! By were the logjams? Has anybody cleared out that nasty one by the Cream Cheese Factory? What about the one before the old railroad bridge?
Belle Fountain Creek
Jul 22nd, 2019 | jacki barbeaux from fox river | Link
This past Sunday, July 21, 3 of us kayaked the Belle Fountain river from Gillette Rd bridge to Lover's lane Bridge. We had wanted to go to Hwy B bridge ( that is where the truck was parked) but due to the bog shrubs making the creek impassible a couple turns past the lover's lane bridge we turned around. Note to self - don't forget portable hand saw!Not a bad paddle. The weather was quite pleasant with a gust of breeze here and there. Creek does get pretty narrow in some spots. Would I do it again? Probably not as the scenery was tall grass and bog shrubs. Many deer in water and drinking along bank was a plus. Seen 1 great blue heron. Lots of spiders and horseflies by the shrubs which now in July are pretty overgrown on the banks. Looks alot different in July from the pics in April!
Jul 22nd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, spring is actually a nice time to do creeks like this as they are more open then. It's too bad to hear about the part between Lover's Land and Hwy B (it was navigable when I ran it). My favorite part is actually from Hwy B to the Marsh and that can be done as a round trip. Thanks for commenting.
Big Eau Pleine River
Feb 4th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Gary for the comment and sorry for the delay in getting back to you (I've been having some system issues). I actually have seriously considered doing some Florida Rivers before...they look terrific!
Aug 10th, 2015 | Alix from Big Eau Pleine | Link
As a Stratford native, we paddle this river often. It is a great trip when the water is high, but in the middle of summer, water levels get low and make the pushing over the shallow sections, or getting out and pulling the kayak over, more work than it is worth. There are many rapids along the river, and all are navigable even in high water, even for an amateur paddler like myself. We often put in at March Rapids, and depending on available time, we will pull out at the "rendering plant" off of Hillside St. There is good parking here and is a semi-popular fishing spot. If we have more time, we paddle past Big Rapids and pull out where Equity St. curves next to the river. Here, parking is on the road, which doesn't get much traffic. I've never taken it as far as the M bridge, but now I'll have to! My husband has put in at Cherokee before as well, so that is always an option. It certainly is a beautiful piece of river!
Dec 18th, 2018 | Gary Kutzler from Rock River (not the best) | Link
Just want to say this is a valuable site. I used it to discover the Bark river which is just a bit south of us . The only drawback of the trip was my girlfriend realizing at the end that she left her keys in the put-in car at Pickets. The way you have the star rating, video and pictures is also great. Keep up the good work, I'm planning next years Wisconsin trips with the info I get through this site. Thanks a lot and have a nice winter. Florida is another great place for paddling, we try to get down there every winter. Once spent 5 days in Everglades starting in fresh water out to the gulf (my girlfriends favorite vacation). Also north Florida the Santa Fe river, St Marks, Ichetuknee and many more unbelievably clear rivers. If you ever get a chance to escape the cold in the winter, I highly recommend Florida paddling. Gary
Apr 4th, 2017 | Jeremy from Big Eau Pleine | Link
Great review and amazing pictures. Got into kayaking last year after my girlfriend got me a kayak. Which i also bought a house just south of Cherokee park which the river runs right through the back yard. So plenty of opportunity to run the river north of big rapids. During a big rain in August 2016 I put in 10 miles north of Cherokee on the river, 1 mile north of Hwy A that runs to Dorchester. Much smaller "creek" normally, but with the rains it was flowing great. Going through cow-fields and watching out for barb wire fencing going across the river made it interesting. A nice lazy, curvy river, through fields and woods that you normally wouldnt be able to go in. There is also another dam halfway between Hwy A and Hwy 29 that you need to go over. The closer you get to Cherokee Park the more rapids are encountered. The high water made it relatively easy, much lower and it would be challenging (I dont know what height it was at when I ran it). Between 29 and Cherokee park There are 3-4 sets of much larger rapids. Hiking north in Cherokee park along the river and you can see 2 areas that are a boulder field. Made it right over the dam at Cherokee under the watchful eyes of about 20 Mennonites that were having a get-together at the park that day. Then south of Cherokee park there is about a 500' stretch of another boulder field. Navigable only in higher waters. Also where I tipped over right at the end of the rapids. From that point I've traveled to March Rapids park many times and Big Rapids park a handful of times. Also one time to Hwy M. Very nice stretch of water from Cherokee to Big Rapids. Many sets of easier rapids with sections of lazy river. Plenty of forest areas, a few rocky bluffs, but mostly mud or sand for sides and banks. Deer, turkey and eagles are seen quite a bit.
Big Eau Pleine River – Cherokee Park
Jun 4th, 2019 | Austin from Mill/Hemlock Creek, Yellow/Wisco River | Link
Hello! Long time no comment.. Great review, I want to definitely experience this river this year. Not sure if I have pics but I've done the March Rapids to Big Rapids section and it is possibly the best section of "easy" class 2 rapids around and that i've ever run. It is of course very scenic and pleasant too, plus it has a gauge. The bike shuttle is a bit crummy so that's the only real issue. I hit it at basically the same level both times; 440-550 CFS. I didn't find that level to be pushy at all and it completely covers all the rapids in sufficient water; it was one of only a few completely "clean" runs I've ever had(as in not hitting a single rock). I find bumping into rocks to be very jarring and unnerving, plus have had some goofy pins from them. So I try to paddle at higher levels to avoid this. Ideally i try to find that sweet spot where the rapids are nice and covered yet the water isn't overwhelming in force.. I think this river offers a really good opportunity to experience that well balanced ratio of sufficient water, rapids and being relatively safe. I'd imagine at somewhat lower levels then i ran it, say 220-380 CFS it becomes quite the opposite experience with lots of rock bashing or scraping plus still some force in the water for a harsh paddle.. Those are rough estimates of course and my opinion! Not sure were the higher end would start maxing out for us intermediate white water paddlers.. 400-700 CFS is my recommendation for anyone looking for a very solid class 2 whitewater run, from March Rapids to Big Rapids ONLY. I have no first hand knowledge of the other sections. They look like they could be a bit trickier at higher levels unlike the March-Big rapids section unfortunately. Hazelnut to Big Rapids would be a bit of a paddle. If any rapids below Hazelnut are Class 3, or difficult 2's that would be a consideration also. There is a hole, mid river near the take out at Big Rapids Park but it is not keepy, just random and unsettling. It is a kind of "flashy" river, drops fast! Hope anyone interested gets a chance at some point tho, definitely a 5 star paddle. If anyone wants to hit this up sometime when right around that sweet spot of 500CFS email me at: or for other intermediate white water paddles!
Jun 4th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great to hear from you again Austin! Lot of great depth information you provided which will help readers. If you ever do the section above Cherokee Park, let me know how that turned out.
Big Eau Pleine River – Hazelnut Rd
Jul 28th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, the Big Eau Pleine is such a frustrating river to time. It's interesting that you got so much rain up north...we hardly got any here in the Dells. The gauge references you provided are helpful and should assist other paddlers in determining when/how to time a trip on the river.
Jul 28th, 2021 | Daniel Akin from Marshfield, WI | Link
Went on the Big Eau Plaine yesterday, July 27, 2021. River was the only one in our area that had good levels because of some rain in the morning so we chose to go from March Rapids to Big Rapids Park. Since the rain was centered in Colby and south of Hwy 29, this river rose quickly. Water was at 500 CFS and at 5.25 height according to USGS Gauge when we went at 600 pm. River was pushy, flowing fast, but we were with a group of five veteran paddlers so, we were fine. I wouldn't go when it was much higher. I think we went over several rapids and never even knew it, but the ones we went through were rolling pretty good and we got splashed, skirts would have helped! Trip took us 1:20 and we didn't rush it in the quiet areas. Final Rapids at the park is always a good finish. Took out at spot near the parking area which is very nice. River crested at about 500 CFS yesterday at about 700 pm and then I see it had dropped down to 200 24 hours later. Probably too low now.
Big Eau Pleine River – March Rapids Park
Jul 11th, 2020 | Daniel Akin from Little Eau Plaine River | Link
First Time Ever (Friday, July 10, 2020) and Based on Your Review from earlier this year. Put in at March Rapids was a bit steep and this needs to remedied. Water Level was at 400 at Stratford Gauge and dropping fast. It was at 900 around midnight.. Water Level was OK, I wouldn't want to do this stretch any lower than this. we did scrape on a few of the rapids, they were a lot of fun and we always made it through. With four of us in kayaks, spacing was important. Pretty Wide River, much wider than the Yellow River to the South and Little Eau Plaine, which is nice because no trees can block this entire width of this river and cause trouble. 6/7 different rapids and the one near the end was easier than I expected. Stars: 4, Put-in March Rapids, Take-out Big Rapids Park, Date 07/10/2020, Time 2 hours, CFS 300-400,
Jul 11th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Daniel for the review. As for the steep put-in by March Rapids Park...there are multiple paths to the river. Some lead to better access areas than others. It's good to know that 400 CFS is a good baseline. I also agree that Big Rapids weren't that bad...there are actually multiple sections of rapids upstream of there that are more difficult IMO.
Big Green River
Jun 5th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the updated. I do need to check out the stretch you did...great news that the floods cleared out that logjam. Be warned if you do the upper stretches, rapids, shallow water, and fences are an issue.
Jun 5th, 2024 | Charlie from Lower Wisconsin River | Link
I was just on the lower Big Green River today (6/5/24). I launch at the Woodman Landing and paddle upstream since it is a fairly lazy river on that end, then float back to the car when I'm done. For the past couple of years I've been stuck by a log jam not too far in, but today - either due to the higher water or the jam finally breaking up - I was able to get through. There was another jam shortly afterwards, but I was able to work some logs free and make a path through. After that I kept going under the bridge on 133. Around there the river changes from a murkier, wide river to a more narrow, shallow, and clear river. I kept going until I hit a log jam that was impenetrable, a little ways short of the Highway K. I'll definitly have to paddle the upper part of the river as it sounds terrific!
Big Rib River – Amco Park
Oct 25th, 2018 | Danelle from Little Black River | Link
A friend and I did from Amco Park to Big Rib Falls Park on October 24th 2018 gauge height of 2.77. The river was a decent height, we scraped 5/6 times, were able to get under a fallen tree (wasn't easy but current wasnt strong so it was doable), had to portage around a cluster of accumulated down fall in one spot (here if water would have been even 4 inches higher we could have gotten around it), and had to do some quick side to side maneuvering a couple times to avoid tree limbs hanging into our path. Was a very enjoyable trip for cold weather (I normally like a little more adventure but that increases the chances of getting wet and that's no fun in the cold!!) There are a lot of areas that go around little islands and miraculously all our choices of sides to take didn't lead us into any blocked paths!! I would definitely recommend this section to kayakers new to the sport as long as they are able to get in and out of their kayaks with ease, have the strength and paddle control to maneuver quickly when needed!! Obviously the river changes and can be a whole new experience with very little fluctuation of the water level and strainers can pop up out of no where!! Happy Paddling!!!??
Oct 25th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment! It sounds like you did a much longer trip than I did in taking out at Big Rib Falls Park...that latter section is definitely on my todo list.
Big Slough
Apr 16th, 2018 | Katie from Colorado River | Link
I grew up in Lewiston Township, not too far from Briggsville and the Big Slough. Nice article. Learned a lot and live the photos.
Jun 15th, 2018 | Paul from Lake Wisconsin | Link
Which corner of The Malish rd Bridge did you launch at? Northwest Northeast Southwest Southeast? as it is quite grown when I drove by... thanks
Apr 16th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the comment Katie!
Apr 16th, 2017 | Rick Falk from Neenah Creek, WI | Link
I now own ancestral land that borders the Neenah Creek, and the Big Slough has been a friend to me for 30+ years now.Thank you for the awesome history lesson! I had no idea...I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.
Jun 15th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
South-east (upstream side). Things might have changed...I did this trip a while ago in spring. You might be able to put in upstream at Muskrat Road, but the creek is narrow up there.
Billings Creek
Aug 15th, 2021 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
We paddled Billings Creek from the Ice Cave parking lot to Landing 10 on the Kickapoo on Aug. 15, 2021. Kickapoo gauge at Ontario was about 117 CFS, but I'm not sure how well it correlates because Billings drains such a small area. The recent heavy rains deposited debris about 5 ft. above the current water level, and flattened much of the vegetation along the banks. We didn't see any boats from outfitters or tubers on the Kickapoo. (Aside from a canoe from Drifty's that was entangled in fallen trees in a giant logjam.) Obstacles: At this water level we scraped quite a bit, but only had one portage. A thin layer of mud on the banks at the portage made the footing slippery, but not too bad. We also had to get out once to pull our boats over a tree across the stream. Not far downstream from the put-in was a very tight s-turn between two logs. One of the canoes was too long to navigate it and pinned in shallow water while trying to back out. Fortunately, the Creek isn't too pushy and he was able to empty the water out of the boat before any damage occurred. I recovered the floating items from his yard sale. Notable wildlife: Bald eagle, great blue herons, kingfishers, goldfinches and cedar waxwings. It took us a little over 3 hours to paddle the 5.5 miles, but we stopped to admire the scenery frequently. Here's a link to a photo album:
Aug 15th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great pictures! Billings Creek is really underrated...if not overshadowed by the Kickapoo it would be a destination paddle itself.
Bittersweet Lakes State Natural Area (SNA)
Dec 6th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the info!
Feb 12th, 2024 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
Oberland lake does have a very rough road to it, probably best to have high clearance and 4 wheel drive, additionally the road is unmarked, so I would strongly recommend boating in rather than driving.
Apr 21st, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I honestly don't know. You might call the DNR to make sure.
Dec 30th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm honestly not sure. I suggest contacting the DNR...they should know for certain.
Feb 14th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Definitely let us know how the trip turns out!
Feb 14th, 2022 | Dave from Des planes river (DPR) | Link
I haven't made the trip yet but I was looking at these lakes and considering a 3 day kayak/camping trip here. after reading this I will certainly go in the spring. I will provide feedback afterwards. thank you for taking the time to provide this information.
Dec 27th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Honestly, I'm not sure. You might contact the DNR for more information.
Dec 27th, 2022 | Brett Crandall from LENA | Link
I know each site has a tent pad, fire ring and picnic table. Is there a latrine?
Jan 27th, 2022 | Davd A Jenks from Madison | Link
Hi Chad - You can reserve campsites in the Bittersweet Lakes area by going to the following: From there you have to click on the circle that says 'Boat-in' Where is says 'Park' you have to choose 'Northern Highlands - American Legion State Forest Choose 'Tent', your dates, and click on 'Search' A map will show up. Choose 'South Campgrounds' The screen that will pop up next will show 'Bittersweet Wild Lakes' Click on it and it will show you the four lakes and five rustic campsites. It take a bit more effort to reserve a campsite but, just like getting to the place itself, the extra effort will be worth it. Good luck!
Dec 6th, 2022 | Kammy from Chicago River | Link
Thanks so much for posting! My husband and I made a trip in September and camped at Oberlin Lake. Beautiful spot! For those asking about checking in: You reserve the campsite online, then check in at Clear Lake Visitor Station once you arrive. They give you a sticker to put inside your car.
Dec 30th, 2023 | Eaan Carson from Fort Atkinson | Link
i'd like to camp at oberlin lake. to get into oberlin lake, how do you access it? wisconsin going to camp indicates boat in but google maps doesn't show any water to access it. what am i missing?
Jun 7th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I honestly don't know. Let me email Eric here and see if he can assist on this.
Apr 21st, 2022 | Jason Van De Kreeke from SHEBOYGAN Falls | Link
I have a trip planned for June at the Big rock site. Do we need to check in anywhere before setting up?
Jun 7th, 2021 | Chad M. Van Laanen from Little Chute Lock #2 - Fox River | Link
Checking to see if you know how to get a camp site in the Bittersweet Lakes(Vilas Cty). Are they by permit? First come, first served? Thanks!
Jul 31st, 2021 | Trevor Listol from Waunakee | Link
Black Earth Creek – Black Earth to Mazomanie
Aug 18th, 2014 | John F Wick | Link
1.The field on the west side of the Shoe Box looks like a good spot to park the car, unload off the street and launch. I have not yet talked to owner Steve. 2.We are working on the problem of the fences across the creek. 3.Olson Road bridge is a great launch site. Park and launch on the east side. 4.Two Bridges with shelter, trail head and porta potty is a good stopping point below bridge on left. 5.We are working on railroad bridge debris just downstream from Two Bridges. 6.State street below bridge on left is mowed county land sold by Schumann to county, mowed to creek by Schumann for a great downtown landing and launch and they approve use. 7.At walking Iron Park 200 yards downstream from the small trail bridge I mowed a trail into a good landing/launch site north of the rest room and pumping station.
Jun 26th, 2018 | gaila olsen from black earth | Link
We got the cattle gate up and running on Sunday June 24th. The prototype hangs more vertical but the newer model is a little bit more angled because it has a longer swing arm for me to push aside when I come through with a boat. We used chains too, so we can go back and adjust the height and the swing arm if we want to. The other fence just has a latch attached with pvc pipes. We kept both openings narrow. Also you can see how the fence is about 'shot'. The farmer says he hopes to put in a new fence next year. My husband and I have used a chainsaw on previous big trees that have gotten hung up on the we know that the fence has seen lots of abuse in its 25 years of service. The farmer will go look at the gate this week and if he likes it...then it stays put...if he doesn't then he will have to figure out plan B. If you don't hear from me again for awhile...that means that he likes our kayak gate. Also we put a sign up at the shoe box saying there is a cattle fence up ahead that will require paddlers to get out at river right and push/pull through. Then about 100' before the fence we have a sign saying to pull out river right. The famer might mow the bank there so folks can get out easier because the long grass/weeds are hanging out so far now that it is tough to see that there even is a bank next to the fence. However, some of us did weed whack some of the tall grass on Sunday. Folks should realize that the creek there is shallow but fast. Gaila
Jul 14th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Apr 27th, 2020 | Gaila Olsen from Black Earth Creek | Link
Say…paddled from shoe box to john’s landing yesterday on the black earth creek. The cattle fence is easy to negotiate (but you have to get out to do it) cuz even tho the second strand has disappeared the first strand of barb wire is still hanging in there but it is covered with junk and sitting low in the water. But it was easy to pull into a newly developed inlet on river right just in front of the first strand…then pull one’s boat over the debris and jump in. From Olson Road…there has been quite a bit of river traffic…play boats actually for the drops up to two bridges (wolf run trail head). After two bridges…creek is do-able (with one narrows and downed tree to skim through or do the easy portage on river left…we sawed/snipped branches off for you yesterday) up to Pearl’s landing on hwy Y = state street. After that there is a huge- huge jam…from the banks eroding and trees sliding in. we did manage (not easily with my 12’ kayak) to go completely river left, scoot under a fallen tree and then pull ourselves through a 40’ narrows that has developed between the bank and tree roots. But just ahead is another smaller jam. It has become semi-do-able after we sawed/snipped branches from river left. But remember…some of these obstacles may not be do-able depending on water level. A fast current with a longer boat could be a problem because it might slam you into the jams. Then it was down to John’s landing. I might do this trip with some friends again on Thursday….but for now, Pearl’s landing seems like a nice place to pull out. Those jams and steep banks (for potential portages??) are iffy for folks who don’t know how to control their boats in a faster current.
Apr 27th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks as always for the updates Gaila
Jun 8th, 2018 | gaila olsen from black earth | Link
Putting in at the above listed spot near the park is not suggested. The culvert bridge to go under and potential trees that are there are not worth the effort. There is a new landing at the Shoe Box which avoids all of this. However, at present we are asking folks to put in at Olson Rd. My husband, myself, and other locals are trying to come up with a way to make the cattle fence obstacle less challenging. Kayakers have to know that we are working on it along with the farmer and other locals. The stream (which no one ever use to paddle) has become exponentially popular so that the old techniques of getting through the fence is not working anymore...especially when folks do not rehook the latches. There are young calves crossing the stream now who are curious and last year one of their 'moms' got out on hi-way we want to come up with a solution that makes both farmer and kayers (like myself) happy. stay tuned...we are working on it. and we thank you for your patience. .
Jul 31st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update as always Jon. John Wick and Gaila Olson have done fantastic work for the creek.
Jul 31st, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
07/15/2020 via Mad City Paddlers discussion forum: "The annoying cattle fence, which is about 1 1/2 miles downstream from the Shoebox put in, has now been improved for paddlers to easily navigate over, thanks to money donated by philanthropist John Wick for this much needed update. Per Gaila Olsen, Black Earth Creek steward, the strands of barbed wire with sharp edges have now been replaced with two simple non-electric cables that swoop down across the creek like the Golden Gate Bridge. 95% of the time you can just slip over them. If the creek ever became super low (which does not occur hardly at all any more) you can possibly skim under on the right hand side or just get out and push yourself under on the right hand side. There is also now a sign about 100 feet before the cable saying cattle fence ahead and a sign at the Shoebox now says cattle fence ahead 1.5 mile non-electric cable. This cattle fence improvement will now make the paddle from the Shoebox to John's Landing a pleasant, fun outing! A special thank you to both John and Gaila for making this happen!"
Black Earth Creek – Mazomanie
Dec 6th, 2022 | Eric from Wingra Creek | Link
We took advantage of a late fall sunny day and did this trip on Nov/27/22, levels were a bit low (37 CFS and 2.25 ft) but it was still a great fall trip. It is interesting to see how much more of the landscape you can see after all the leaves drop and the plants die back. We were surprised to see all the work being in Mazo. They are doing stream bank improvement and repairing damage from the 2018 floods. Unfortunately it is fairly ugly right now, and there are a few small blockages to deal with so probably not a good time to paddle (but I suspect there are not too many people like myself who try to paddle all year around in Wisconsin) From what I understand when they are done it is going to be better than ever... so I guess it is the Badfish and Lake columbia for me until the spring thaw. Here is a link to a video/map/pics of our trip using an app that I highly recommend called Relive
Oct 22nd, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section from Olson Rd to the Wolf Run trail head, with a short easy bike shuttle. This would be a great trip for someone who wants to try some easy fun whitewater. I would have liked to do a longer paddle but I did it on a bit of a lark, as I had my dog with me so she had to run along on the bike shuttle. The Wolf Run trail was the perfect length, about 2 miles and it runs right from the take out to right behind The Wisconsin Heights High School, which is only 1/4 mile down Olson road from the put-in. The whole trip from dropping of the boat,driving to the end, biking back,paddling the creek, loading the boat, and driving back to get my bike took just over 2 hours. A great way to spend a 78 degree late Oct afternoon
Dec 7th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's too bad to hear about these "stream bank improvements". I appreciate the update as always.
Aug 8th, 2022 | Jon B from Starkweather | Link
Paddled from Olson Rd. to Lions Park on 08Aug2022 at about 120 CFS. At this level some of the wave trains gave a lapful of water in the absence of a spray skirt. We had a fun time surfing several little rapids. Boat control and short kayaks helped us navigate through some deadfall in the section through town. We sneaked through some tight spots, rammed over some logs, etc. At lower water levels, some portaging might be needed. Link to photo album:
Oct 1st, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this section last weekend (9/23) and it was fantastic, water was clean and fast with no obstructions. The numerous wing dams had just enough drop to make it fun and exciting but still enjoyable and safe for my companion who had never kayaked before. There is a dedicated bike trail that runs from Mazo to right behind the High School that took us less than 15 mins, and is a perfect option for a bike shuttle so you only need one car. Had a great inexpensive lunch at a small cafe called the Base Camp Cafe on Brodhead Street in Mazo.
Oct 18th, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled from Olson Rd. to Lions Park on 18Oct2019 at 105 CFS. Additional trees are down in town since I paddled it in August. I managed to sneak through without portaging, but the banks are steep and eroded in this section, so portaging would be difficult. Unless you have a short boat and good skills at getting through logjams, I wouldn’t recommend paddling past N. State St. unless water levels are quite a bit lower than 105 CFS. The waves worth playing in are mostly between Olson Rd. and Crescent St. (Wolf Run Two Bridges Trailhead.)
Aug 9th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thank Jon for the update.
Nov 16th, 2015 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Nov. 15, 2015 - Olson Rd to Walking Iron park at ~40 CFS, 2 ft at USGS Black Earth gauge (but noticed a physical gauge stick that read about 1.5 ft. part way through trip.) Downed tree just past Hwy 14 bridge required climbing out to pull over, but only a couple of other hang ups on gravel if reading the creek carefully.
Jun 8th, 2019 | Rick Hannah from Six mile creek | Link
Ran this section on June 3, at 90 cfs. Wonderful paddling, until I got into Mazo, specifically past the Co. Y bridge. Ran into a tree, spanning across the creek, which became a difficult portage. Ended up dumping. Rather harrowing. Be very careful when approaching this, especially in higher water. There was a portage before this one that was very easy to navigate.
Jun 8th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yikes...appreciate the heads up.
Aug 30th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I just received a noticed that Black Earth Creek will be closed from Olson Road to Wolf Run Trail head (Two Bridges) for all of September 2020. If I hear anything further, I will post an update here.
Nov 12th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Eric just shared a really relive replay of this trip (nice map/timeline/pictures). This trip was done in early November, which if warm enough can be a surprisingly nice time to do a trip.
Jun 12th, 2019 | Gaila Hagg Olsen from black earth | Link
In Mazo below the high way 14 bridge inexperienced paddlers might get swept down the vee, river left, into some tree limbs hanging out on the side…courtesy of the spring flood. Further down through town there are at least three trees down….some gathering benches and picnic tables. My husband and I did paddle the entire stretch on Sunday the 4th and didn’t have problems but we used our smaller 10’6” kayaks and in our younger years we were white water canoeists….so we still have a few moves in our memory banks that help us work our way through the obstacles!! Gaila
Jun 13th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the updates Gaila.
Jun 13th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the info.
Jul 14th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A unique drone video of Black Earth Creek from Black Earth to Mazo was recently released. I highly recommend watching it:
Jun 30th, 2019 | Gaila Hagg Olsen from Black Earth Creek | Link
OK…I do give up . Just got off the creek (from wolf run trail to john’s landing) again in time before the storm came through this morning around 11:30. But here is the latest: Blockage #1 that Gary, I , Jared, Chris had two encounters of the close kind with finally got taken out a few days ago with Gary’s chainsaw and we also sawed the 30’ section that fell off the river right bank into smaller pieces. Well, today #1 was alive and well but with a smaller tree that had cut across the curve with that very fast current. Our bowsaws took that limb down but we couldn’t catch the tree as it floated away…wanted to chop it into smaller pieces. But there is now no blockage #1 on that tight curve after Hudson Bridge. Blockage #2. Was taken out by a paid contractor a few weeks ago and it is gone. Blockage #2.5….the new kid on the block just showed up today and there is a great flat portage to river left….but we cut out the small branches and obstructions on river right and you can get through easily now otherwise it was blocked. Blockage #3: the biggee that 6 of us spent 1.5 hours on has a mind of its own. On river left the big tree sunk in the creek and we just managed to eke over it…with lower water..forget it. As for river right…the 8’ swathe that the folks chainsawed….well that got filled up with larger branches and limbs. We got that cleared out, so that is now a go. BUT HERE IS THE KICKER…. YES YOU CAN GET THROUGH IT NOW….BUT I HAVE NOW IDEA WHAT IT WILL LOOK IN A FEW DAYS. (Since last year’s huge flood the banks are so unstable.) We just had rain and wind storm come through. So Chris, if you go out paddling on Tuesday with the the mcp-ers can you give a heads up to me and possibly the other folks listed in the email. -- Update: 2019-08-25: Just to let you know that we paddled all the way down from olson road to john’s landing today…..someone has been very busy cutting off stumps that stick out from the banks for us and working on some jams….there was only one tree to deal with but if you go river left you can skim over it…..a nice paddle….creek is flowing quickly….gaila
Jun 30th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Gaila for the updates. Sounds like there always could be a surprise still, but the creek should be in significantly better shape now.
Jul 16th, 2015 | Dane from Madison | Link
There's a downed tree towards the end in Mezomanie we had to port across. The creek seems to be running a little faster and higher from the storm over the weekend compared to a few weeks ago when we paddled it.
Jun 6th, 2019 | Aaron Patterson from Wingra Creek | Link
Picture of the strainer:
Jun 2nd, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update Eric as always!
Jun 1st, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I ran this section twice over the weekend with 2 different groups. We had young and old, with both experienced and first time kayakers. They all had a good time, fun enough for the experienced kayakers to play a bit and yet easy enough to be safe for the beginners. The Wolf Run Trail makes for an easy and pretty bike shuttle. The only obstruction was one easy scoot over, and there are few things to maneuver around. I did some clearing of overhanging branches as I went. The creek was at 97 CFS and 2.5 ft, which were great levels, water was still a bit cloudy from recent rains but still nice. The creek should be at great levels all this week.
May 7th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great news! Thanks as always for your updates Gaila as they are very helpful for other paddlers.
May 7th, 2020 | gaila hagg olsen from black earth | Link
OK...just talked to the Mazo town crew and they said that the creek is now open in you can paddle from olson road all the way to john's landing in walking iron park near the soccer fields with no problem. And if you want to put in at the shoe box in black earth...there will just be one cattle fence (almost all under water tho) to deal with. so you can get a nice long paddle done if you want to.
May 2nd, 2020 | Gaila Hagg Olsen from Black Earth Creek | Link of a few days ago they got rid of that big log jam downstream of cty rd y=state st. that i had written about earlier in the week....however, there might be one smaller tree to encounter a wee bit further down...but the big one got taken out...yippee.,....but here is info on another tree to deal with as you enter town: after you go under hwy 14 past two bridges/railroad track/hudson st east bridge, the river goes north and then takes a tight curve is narrow and zippy and there is a tree down there. all you need to do is hug river left and you can wind your way through the downed branches (we lopped off a bunch) .avoid river right tho... now if you don't like the winding technique the portage there is very easy...up and over a sand bar...enjoy your paddle...
Aug 20th, 2019 | Jon B from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled from Olson Rd. to Lions Park (John's Landing) on 20Aug2019, 90 CFS at 2.5 ft. A couple of blockages in Mazo, but not bad if you have the skills and the right boat to sneak through. Nothing like the logjams from hell in the spring of 2019. I chatted with a kayaker named Dave was using a saw make passage even easier. (Thanks, Dave!) Fun level for beginner whitewater paddlers, several surfable waves, and I took a lapful of water on two of the drops.
Aug 21st, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update Jon!
Oct 14th, 2014 | mike | Link
What is the creek like riffle wise from the park to Hudson Rd? What side of the bridge has the best take out? Thanks!
Sep 22nd, 2014 | mike | Link
Paddled the creek today 9/22/14. Olson rd to walking iron park is clear! Awesome paddle, thanks for the write up on it! Would have never found otherwise. I live 10 min from badfish creek, and this is faster and more intimate. It is also more scenic with the hills in the distance.
Oct 19th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's too bad. Hopefully that same person who did that amazing cleanup in July will do another cleanup shortly here.
Jun 6th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Current looks pretty quick there...hopefully that gets cleared out in the future.
Jun 12th, 2019 | Gaila Hagg Olsen from black earth | Link
June 6th, 2019 The Black Earth Creek from the Shoe Box to John’s Landing has a few glitches. The cattle fence (barbed wire) is up across the creek about 1.5 miles down from the Shoe Box. You will have to pull out about 50’ in advance and portage through the grass/fence. The fence with kayak gate got taken out in the spring flood. This is a work in progress. Patience please but paddle safely too.
Aug 20th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I think it was recently cleared out, but I'm not 100% sure.
Aug 20th, 2023 | Ryan from Pheasant Branch Creek | Link
Has anyone done this stretch of Black Earth Creek recently? Interested to know whether the part through Mazomanie to Walking Iron Park is clear now.
Jul 2nd, 2017 | Gaila from Black Earth Creek | Link
For the folks who want to put in at the Shoe Box Landing, it won’t exactly be smooth sailing down to Olson Road…the cattle figured out how to get through our kayak gates that we had installed. What we did last week (after having to remove the gates and pull the cattle fence back into position across the width of the creek) was to put some i-bolts and wire in on the right side fence posts and if you want to get through…you just get out of your kayak (the water is shallow there with a firm base) unhook the double latches from the wire to the fence…bend over a wee bit, push your kayak through….close up the latches and then repeat the process for the second fence. This is pretty easy now considering that originally we would have to go on our stomach and scoot through. Impossible to do in high water. The best alternative thois just to put in at Olson Road and you won’t have to deal with any fences all the way down to John’s Landing. We are suggesting this route until we can improve the fence and reintroduce the kayak pvc gates. Kows before Kayaks. Gaila and Gary: Black Earthlings.
Sep 15th, 2018 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section from Olson Rd bridge to John's Landing at Lion's Park on Fri 9/14/18 (70 CFS and 2.65ft). The part from Olson Rd to the Wolf Run landing is totally open and was a whole lot of fun. Despite the relatively low CFS there seemed to be a lot of water in the rapids, no shallow spots and the creek seemed fast. In the section through Mazo there were 2 big blockages and several smaller ones. The first blockage is a big solid jam involving many downed trees. It is solid enough to walk on and it was pretty simple to just pull my kayak up and over. Not sure how deep the creek was but there is not much current and all in all it was pretty simple portage. The next blockage was just one group of trees with several trunks and many branches,and steep banks. No way through, under, over or around. I had to go back up stream 20 yards to find an easy way to get out then it was an easy portage around and back in. There are a few other small tress down but it is fairly simple to get through all of them. The trip took less than 2 hours and I would strongly recommend it to any with good boat control, doesn't mind a few simple portages, and is up for an adventure. The Wolf Run trail is closed due to damage from the flood, but Hwy 14 is open to Olson Road and is a great bike shuttle option because it has very little traffic because it is closed at Black Earth. I would NOT recommend doing a bike shuttle on Hwy KP because it is now a main route between Black Earth and Mazo and has very heavy traffic.
Sep 15th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Eric for the update. I was really worried about the creek after the big floods, and it sounds like it has some jams, but it could have been much worse.
Sep 24th, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled from Olson Rd. to Lions Park on 24Sept2018 at about 70 CFS at 2.6 ft. Water was turbid. My logjam experiences were similar to Eric's post above. However, the first jam didn't feel entirely solid to me, and may have picked up more debris in the past week. Two tires, some balls, etc. were on the river left side where I climbed over. I somehow pulled through the second jam without exiting the boat. The wing dams seem to have gotten blown out a bit by the flood, and the creek looked wider to me with some changes in its features. It looks like the flooding was worse through town than near the put-in, with debris much higher in the trees, and more bank scouring. I saw a step ladder jammed horizontally around a tree about 10 feet up. I expect more trees to fall during storms, due to their roots not having as much soil to anchor to. I bike shuttled along KP due to the Wolf Run Trail being closed. Heavy equipment was re-lining Lake Marion. Here's a link to a story:
Sep 25th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the information. Hopefully the garbage and logjams will get cleared out in the future.
Black Earth Creek – Walking Iron
Jun 18th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's too bad. Thanks anyways for the update though.
Jun 26th, 2018 | gaila hagg olsen from black earth | Link present there are some obstacles you will encounter in the Mazo area from olson road to john’s landing. Mazo will be taking care of them soon. And as for John's landing to the Blynn Road section of the river. That is a complete mess and will always be! We did try clearing it last year....but it is so windy and full of jams and it just is impossible to keep open . Anyone who does that section will always run into obstacles and possibly fences. We spend most of our efforts on the shoe box to John's Landing section of the creek. Now...if a kayaker wants to explore some more remote part of the river...put in at blynn road and go all the way to the wis river and arena landing....that area is very pretty and very wild. There will be some tricky maneuvering to deal with and some obstacles to maybe portage around...but the banks aren't usually too intimidating. I have done that section a few times and enjoy its remoteness. Once you paddle in, there are no escape routes or roads to get out on because you are in the heart of the wis river bottoms. Cool.
Jun 16th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sorry to hear about what happened. The creek is a bit on the high side now and that can contribute to the pushy current. Hopefully those jams get cleared out in the future.
Jun 16th, 2019 | Ken and Judy Denu from Mazomanie | Link
Kyackers beware. Went down creek today from Olson road to park , only didn’t make it that far. Great ride up to bed and breakfast , beautiful. .. then a bit past that, all hell broke loose . Three Trees down , no area to portage , very deep water, banks eroded. Current pushed us both into down trees and we tipped. Kyacks sunk, wedged in trees. Had to hold on to downed tree with one hand, other hand trying to turn kyack as Water was over our heads. It was a real mess. We ended up having to leave boats and walk home . Very happy to get off that water today!!! Very dangerous . We would NOT recommend anyone going past Wolf Run Trail until they clear out trees . Be safe out there. The creek is not as it was last year .
Jul 2nd, 2017 | Jennifer Sellek from Black Earth Creek | Link
My husband and I did this section this spring when the creek was very high. We had to portage about 6 times (lost count!) but hopefully the jams are cleared now. Just a few updates for you: There is a new bridge at the put in at Walking Irons park and the banks are very rocky from the new construction, my guess is to prevent erosion. All of the brush has been removed on both sides of the creek which looks great. On the south side of the creek, just downstream of the bridge, an "official" put in has been created and marked! The swing gates at Morrill Road bridge were gone at the time we paddled through. Don't know if it's just seasonal or if they're gone for good. This is a fantastic website and has been invaluable to my husband and me as we are novice paddlers. Thanks!
Jul 4th, 2017 | gaila hagg olsen from black earth wi | Link
OK...please note that John's Landing is now available at Walking Iron Park for a put-in and has space for about 15 cars to park. Good spot to put in. However, John's Landing to Blynn road is still a work in progress. Very hard to keep clear plus the farmers have some issues with trees being cut, etc. It shall improve once the crops are out and we can get in to the creek from the fields. BUT now for the fun update: today 7 of us spent 5 hours with john boat/kayaks/hand saws/ chainsaw/loppers/ etc and cleared from Blynn down to the Wis River. It is totally navigable. There are trees to skirt around but all are do-able. Also we cut back many of the overhanging branches and managed to loosen some of the floating logs. So...go have fun. Gaila and Gary Olsen Black Earthlings along with 5 Mazomites!!
Jun 18th, 2018 | Sean Mulbrandon from Black Earth Creek | Link
Tried to make it to Blynn Road yesterday, couldn't do it. There are many logjams and tree debris in the way. Most of the time you can get speed and plow through a gauntlet of branches, or squeeze underneath a log, but at two locations I had to portage. I finally cut my trip short at a farm field on Morrill Road (so close!). Would not recommend until cleared out.
Black Earth Creek – Winter Paddle
Apr 18th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great to hear that you had a good trip upstream from Walking Iron. It is too bad to hear about the logjam west of town though which sounds pretty serious. You definitely don't want to mess with any logjams that are combined with swift water. Hopefully it gets cleared out in the future.
Oct 21st, 2018 | Eric guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
Just did this section on 10/18, no jams or obstructions until the very end, at the rapids just after the Hwy 14 bridge and upstream from the Wolf Run Trail bridge, a few trees down, but passable on the far left side and the landing at the trail head is washed out but still serviceable.
Oct 22nd, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's great news as previously it was noted there were more serious jams on this stretch. Wonder if the locals cleaned them out.
Apr 18th, 2021 | Julie Hay-Chapman from Yahara | Link
We did the trip from Olson Rd to Walking Iron (John's Landing), and it went so beautifully that we decided to move one of our shuttle cars 1/4 mile down to Hudson Road, and continue our trip another mile or so down the river. About 100 yards after John's Landing there is a tree down all the way across at water level. It looked possible to hop over it on the far right side right next to the bank, but the current was very swift and pinned one of our party against the tree, and then she tipped and went under. Thankfully it was open water under the log, and she got out safely, but her kayak got pinned nose first, rear sticking up, under the tree. It was a team effort to get the kayak pushed all the way under the log to the other side. As I said, thankfully the water was open under the tree, but it could easily not remain that way and become a dangerous strainer. This tree will need some chainsaw work I'm afraid, it's a good 12-18" diameter.
Jun 6th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update Aaron.
Jun 6th, 2019 | Aaron Patterson from Wingra Creek | Link
There is a strainer on the Olsen Rd to Walking Iron section immediately after passing under the Highway 14 bridge when entering Mazomanie. On approach it looks like you can skirt around the edge but the main current will pull you into and under the log jam. Recommend portaging. There is one other log jam in Mazo in calm water that is easier to portage around.
Black River – Christie
Jun 30th, 2021 | Robert Putrich from Joliet, IL | Link
Love the Black River. Have been fishing it on and off over the last 16 years or so. How do you think a SOT would do on this stretch of the river? Thanks!!
Jun 30th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It would be doable...but I wouldn't do the river when it is high as a sit-on will lack the maneuverability to get through the bigger rapids.
Black River – East Fork
Jun 29th, 2020 | Keaton from Mississippi | Link
Looking to paddle from Pray Road to the East Fork Campground this weekend (4th of July 2020). Does anyone know if it is currently runnable with 15' canoes, or is it to low? Estimated paddle time?
Jun 29th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The main gauge is out which is frustrating. Neillsville is a backup's at 204 CFS now and falling. I did the rapids at 180 CFS which was low but doable and fun. I expect 170 CFS by the 4th...most of the river will be fine, but you might have to wade some of the rapids. Bring your aquatic shoes! As for time...figure 5 hours.
Jul 11th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I suspected that Lund Road was private. Thanks for the update!
Jul 11th, 2022 | Private Property Steward from East Fork Black River Private Property | Link
The canoe landing you have marked by Lund Road is 100% private property. Please note both sides of the East Fork from Pray Road to Overguard Road is private property. Thank you.
Sep 10th, 2017 | Ryan from Rock river | Link
I have land off of Borek Rd and can tell you that there is no public access to the river without trespassing. The closest public access point to there is the next road to the west, which is Steponic Rd.
Apr 9th, 2019 | Todd - on the east fork from East Fork just off east fork road | Link
Provided I am around I would be willing to shuttle people who wish to paddle the east fork. I also could let people know if the river levels are runnable.
Apr 9th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's very generous Todd, especially as the roads in that area are very poor for bike shuttling. Is there a public means by which users can contact you? Also, how much would you charge to do a shuttle? If you can provide this information, I can can include it each my East Fork write-ups.
Black River – East Fork: Overguard Rd to Campground Rd
Jul 11th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate all the in-depth sounds like you can have a good time on this stretch at higher levels than what I did it. This stretch is terrific...and IMO one of the best beginner whitewater water trails in Wisconsin. Hopefully they fix that darn gauge...
Jul 11th, 2020 | Daniel Akin from Little Eau Plaine River | Link
This was my fourth trip to the East Fork this month and each time it comes through. This river does not disappoint and holds its levels longer than most around the area. The backwaters stretch almost back to Pittsville and Lindsey in Wood County. Here are the levels we had: Monday, June 8 @ 893.0, Tuesday, June 16 @ 892.9, Wednesday, June 24, 893.9 (slightly high) and today, Tuesday, June 30 @ 892.7. It is actually better right at 893, rather than higher because some of the rapids get totally missed at these higher levels. The gauge doesn't work anymore at the East Fork Bridge so we have to use the visuals on the west side of the bridge. We also use the Black River Falls USGS and Neillsville USGS as guides as well, but they aren't really reliable to what is happening on the East Fork. Even at 892.7, the East Fork was at our lowest level of the four times, but we had no problems and no one got stuck in the rapids. We did have a few rock scrapes. It is just such a scenic and peaceful run, we love it so much. The only problem is the amount of driving it takes to get to the end (campground) to Overgaard Road and the amount of gravel roads. We wind up driving on 30 miles of gravel, so beware. We love the rapids right before the East Fork Bridge and near the lone house on the trip. They are Class One and loads of fun. We must be about 3/5 of the trip at the Bridge, there is still fun after the bridge with a couple good sections the last two miles. The last 1/2 mile is flat, but the takeout is wonderful. Stars 5, Put-in Overguard Road, Take-out East Fork Campground, Date 06/30/2020, Depth 892.7 (Estimated) at East Fork Bridge
Jun 8th, 2020 | Dan Akin from Yellow River. Eau Plaine | Link
Great site for people who are interested in kayaking. Just went in the East Fork this morning for Overguard Road to Campground. What a great run it was today. Thanks so much for all the insight. This site is so helpful
Jun 8th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks! The stretch you did was my favorite on the East Fork...very underrated.
Black River – Hwy 35
Jun 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Marry for the comment. It sounds like you had a good time...the Lower Black is far different now than it was when I paddled it. For the past five years it's been perpetually high which has given it a very different character.
Jun 28th, 2020 | Marygrace from La Crosse | Link
We made this trip on a warm, sunny June day in around 2.5 hours with a pretty good current. The descent at the put-in is really steep and gravelly. Next time I will make it a point to wear solid hiking shoes for this. Along the way we saw several colonies of Bank Swallows with nests on the very tall sand banks along the west side of the river. This is the smallest north American swallow. We also saw a very wide range of dragonflies.
Black River – Neillsville
Jun 7th, 2022 | Jeff Hlavacka from Fond du Lac | Link
Christie trip of black river - can u take out at HWY 10?
Jun 8th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yes...I see fishermen fishing from the bank there and there is a parking lot on the east shore. I've also heard of kayakers using this access. Only downside is it is a longer hike.
Jan 11th, 2023 | Greg Hlavacka from LaCrosse | Link
Yes, you take out north of Hwy 10 and east of the river, must carry Kayak about 50 yards on trail through the woods to a small parking lot.
Jul 31st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good idea! As for the Black, this is a great section and a great paddle.
Jul 31st, 2020 | Gary Kutzler from Rock river | Link
Definitely on my list. Beautiful area. There are quite a few Amish and Mennonite communities up there, I see signs on the cork-board in some of their stores for rides as some need rides to doc appointments etc.. This could be a good shuttle option.
May 19th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A warning from Mike on Youtube: A couple friends and I did this stretch yesterday (5/18/24). 752 CFS (4.7 ft). It was pretty brutal. I would definitely plan this again at a much lower discharge.
Black River: Melrose to North Bend
Jun 13th, 2021 | Vicki Lynn Ramsay from Kickapoo River | Link
Thank you for such a descriptive and thorough report of the river trips you took! What a joy to read and help me remember my countless trips on the Black River that are now a bit of a blur. Heading out today to do the Melrose to North Bend section, camping on a sandbar somewhere. Your information was so helpful in planning. Loved your pictures and video too! Nice work.
Jun 13th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the kind words! The Lower Black after being high all these years is on pace to be pretty low this summer...this should be perfect sandbar camping season.
Blackhawk Island
Aug 23rd, 2022 | Jake from Lake Wisconsin | Link
Made the paddle around Blackhawk Island last weekend. Put in at the Upper Dells Boat Ramp at Crandalls Bay, just north of the main drag through Wis Dells on River Rd. Parking was $8, but since I didn't have a trailer I likely could have parked streetside after unloading the boats. The suggested put-in immediately west of the island was indeed closed, with signage and a fence blocking easy access. Paddling up from the boat ramp, around the island and back down worked out to 5.7 miles done in 2 hours. Current was mild enough that we didn't even notice it going upstream. Beautiful bluffs & scenery for the whole duration! Jet boats were a nuisance, but the wakes were fun to play in; some bizarre wave patterns were created in narrow areas with shoreline cliffs. "No trespassing" signs all the way around Blackhawk Island and many of the opposing shores, but that didn't stop the ~10 powerboats congregating on a beach at the far west tip of the island itself. All in all, very highly recommended!
Blue River
Oct 15th, 2017 | Rich Bostwick from Rock River | Link
Hello! Thanks for bringing this wonderful waterway to my attention. We ran it today. Platte levels were @ 155 & we found that to be OK--no dragging, but a few bumps. Big deal. Can't wait to do another stretch. One small item--at the top of the post, it states the takeout to be Snow Bottom Road, should be Bowers Road. Love the pictures & video--very enticing! Thanks!!
May 26th, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Paddled Bluff Rd. to Shemak on 25May2019 (Aaron, feel free to add these comments to your Bowers to Shemak section if you like). Platte gauge was at 450 CFS @5.3 ft. We put in on the opposite bank from Aaron's photo because we saw the fishery access sign on that bank. Lots of debris was weighing down the old cattle gates. Until debris is removed, most paddlers would portage the gates, at least at these water levels. Some barbed wire was also weighed down with debris. We brought y-shaped lifting devices to help us sneak under (collapsible hot dog fork with a plastic handle for me, custom-made PVC "y-er" for companions). A few logjams, (mostly downstream from Bowers Rd.) One portage had lots of nettles, but I was wearing long pants. There was a fresh skin of mud along many stretches due to the river being higher the day before. This made the take-out at Shemak and some of the portages a bit slippery. We'd been hoping to catch the Blue with enough water in it, and the beautiful scenery and made it worth the portaging and fence lifting. Aaron, you might want to update your CFS guide (quoted below) to reflect our experience. We're by no means advanced whitewater paddlers. Backferrying and river reading skills help, but one of us was in a 12' Tribute (sporty rec boat with a keel). Shorter boats with more rocker help on most twisty/riffly streams. The Blue is seldom more than waist deep, so wading a boat to shore after tipping/swamping should be doable for many paddlers. (Yes, one of us hit a tree and swamped.) Aaron wrote: "251+ CFS: I assume these are near or at bank breaching levels. Maybe of interest for professional whitewater paddlers but for few others." As always, assess the risks and conditions to make sure your skills and boat are suited for your trip.
Jun 14th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Charlie for the feedback. Some of those fences yes might be new which is too bad. The upper blue truly is a hidden gem, but can only be done in highish water.
May 26th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Jon for the update. I definitely think my 250 max estimate before was too low and will update my estimates with a reference to your summary.
Jun 13th, 2024 | Charlie from Lower Wisconsin River | Link
I paddled this portion today (6/13/24) and it was definitly a beautiful area to see. The riffles, bluffs, and fields were a treat. Since the trees were fully leafed out the wooded areas had an almost fantasy feel to them, particularly in one area with boulders in the river and pools made on the sides. The CFS for the Platte is about the same today as when you went - 184. However, I spent a lot of time shimmying myself free from rocks and shallow spots. I'm not an experienced river reader, so perhaps I just kept taking the worst routes, but I think a higher river would have made for a more smooth ride for me. The first gate fence is so bogged down with debris now that I was able to pop over top of it, but all the others I had to portage. The barbed wire one I didn't have anything to help lift it up high enough. There was another one that nobody has mentioned, so perhaps it is new. The fence up on the hill leading down to it certainly looked pretty recent. It was too high on the river to get over and the banks didn't have a great spot to portage (maybe the left side was better, but I went with the right). I had to pop the kayak over and have it beach itself by a log, and then climb over a boulder which had barbed wire bolted into it. Made for quite the adventure! There are certainly times, particularly in the first half, when you could fool yourself into thinking you are far away from any civilization and experiencing the world as it was. Thanks for the guide!
Blue River – Snow Bottom
Aug 30th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update.
Aug 30th, 2020 | Zacgh from Black Earth Creek | Link
Did the blue river yesterday (8/29) and a 172 CFS. Was sufficient probably 70 percent of the way but there was stretches that were leaving me wanting higher water levels. Other than a few cows later in the trip, one tree that was down (easy paddle to the side or under) crystal clear water and great weather. No fences, just 4 ribbons across the river that are high up and easy to get under.
Jun 25th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the updates. It does appear paddlers do prefer high flow rates when it comes to Snow Bottom. If you could share your pictures that would be great! Maybe upload them to an online service and I could insert the urls into your comment?
Apr 20th, 2019 | Matt from Black Earth Creek | Link
Just found the website this year and this was my first paddle using your guides. CFS was 162 which was pretty good but we scrapped the bottom a little bit in the rapids. No portages were required. Had an amazing trip, the bike shuttle was fine except for one hill that we walked. Thanks for the guide.
Jun 24th, 2019 | Martin Olson from Waupaca River | Link
I just paddled the Blue River with a group of 24 on June 21, 2019. We put in at Snow Bottom Road which has an adequate parking lot. We put in just below the bridge. We took out at Shemak Road for a trip of 8.2 miles which took us about 4.5 hours to complete. The Platte River gauge was 320 CFS. Comparing the original post of 117 vs ours of 320 may not provide a reliable water gauge level for the Blue River. The water depth was adequate for this paddle, however I would not care to do it at a lower level. An additional 3 inches would have been ideal. We had one logjam to portage, cleared out a couple of other trees and had a couple of limbo trees. Overall we had a great time on this paddle. Wild Parsnip is everywhere, avoid this plant! I could submit a couple of photos for reference as well.
Apr 20th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the feedback Matt. The Blue River is one of my favorites...that one hill on the bike shuttle is pretty brutal though.
Aug 29th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, logjams on the lower Blue are major issue unfortunately.
Nov 24th, 2017 | Rich Bostwick | Link
After doing the stretch upstream, which was way cool, I can't wait to do this one. Thanks for the great pics!
Aug 28th, 2023 | John Esser from Madison but I have a cottage on Jones Lake (slough) | Link
For those trying to paddle the Blue River from these upper areas to it's mouth, you will have problems with "log jams" in the lower areas plus it does not end on the Wisconsin River but flows into a slough where, if the water is high enough, you can paddle to the Wisconsin River. I've tried paddling up the Blue to the Wisconsin highway 133 bridge but the log jams are not passable unless one exits their boat on a log then pull the boat over the logs. The bank is too high so it's not possible to exit ones boat to go around the logs.
Bois Brule
Aug 15th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
USGS does occasionally change their CFS calculations which is incredibly frustrating for those us that that base paddle trips on its historical data. Thanks for the information.
Aug 14th, 2022 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We did this trip on 8/8/22 and had a great trip. I did a bike shuttle, and other than the first hill up from the Winneboujou Landing, I felt it was a relatively easy and very pretty shuttle. Water levels were low, 121 CFS, but seemed totally fine. We were a bit surprised that these levels were good, because both this site and the Wisconsin Trail Guide site recommend 125 CFS as a minimum suggested flow. Interestingly, the river was above the recommended 4.1 ft, so perhaps the correlation between CFS and ft has changed for this river, or river height is better than CFS for determining favorable conditions. We did three different sections of the river over three days, all between 120 -110 CFS and 1.5 – 1.4 Ft, and found all the sections totally fine at these levels. One other thing to note is that just a mile or so off the shuttle route is what claims to be the World’s Heaviest Ball of Twine, at 8009 S Oakdale Road, Lake Nebagamon, it is well worth a stop especially if you are lucky enough to meet the proprietor himself. Here is a link to a short video with maps and pics of our trip.
Sep 2nd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Unfortunately not.
Sep 2nd, 2022 | John L Gagan from SEQUIM, WA | Link
Do you have anything similar for Upper Peninsula of Michigan rivers?
Bois Brule River – Pine Tree Landing to Lake Superior
Aug 14th, 2022 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We did a slightly shorter version of this trip, from Hwy 13 to the lake, on 8/10/22. I was planning on doing a bike shuttle, as I do on most of my paddles, but there happened to be someone parked right next to me who was pulling out just as I was getting my bike off the car. I asked, and he agreed, to take me back to the Hwy 13 Landing While doable, the bike shuttle would have involved about 5 miles on a dusty gravel road, most of it uphill.(Thanks Justin!!!, the Social Worker form Superior) This trip is about 8.5 miles and took us 2.5 hours. This is just a fantastic trip, varied scenery, nice current, many fun riffles, and ending at a beautiful beach on Lake Superior, what more could you ask for? Be sure to plan time to enjoy the beach at the end of the trip,even better would be to plan to watch the sun setting over the lake. The beach is good for swimming, rock collecting, and just relaxing, there are tables, bathrooms, water, and ample parking. Link to a video/pics/map of our trip
Aug 15th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell creek | Link
Great pictures! Thanks again for the update.
Books, Websites & Other Resources
May 28th, 2015 | Michael Curtin from Champaign IL | Link
Aaron, Good afternoon! I write seeking advice: my wife and I are interested in taking a long weekend trip to Wisconsin to take in a few kayak trails and some breweries. I've been unable to find any resources which combine these two activities. Do you have any recommendations, either for resources or for a specific trail? Thank you! Michael
Bridge Creek
Aug 26th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
If you do this trip, let me know how it turns out. The Mill is very cool and photogenic.
Aug 26th, 2020 | Gary Kutzler from Rock River | Link
I haven't run that yet but have done below Harstad park. Was there once when the mill was open, the tour of the mill is definitely interesting.
Castle Rock Creek
Apr 23rd, 2017 | Mythbusta from Coloma | Link
Looks like fun. Is this canoeable too or better for kayaks?
Apr 11th, 2017 | Chris Ciechanowski from Green Bay | Link
Just wanted to say your website is awesome and much appreciated!
May 28th, 2017 | Jennie Lanzendorf from Wisconsin River (Spring Green) | Link
My wife & I just kayaked this creed today (5/27/17) after your blog was shared on Facebook by The River Alliance. Please note THERE ARE NOW TWO FENCES ACROSS THE CREEK between the put-in at Church Rd and the first highway bridge. The first was just after the I-beam that you (and we) had to portage over. It was barbed wire and fortunately located on a calm patch of water, and relatively easy to (carefully) navigate beneath. Around the next turn there were cows in the water -- not inherently dangerous, but very large and easily startled by our boats--got a little stampede-ey. A ways farther on we came to the second fence across the creek, which APPEARED TO BE ELECTRIC. This was unfortunately located right above the start of some fast-moving water. Taking no chances, we got into the water and walked our boats underneath it. After that the paddle was a lot of fun, with plenty of good riffles to keep us attentive. It was a little higher, I think, than when you posted this review - the Black Earth Creek gauge was at 111 CFS that morning. The gnats, however, were terrible on the slower stretches. Anyway, thanks for the review pointing us to this fun little creek, but please update your blog to include the fences across the creek. I would recommend putting in at the next highway bridge instead of Church Road. Thanks
Cedar Creek
Feb 19th, 2019 | RCS from Nonesuch Creek | Link
I am quite curious ... do you have any source that you can point to in support of the assertion that it is "...illegal to wade, swim, or use any kind of boat within city limits"? Especially since, just downstream of Cedar Creek Park, in (what is marked on maps as) "Cedarburg Pond 121", almost every homeowner has a canoe, kayak, or paddleboat tied to a tree or pier. Yes, for a year, while remediation was being done on this pond and the next one downstream (the 'Nail Factory' pond) boating on those ponds was restricted (but only for the temporary safety issues while that equipment was active in the area). There were (and likely still are) warnings about eating any fish from the creek, but I have never seen any indication of a general widespread ban on boating anywhere in Cedarburg.
Mar 13th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I think that is upstream of the pollution, but I advise contacting the DNR to be sure.
Apr 24th, 2022 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
On April 23, we launched from Creekside Park on Cedar Creek Rd. and took out 8 miles downstream at Boy Scout Park. Here's a link to map of shuttle route. Water was turbid after heavy rains the night before,360 CFS at 6.8ft on the gauge. No scraping, but still some rocks to avoid. This stretch was cleared on 22Apr2022. Wildlife: Mink, woodchuck, muskrat, red-tailed hawks, flickers, wood ducks, Canada goose with 5 eggs in the nest.
Mar 22nd, 2019 | DP from Cedar Creek | Link
RCS - I had it wrong about boats. They are only prohibited on the lagoons. Swimming, wading etc is still prohibited within the city of Cedarburg by ordinance.
Sep 29th, 2018 | DP from Cedarburg | Link
There are no kayak rentals availabe in Cedarburg, because it is still illegal to wade, swim, or use any kind of boat within city limits due to the dangerous pollution perpetuated by the dams.
Jul 12th, 2017 | Michael from Desplaines River, IL | Link
Hi, Do you know of any where to rent kayaks near Cedarburg, WI? Thank you, Michael
Mar 13th, 2022 | Jess from Cedar creek | Link
Hi! We’re looking at purchasing land on Cedar Creek in the township of Cedarburg, so N/NW of city limits. Does anyone have safety data on those waters? Thanks for any info!
Apr 24th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback. I actually think that stretch of the Cedar Creek is best done on the lower side for the cleaner water (but not too low!).
Cedar Creek – Cedarburg
Aug 11th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The following is a recent logjam summary of Cedar Creek by Rob (done at high water...510 CFS). Based on our run of it yesterday: Bank Waves: There is a tree (or trees) fallen from the left shore (actually a rocky island/peninsula) which blocks the left-half of the flow. The upper wave can be surfed but is a tad 'dicey' since you need to come off in-control to skirt the tree. The midwave is covered by the tree. The lower wave was super fine (at ~510 cfs). Estate Bridge: The BIG tree laying diagonally across just downstream of the bridge is still very much present. At 510 cfs, the low-side (river-right) had enough water flowing over it to be passable, and it was a fairly easy move (for properly skilled whitewater paddlers) to make the river-left eddy to safely get under the high-side (river-left). Bypass Channel / Island: No wood in the initial/entrance zig-zag. Still a tree branch horizontal across 1/2+ of the stream midway down. LARGE tree in flatwater (just before confluence with flow from other channel) still very problematic. Right (rootball) end has accumulated wood, blocking passage around that side. Left end is awkwardly passable through the various 'upper' branches in the water.
Apr 30th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I think I found your video here? Looks really cool, although that strainer at the end looks nasty. If you have any other whitewater videos of Cedar Creek, feel free to share.
Mar 27th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the update. If you do the upstream leg, definitely let me know it turns out!
Apr 30th, 2023 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
I ran the class III eastern ledge on 04/08/2023, and posted a link to the YouTube video of me doing it if anyone is interested in watching the quick video! It was a good run except hard not to get broached on the log near the finish of the channel.
May 31st, 2020 | Sampson Parsons from Cedarburg, WI | Link
I'm really glad I stumbled on this post - amazing photos and video. I'm curious what year this trip was - I'm guessing 2019? Thanks
Oct 2nd, 2021 | Parsons from Cedarburg | Link
After a request was made, Andrea Stern, DNR Water Management Engineer, visited the dams in Cedarburg in May or June of 2019 to assess the portages under NR 330.03 and NR 330.04. "Of the dams we visited that did not already have portage routes, the recreational safety warden did not feel the need for additional ones were warranted since the area is very low use for boaters. I do not know this area or the culture on the river so I am taking the advice of the warden for this determination." (Andrea Stern, WDNR, 8/5/2019) The problem is that the warden told me he did not make any such determination, and also that he doesn't have the authority as a warden to make that kind of determination. The other problem is that "the area is very low use for boaters" because there are not adequate portages. Over two years later, the report of the findings has still not been written and there doesn't seem to be much desire to talk about the determination. Another visit and assessment of all portages at the dams in Cedarburg, city and town, is needed. The assessment done two years ago was botched and has an air of dishonesty. Please write to Andrea Stern: or maybe better, write to her supervisor: These portages are not reasonable and state law demands that they are.
Mar 27th, 2024 | Nolan Cox from Milwaukee River | Link
Ran the section from estate bridge to garrison’s glen on 3/27 at 500cfs in a whitewater packraft. Pretty interesting run with the river being swollen from several days of rainfall. Skipped the class II rapid directly under the estate bridge, but entered the wave train immediately past the bridge to start. Several fun riffles and rapids in the first half (nothing harder than class I), tbh trees were a larger issue. Everything was navigable in my packraft with some precise aiming and paddling. Could easily see there being mandatory portages due to trees at different flows or in a larger boat. Would love to explore upstream next!
Oct 2nd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. What's the point of having portage access laws for paddlers, if bureaucrats just ignore them when they want? Very frustrating. Hopefully word will get out and this will get fixed.
May 31st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yep...late 2019. Hopefully that darn bridge construction is done by now.
Aug 25th, 2020 | Richard from Yahara River System and Four Lakes | Link
Everything was awesome: the trip, weather, water, stars, wildlife and the solitude. More details in my report. Good shakedown trip for advanced beginners yearning for that Canada wilderness trip.
May 30th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's too bad to hear about your experience. I honestly don't know if this is a bad area or not for that type of thing.
May 29th, 2022 | Shaun from Taycheedah Creek | Link
Got verbally assaulted by a group of 12 year olds while paddling the East Branch of the FDL River today. They were over the top threatening and obnoxious. Urged my wife to pull in and sort it out.This is the third time we have had confrontations while minding our own business. Is this normal or unique to our area?
Aug 25th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the info...looking forward to your report.
Coon Creek – Hwy P
Feb 15th, 2022 | Ian from Kinnickinnick | Link
You obviously were on the creek after heavy rain because these streams are the clearest you will find with some of the best fishing to be had. Sorry about "jagged" rocks, but they are excellent habitat for fish. DNR spends money on restoration for fish, not kayaks. The funds come from license fees. The streams is this area are the among the top in the state. I assure you that normal water conditions are crystal clear.
Feb 15th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I did go after a heavy rain and your comment is interesting. I'll have to return again to do the segment after Coon Valley when the creek is more clear.
Mar 12th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
In 2014, I paddled Coon Creek. It was a beautiful creek but had some serious logjam and electric fence issues. It turns out these have since been cleaned out and this is now a viable water trail. In fact the locals held a race on almost the exact same stretch I did in 2019 and will do so again in 2020. Considering signing up for the race!
Cox Hollow Lake
Sep 1st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm not sure...I advise calling the park office and asking.
Aug 29th, 2021 | Gregg from Franklin wisconsin | Link
Are trolling motors allowed?
Crawfish River
Aug 16th, 2021 | Shep/Mary Crumrine/Bednarik from Menomonee River/Milwaukee River | Link
Crawfish River from Columbus to Dam at Astico Park/Campground. Saturday 8-14-21. Water as at 82 CFS on USGS gage at Beaver Dam River, the closest one to this section of river. Beautiful trip first hour. Second hour thru 2 miles of riffles there was some dragging. Would have been a lot of fun with about t6 more inches of water. Last section wide and calm. Lots of Blue Herons, Kingfishers, Green Herons, and Egrets. Current is minor as gradient is 0.5 fpm, except in riffles. Camping at Astico Co Park is great home base as the River runs around 3 sides of it. Three areas of riverside camping, esp. for smaller tent or pop-up campers.
Jul 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the tips. Your advise is I have recently encountered hole #3 and hole #4 in my red boat :(.
Jul 13th, 2020 | Nina Dorn from DeForest | Link
Yesterday (06/12/2020) my niece and I put in at Rotary Park in Columbus, planning on kayaking down the Crawfish River. We took out at the Udey dam and put back in after the dam, but there's a huge tree down right around the first bend (you cannot see it) and we got caught in the strong current & tree. Made it out ok, but suggest putting in AFTER the tree or staying in Rotary Park.
Aug 16th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update!
Jul 28th, 2020 | Gary Kutzler from Rock River | Link
Suggestion for future hole in kayak. Years back on a trip down the St Croix river we hit a rock with an aluminum canoe, spun sideways and tipped up river, the canoe filled with water and folded in half. after prying it of the rock we got it to shore. My buddy, a big guy, tried stomping it straight. It straightened out but resulted in two tears just below the waterline. We still had two more days to go. We ended up cutting strips from a garbage bag, tucking them through the hole with a pointed knife and pulling them even. Packed in as many as we could, ended up with a ball of plastic on the inside and outside, still had a little seepage but nothing we couldn't mop up. I believe this would work on a poly-ethylene kayak as long as the repair doesn't hit too many rocks.
Nov 30th, 2020 | Karen Wendt from Columbus WI | Link
I love paddling on the Crawfish. There are frequently downed trees in the early section after the Hy 16 bridge. But we usually manage to find a way through. There is a nice hike at the park. I have some videos on YouTube from a hike and from a paddling trip. Not as complete as your photos. If you would like to view them they are at WENDTWORKS Stories ‘N Flight! Karen
Dec 1st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback Karen! Here's the video for readers that you referenced:
Jul 13th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the tip!
Crawfish River – Goat Island
Oct 31st, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
From -- Five (5) of our six (6) four-legged Friends of Goat Island passed on to the Great Farm in the Sky this month (Oct 2023). • Each contracted caseous lymphadenitis (CL), a chronic bacterial infection that primarily affects sheep and goats. • CL presents itself with abscesses around the neck & abdomen, eventually impeding the animal’s ability to eat, breath and cognitively function. • No known treatment or cure, but a vaccine does exist, though currently in limited supply. As a result, the FOGI Board of Directors is taking the following preventive measures: • Goat Island will be cleaned of debris, refuse & other areas of potential contamination. • All goats on Goat Island will be “FOGI goats” moving forward. • All goats will be taken care of by the same farm/organization during the “offseason”. If other goats are present, FOGI goats will be kept separated/segregated. • All goats will be inoculated for CL (and other concerning illnesses) prior to visiting the Island. Thanks to the actions taken, thus far, Sweetie-Janester has been given a clean bill of health and will be returning to Goat Island next year as an official FOGI…along with three more.
Crystal River
Aug 18th, 2019 | Bart Bushke from Kiel wi | Link
We didn't experience any issues with log jams. On the last section after red mill we did have to maneuver around some down trees but you could get through. Just enough to make you practice your maneuvering skills.
Aug 18th, 2019 | Bart Bushke from Kiel wi | Link
Paddled this trip on 8-17 2019 Beautiful trip. Thank you for posting!! Trip is really worth it. We had a few apprehensions about being able to stay on course all the way to shadow lake but it was not an issue. Just stay on the main river and you will have no problem. There is a nice sign that indicated which turn off to get to Shadow lake. A couple things have changed since originally posted. You can now park by the launch point by Marl lake, which makes it extremely convenient. The other thing that seems to be different was there doesn’t seem to be to old dam after Hwy K. At least we didn’t notice it. Highly suggest this trip for all ages!!
Aug 18th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
You didn't mention logjams! This is a big deal as central Wisconsin was plastered by storms and it appears the Crystal was spared. Great tips on the dam and Marl Lake access. The Shadow Lake leg of the Crystal is on my todo list...
Jun 8th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I honestly don't know as I haven't done that leg. I suspect it isn't as nice and is somewhat wooded...but should be solid. There might be some logjams. If you do this stretch, let me know how it turns out.
Jun 7th, 2022 | Jeff Hlavacka from Fond du Lac | Link
How is the section of the river where u took out to shadow lake. Thinking about all the way to shadow lake
May 28th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this trip on 5/20/20, with a bike shuttle, and had just about a perfect trip. I can verify the fact that you can legal park at the launch site on Marl Lake, there is room for 5-10 cars along the right side of the gravel rd off Whispering Pines Rd. The paddle through the 5 small lakes was easy and the water was exceptal clear. It was nice to see all of the water plants starting to grow up from the bottom. There were numerous other people on the water, I suspect it can get really crowded in the height of summer. Long lake was surprising nice, due to the fact that there was just a bit of wind at my back and no pontoon boats or Jet Skis. As nice as the lakes were, the river was even better, Gin clear water, varied shore line, decent current. no log jams, and only one easy portage. The trip took me about 3 1/2 hours, 3 hours on the river and 30 min bike ride (including a stop for ice cream at the Red Mill) Link to some of my photos!AjC8S6n5i35Vgh_1BBPX136qE0NW
May 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Eric for the update! Yeah, the public parking for Marl Lake is new..and that's a good thing. It's also been my understanding that this area has seen an uptick in paddling traffic so things may be more crowded now. Great pictures...especially the snapper!
May 12th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Adventure Outfitters did a big cleanup recently on the Crystal River. "We spent some time today cleaning up on the Crystal River from the Red Mill down to Shadow Lake. Lots of downfall to the first bridge! We kept it adventurous, but made it passable."
Oct 9th, 2020 | Hali from Milwaukee river | Link
Is the crystal river good for kayaking now in the fall?
Jul 23rd, 2017 | Tina from Milwaukee | Link
My family has enjoyed doing the Crystal River canoe trip through Ding's Dock for many many years. We are city folk who just like to have a fun few hours on the river each summer without any investment. We enjoy the challenge of navigating the rapids without tipping over or getting stuck, and stopping for ice cream at that old general store halfway through the trip. We loved how easy it was with the drop off/pick up they did. This year we learned that Ding's Dock is no longer doing the canoe trips on weekends unless you have a group of 20+. Do you know of any other places that do something similar on the Crystal River? Or is there another similar trip somewhere else in WI, within 3 hours drive of Milwaukee? Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
Aug 18th, 2022 | Juliann from Fox River | Link
Hey there. Thinking to take our family, with our 10 year old, in her own kayak past Shadow Rd where this trip ended all the way to Shadow Lake. Do you happen to recall if there were class I or II rapids or anything tricky from Shadow Rd to Shadow Lake? Thanks much! Juliann
Apr 22nd, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks as always for the update Gregor. I definitely want to do the leg by Shadow Lake.
Dec 22nd, 2020 | NEIL R GREEN from Fox river | Link
The small general store where you bought ice cream rents kayaks I believe
May 14th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Congrats on the marriage! I think you're right about the removed dam...I heard elsewhere that this has been cleaned up which is great for paddlers.
Feb 17th, 2022 | Linda from Wisconsin, Unity | Link
I am so sad to hear that Ding's has gone downhill. I have fond memories from my childhood going there with my family and the race car club. We would camp and go down in the as we called them the peapod boats, ambushing and tipping each other over. I was hoping to take my grandkids there but I guess we will find another trip to take. Thanks for the reviews, they help make for a better outing.
May 14th, 2019 | Matthew Malone from Black Earth Creek | Link
My fiancé and I did this route 5/11/19. CFS was high at ~500 so the river was very fast and enjoyable. We only had to portage the "Old Mill channel" which was clearly marked. Some of the rapids may have been class 2 (I'm not an expert) and were extremely fun. We saw a guy go through on a paddleboard (kneeling) which was interesting. I think the dam that you had to portage from the pictures has been removed? On a personal note I proposed at the covered bridge and she said yes! Thank you for guides this river and adjourning lakes are true Wisconsin treasures!
Oct 9th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yes! Tomorrow is a perfect day to go...great color. Next week will also be good...but might be a bit past prime.
Aug 7th, 2022 | Justin Stephens from Waupaca | Link
My brother and I just Compleated an epic 5-day paddle from the launch on Columbia lake behind scoopers ice cream shop to north asylum bay in Oshkosh! The Crystal River leg was fantastic as always. A few short shallow spots and a log here and there to paddle over but nothing we had to get out of the yaks for untell after Churchill st damn. The portage reentry is pretty steep, but beautiful when you get in the water. Sadly the fun kinda ends there for the crystal river though. the last stretch is uncut wilds, with 8-10 trees down in the path. We pushed through it though, going around felt like cheating. Once you hit the Waupaca your home free untell Weyauwega damn.
Aug 7th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment. I had been curious to know what the logjam situation was like on the far lower Crystal.
Apr 22nd, 2024 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
I paddled the Crystal River on a beautiful and sunny Sunday, 04/14. We put in just past the dam on Main St. in Rural, and were able to navigate the Shadow Lake section people have been asking out without a hitch. There is maybe one log jam in this section but can be portaged or gone under. We took out at Berlin road, but in hindsight would recommend Shadow Lake/South Beach park as a take out. There are actually less obstructions in the shadow lake road section than there are now just past the Red Mill. There are several fresh jams past the covered bridge that were tricky and haven't been dealt with yet. This was a great trip and we loved the Piney scenery and exceptional water clarity. However, it was a slightly bumpy trip already this early in the season, so I'm not sure what the summer will bring for water depth and navigability. I mostly wanted to post this comment to clarify that it is completely doable to paddle to Shadow Lake or Berlin Road.
Jul 14th, 2019 | Crystal from Fox | Link
Is there anyway to bypass Long Lake but still do the entire run?
Aug 18th, 2022 | Juliann from Fox River | Link
We're thinking of going all the way to Shadow Lake as well. I'd love to hear if you did that trip and if so, how the conditions were. Thinking of taking the family so wondering if there are any tricky places, rapids, trees down, etc. that might be tricky for 10 year old paddler. Thanks!
Aug 18th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Shadow Lake is likely fine. Upstream of Shadow lake there might be some logjams. Downstream from Shadow Lake to the Waupaca, I'm fairly sure there are many logjams.
Aug 18th, 2022 | Juliann from Fox River | Link
Bummer. Well thank you for your counsel. Guess we'll have rethink it.
Deer Creek – Hwy 8 to Hwy 1
May 3rd, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment!
May 3rd, 2024 | Rick from 6-mile | Link
Thanks for sharing your trips. Excellent photos and write-up! It’s almost like I’m there.
Dell Creek & Upper Mirror Lake
Dec 24th, 2023 | Hugo Myszkowski from Chicago Illinois | Link
Hi, I'm coming from Chicago to the dells, is there anywhere you would recommend trout fishing or any good spots arond there? Thanks!
Dec 25th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
For fishing in general, I see a lot of fishermen below the dams (Wisconsin River dam or either of the Dell Creek dams). For trout, I think upper Dell Creek may have some. For official trout streams see this map:
Dickey Creek
Jun 6th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Photographing just the dells might be possible. There is a ravine just after the dells, which the locals (the Ho-Chunk) use to access the creek. You might contact the local Ho-chunk government and ask if you can use their land to access the creek.
Feb 18th, 2022 | Ian from Kinnickinnick | Link
Wow, this looks like a fantastic fishing stream, might have to look into this. Thanks for the photos!
Jun 5th, 2018 | Craig from Lemonwieriver | Link
I was wondering if this was paddle able just the other day when I was photographing Morrison Creek. Thanks for the review. Even tho it looks to be a tough time. I'd sure like to shoot what you refer to as the dells.
Duck Creek Middle Branch
Jun 13th, 2015 | mstubbs from yahara,wi | Link
That was a really good trip report! We followed that but going upstream not downstream from Wyona Park (very nice park with flush toilets no less). Very difficult to go upstream where they tried to make a dam in the river. Then we couldn't get beyond where the pedestrian bridge has fallen as our boats ride too high in the water. Exactly like in the photos. Nonetheless it was a very likeable trip on the clear duck creek. Then we came back and went around the park to the other side and went up the other creek which was muddy. But interestingly, there was more wildlife, a lot more. I take it there were more fish in the muddy stream than in the clear stream? Many many green herons, one great egret, blue herons, many wood ducks with broods, king birds, etc. It's a nice alder marsh habitat. Finally we encountered wood blockage and gave it up. Saw a hunting Osprey over the lake on the way back. Very nice area!
Jun 25th, 2019 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this section on 6/25/19, with an easy bike took just under 2 hours. It was a great trip,but the water clarity on the first section was not as clean/clear as you describe but it has been raining a lot so that may be the reason. It was much better after the dam. Other than the dam, there were only three obstructions, 2 floating foot brides and one tree down, but all were fairly simple portages, there were a few other tight spots but nothing required getting out of the boat. I saw many deer, ducks, geese, hawks, 2 owls,one muskrat, and no angry dam owners. This is a great short trip with an easy bike shuttle
Jun 26th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update. The key for clarity is strong sunlight, current low water levels, and historical low water levels to let the sediment settle. I bet this will be better later this summer.
Eau Claire River – Bear Lake Road to Hwy 52
Jul 8th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A guest video of the Upper Eau Claire River has been posted. This contains valuable information concerning the stregth of the rapids between Bear Lake Rd and Hwy 52 at 460 CFS.
Eau Claire River – Dells Park
Jun 12th, 2016 | Jake from Plover river | Link
I want to say thanks for running such a great website! I recently did a float on the upper Eau Claire. We put in on the Langland County property at the corner of Ackley road and Spring Rd (north of hwy 64). This is actually the east branch of the Eau Claire. It was a little brushy and over grown with some ducking and quick turns required, defiantly passable. After the section with some ducking it cleared up quickly and eventually merged with the west branch near the golf course. Once you get passed the golf course much of the river has a closed canopy of mature trees. Very wild feel with few houses and only a few scattered farm fields. Plenty of wildlife along the way including plenty of deer and 5 great sightings of bald eagles sitting on the river canopy, many herons as well. All of the bridges were easy to float under with no problem. No significant Rapids only one small portion of heavy riffles south of bear lake road. The water level was plenty high on June 11th but we did just have a torrential down pour on June 10 We road the river for 8 hours ~ 12 miles and took out on the spring brook on Nolan drive ( dnr public access point). We opted for this take out because of the public access and to avoid the ledges that are just to the south. This take out is less then ideal and requires water shoes as you have to walk a very short while <100 yards in the spring brook due to super swift current and deadfall trees. Overall an EXCELLENT float if your in the Antigo area
Eau Claire River – Harstad Park
Mar 18th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Jim, You should be fine. I did the trip in late September which is a traditionally low time for the river. In July, I think water levels should be very good. Keep an eye on the Neillsville Gauge though... Anything below 130 CFS might be a bit low for a canoe. Personally, I would be more concerns about the water levels being too high with the amount of rain we've gotten these past two years.
Jul 24th, 2018 | Karl from Chippewa River | Link
My wife and I were deciding where to take our kayak trip today and your description of the Eau Claire between Harstad Park and CTY D made up our minds. There is a tree across most of the river just down stream from the park's landing that had us wading at the start and I got to splash around at a few low spots along the way, but we both had a great time. Thanks for sharing your experiences; your text and photos/videos make it easy to know what to expect when kayaking along your routes.
Mar 18th, 2018 | Jim Johannsen from Apple River | Link
Hi! What time of year did you do this trip? Some friends and I are thinking of doing this trip in late July in aluminum canoes, but I'm worried it'll be too low. We don't mind getting out and dragging over the shallow spots as long as it's not every 10 minutes. Thanks!
May 24th, 2018 | Lucas Ruhl from Altoona | Link
Awesome review. That will be extremely helpful for the kayak trip I am hoping to take some time this summer. Couldn't imagine finding anything better and more complete than that. Very good work.
May 24th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Lucas!
Feb 18th, 2015 | Justin - EC Adventures from Eau Claire River (Chippewa Tributary) | Link
Excellent review and thanks for the feedback for EC Adventures! We are biased, but these stretches on Eau Claire River are great trips for all types of paddlers. Feel free to reach out again if you have any interest in exploring the South Fork in 2015. We will be out there frequently this Spring, as it's the best time to check them out! EC Adventures 715.495.7427
Jul 24th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comments!
Jul 22nd, 2017 | Rebecca from Eau Claire | Link
Thanks for the great review and beautiful pictures. It's really helpful!
Elk River – Flemings Rapids Rd to Hwy W
Mar 18th, 2024 | Ed Belan from Phillips | Link
Hi: A very nice story and pictures! I grew up on Grassy Lake, not Grass. The water looked low on your trip. During high water the river can increase in height 4-6' and would probably offer a wild kayak ride. If you continued on rather than taking out at the County Highway W bridge the river is very beautiful, deeper and because it travels thru County and State Forests part of the trip is unspoiled and quite wild. The next take out is the County Highway M bridge in the Flambeau River State Forest. Ed
Mar 18th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Ed for the tip about the take-otus. This is one my todo list!
Fever River (aka the Galena River)
Jul 14th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Lillian for the video! Yeah...cows are kind of common on the Fever.
Jul 13th, 2020 | Lillian Daniel from Dubuque | Link
Don't these cows understand we're trying to paddle here? And yes, at the sight of the whole herd, I totally dropped my camera, fortunately just onto my board. Adventures on the Wisconsin side of the Galena river, earlier this week.
Aug 22nd, 2022 | Bill Bloom from LeClaire Iowa | Link
Why doesn't someone Steve the galena river to make it navigable for pleasure boats?
Fish Lake
Nov 5th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment.
Nov 3rd, 2022 | Ben from Rock river | Link
We actually had one of the old motorhomes that were there. Ours fortunately didn't get flooded out but I just wanted to add some input on the ones that did. The motorhomes were used for camping during the summers. A lot of them have been there 40+ years and had proches and other add-ons built onto them which made them immovable in once piece. Because of that and the fact that the flooding happened over a few months after the camping season a lot of people didn't know/or didn't have time/money to move them. It was very sad to have to leave, as my family has had a place on that lake for over 40 years. But alas all great things must come to an end
Oct 19th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback.
Aug 25th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment! I wish they wouldn't have removed those buildings as they provided a lot of unique character to the lake.
Nov 12th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, it's really crazy how this lake has changed.
Nov 11th, 2021 | Deb B from Lodi | Link
This brings back a lot of memories. I was there about 40 years ago. There was a campground, a store for the campers, a few cabins to rent, and quite a few mobile homes on the lakes edge. We stayed at one of the cabins and the beach was fantastic. We had a lot of fun. Sad to see it all flooded. Thanks for sharing!
Oct 19th, 2021 | Kim Bacik from Milwaukee River - Downtown | Link
Hello! Just wanted to say that your website is really interesting and chock full of good tips, in particular, the Fish Lake trip. I intend to kayak Fish Lake hopefully yet this fall,(but probably next spring) and your guide will come in handy. Thanks - Kim
Aug 25th, 2022 | Sue from Honey Creek | Link
I paddled Fish Lake last year and again on August 22 of this year. A lot has changed. Water levels were still incredibly high, but water quality was way down (a lot of green algae). The lotus bed on the north shore is even smaller this year--only a few plants were blooming. More houses have been removed, and all the trailers that were partially submerged on the south shore are gone. The few houses that remain had windows broken and looked pretty beat up. All the park buildings are also gone, so you don't get quite the scale of how much flooding has occurred. Still a nice paddle and a very beautiful lake. For photos of the farm field and lotus bed before they were flooded, plus lots of interesting history, check out: Friends of Fish and Mud Lakes:
Flambeau River
Aug 11th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Small world! Thanks for the comment.
Aug 11th, 2022 | James W Stamper from Eau Claire/Chippewa River | Link
Looking through the pictures of the Flambeau River, I was surprised to see my family, our dog, and myself, in a few pictures. Those pictures were taken on the weekend of 29AUG2020. It was a weekend I needed to be on the river and remember trips gone by.
Fond du Lac River
Jun 24th, 2017 | Aaron from Puchayan | Link
We did this trip today and the water was super fast! We used our whitewater kayaks and it took us less than 2 hours to do. We were really nervous about running into strainers or log Jams, but the run was actually very clear beside a few branches hanging in your face. Thanks for the help on making our trip happen!
Jul 11th, 2017 | Gary Mulder from N Fond du Lac | Link
I am 60 years old and would love to kayak the Fond du lac River but don't want to go alone. Anyone interested?
Sep 17th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's too bad to hear about your spill. In regards the differences in experiences, mostly this is attributable to water level. I went at 41 CFS which is an average depth, while you must have gone at 70-90 CFS which is much higher. Many rivers in the state that are fed by marshes (like Fond du Lac) are taking much longer to wind down from our big rainstorms.
May 29th, 2020 | Marta from Fond du Lac River | Link
We just ran this from 23 to Rogersville Rd on Wednesday 5-27-20 and it was extremely dangerous. It took us less than two hours. High water levels with a fast flow, two log jams we had to portage around which was difficult to get out with the current, and multiple spots where we had to squeak through spots. There was a strainer where it looked like maybe we'd fit but we didn't dare chance it because if we didn't fit we'd drown. We got caught up a couple times and I thought it was game over. The water is just too high for intermediate paddlers to do this safely at the moment. I hope this message gets to someone who can benefit from the knowledge. An organized cleanup to clear out the dangerous spots would be beneficial when the water level is lower. If it wasn't for the spots I thought I was going to die it would have been an awesome trip. The rapids were thrilling but wait for the water levels to fall.
May 29th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Marta for the warning. Yeah the gauge now is quite high and the river is likely too dangerous. This is one river best enjoyed at low levels.
Sep 17th, 2018 | Ariane from Butnett Ditch | Link
My boyfriend and I took this trip twice this weekend, once we started from townline road(decent put in) and the second Was just off Woodhull road(small walk, but easy enough). The first time we ended qt supples marsh took us 4 hours. No portages, but he did manage to tip twice. Second trip we ended at 41 because it was too dark to continue. We had inteded to end at hickory, but my incident took up quite a bit of time. Water was extremely fast, rapids were strong. We did get quite a bit of rain in the last few weeks. I did manage to get sucked under a log jam at one point and had to walk a few hundred yards to catch up to my kayak after pushing it down stream. But it was beautiful, until you got to the city, we had to portage three times. 2 were easy enough, the 3rd was after my incident and we just couldnt see far enough ahead. Turned out the river was split 3 ways and each had its own set of obstacles(trees, rocks, branches). Your video looks much more peaceful than our adventure.
May 8th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the valuable updates! I agree the Fond du Lac is really underrated...not sure why it isn't more popular.
May 7th, 2023 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
Paddled on this beautiful day today (05/07/2023) at 73 CFS. The water level was honestly perfect at this flow rate. The current was zippy the entire way from 23 to Rogersville road. We were able to duck under 2 fallen trees that would be strainers at higher volumes, but the entire trip was clear without the need for a single portage! My Strava App recorded only 5.98 miles on this journey (quite different than the 7.1 listed) and other than there being at least 2 dozen homes on the riverbanks of this journey (you must have been distracted from seeing them all) I too would give it a 5/5 ranking. It was indeed goldilocks perfect with an intimate, wooded feel, limited road noise, and enough current to be fast and interesting but not dangerous.
May 24th, 2020 | Shaun from Taycheedah Creek | Link
Have you ever scouted the East Branch of the Fond du lac River. Looks like HWY D would be a good put in.
May 24th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I did scout parts of it...and was worried about logjams. If you know more, definitely let me know.
Fox River
Jun 6th, 2024 | bryan johnson from westbend | Link
We would like to kayak from princeton to berlin does anyone know how long that may take? Thanks. Bryan
Jun 6th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Bryan, figure 23 miles. At 2mph that would be ~11 hours. It's a long trip! You might break it into sections.
Fox River – Portage
Jul 27th, 2017 | Marsha Cohen from Yahara River | Link
I did this on 7/26/17; water was high but it didn't matter for this slow moving river. The 5 miles took me 2 hours. Cloudy sky was good as you are quite exposed to the sun. Because of the high water, the little rapid wasn't there, so I missed my 5 second whitewater experience! The smell from the canal went away once you passed it. I did a bike shuttle. Thanks for the write up above; I'll have to do more of the Fox. It was a great trip!
Fox River – Swan Lake
Jun 27th, 2015 | mstubbs from yahara | Link
There is no dam at Swan Lake. You can put in the fox river at Portage and go up into Swan Lake with no portage.
Fox River – White River Locks
Apr 14th, 2019 | keegan Allen from Fox river | Link
White river landing could you possibly give me address. I'm planning g my whole trip from Portage to green bay which I will be starting soon.
Apr 14th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Keegan, the White River locks are off Lock Road. If you Google "43.899968, -89.084016", the results will show the exact location. Good luck on your adventure! Let me know how it turns out. Unfortunately the Fox is ridiculously high now so it won't as fun to paddle. You may be interested in reading the blog which details how one individual paddled not only the entire Fox River, but also the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Gordon Creek
Aug 14th, 2020 | Dennis Franke from Black Earth Creek | Link
Hi Fellow Creek Dweller. I really like your informative site. Your videos and descriptions are really well done. All should enjoy - and learn! To point: Gordon Creek is a pretty small creek, as are many others in Wisconsin, especially in the driftless region. On such small streams, how do you handle the situation where an angler is say right there in the middle when you come upon him/her? The angler is there first, and has a sort of temporary "dibs" on the spot - trying not to disturb things, keeping quiet to not scare trout, preparing tackle and setting-up to cast, hoping another angler won't just barge on in for the brief while they are there (before they soon move on to the next fishy looking spot). But then the kayaker comes into the picture and changes or "complicates" the game. Who has the right of position or "control", so to speak, in these situations? Should the angler just throw in his hat and not say a word when the fishing (and "his" spot) is now upset? (given trout are skittish creatures). Is the kayaker now like someone in the movie line who jumps ahead and gains an advantage over the other? Please inform if you will, the "official" protocol (if there is one, which I think there should be) for this now-more-frequent on-stream meeting. An old Trout Angler wanting to know how to play the new game. Thanks, Dennis
Aug 14th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I don't think there is an official protocol. I usually say hi or something so the fishermen knows I'm there and won't tangle with their lines.
Grant River – Grant River Rd
Aug 26th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback. I'll take this into consideration for future reviews. FYI, getting around that logjam wasn't super difficult. We had to do some minor hopping over a branch, but otherwise the river had cut a clear detour around the tree.
Aug 26th, 2021 | Richard Hannah from Six mile creek | Link
Love your videos but would like to see more of how you get around obstacles, like the one you touched on briefly. I’m a visual learner so it helps me see things,in addition to reading about them. Thanks!
Grant River – Hwy U
Aug 9th, 2020 | Scotty Wertel from Driftless area | Link
Greetings Aaron, I just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know that I paddled the Grant River on Friday and can share some intel. We put-in at Shortcut Road which is once again a viable option. There is a clear path the the river, then there is a 3-4' drop (which is doable to butt slide down), then a flat and solid spot to launch from. Send me your direct e-mail address and I can e-mail you some pictures. We paddled the 6.6 miles to the 1st bridge on Pigeon River Road. It's doable, not great, not terrible; upstream river left. There are rocks that you can get out on. The bank is steep but climbable with only a little Japanese hops and nettles. There is plenty of roadside parking here as well. There were three of us and we helped each other get our boats up without issue. This 6.6 mile section is nice because you get some great rock formations without the long 11.25 haul to County U. Thanks for your continued posts. I enjoy reading them and adding more paddles to my future list. Take care, Scotty Wertel (aka the Driftless Kayaker)
Aug 9th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Scotty for the updates. That's good news about Shortcut that launch was in bad shape last I checked. The upstream bridge isn't a bad alternate put-in though. It's good to hear that the 1st bridge on Pigeon River Road is also viable. Keep up the good work on your youtube channel which has a lot of good river videos.
Halls Creek – Part 2
Mar 24th, 2020 | Thomas Mills from Black River | Link
I have a flat bottom, sit-on fishing kayak. Will this suffice for Halls? I would say I am a novice... I had some experience with class 1 and 2's years ago but haven't done any serious kayaking besides on lakes in recent times. Also, do you know anything about the fishing? Thanks for any help. I stumbled across this website and it is an absolute gold mine. I have wanted to explore this creek and other parts of the Black River watershed since I have been a young boy spending summers at our family home on the river. My dream is to take my kayak all the way from halls to my dock!
Jul 6th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the comments! Yes, the Neillsville gauge isn't very representative. It's a tough almost have do calculations of how much rain has fallen in the watershed and when, but that too can be tough. Hopefully NOAA will eventually add a gauge on this creek.
Jul 6th, 2021 | Cory from 14 Mile Creek | Link
Four of us did this segment on July 3, 2021. At the time, the Black River gauge at Neillsville was about 600 cfs after having a significant rain about a week earlier. However, that flow rate did not correlate to Hall's Creek at all. The water level was pretty low and we had to get out and walk many, many times, even in flat-bottom boats. However, the scenery was spectacular, especially the side-trip to see the double waterfall, and it was a beautiful day to be on the water. I know there aren't any USGS gauges nearby that would help determine water levels, so I suggest going 2-3 days after a decent rain in the immediate vicinity. If we can time it right, we'll definitely try it again because with enough water, this trip would be incredible.
Jul 6th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update!
Mar 25th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Start with the first segment (to Flood Road). That is much easier and safer. Then if you're comfortable then do the second segment. But note, the second segment is rougher. I advise going during low flow rates when the creek is less might hit a few rocks but it will be safer for an inexperienced paddler in a non-whitewater boat.
Mar 25th, 2020 | Thomas Mills from Black River | Link
Thanks for the advice. How dangerous is the old dam on the second part, especially in my kayak?
Jul 6th, 2024 | Nicole T from Neillsville | Link
Ran Halls Creek today July 6, 2024. Black river was at ~2200 cfs at Neillsville. Current was hopping right along. This trip took us 2 hours even with a couple quick stops. 1 large pine is down that may cause a slight portage when water levels go down. The drops were a blast today.
Mar 25th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Not too bad...but maybe don't go at high levels. You should scout from the right shore before running. A portage would be tricky, but I think it would be doable if you thought it was rough. See If you do this trip, let me know how it turned out.
Hemlock Creek
Jun 19th, 2018 | Cory Gerzmehle from Heart of Glacial Lake Wisconsin | Link
My wife and I did this section on June 18, 2018 after strong storms moved through Central Wisconsin the night before. The Yellow River gauge that morning was 130cfs, but I knew it was rising. A mere 18 hours after our trip, the Yellow gauge was at 1760 and still climbing! Judging by your pictures, I would guess our water level was a little higher than yours. The water was very muddy, but all very manageable. The worst part: by June, everything is very thickly overgrown. The bridge accesses and portages were all very thick and, of course, the mosquitoes were bad. We love your website since we discovered kayaking last summer. We've used your routes and recommendations for two sections of the Yellow River, two sections of the Plover River, the Mecan, the Kickapoo, the Baraboo (3x), and two sections of the Waupaca/Tomorrow/Chrystal--often taking friends along for the ride. Our to-do list for this year includes the Black River and hopefully some more driftless streams (the Blue, perhaps?), in addition to revisiting our favorites from last year. Thanks for your labor of love. Cory & Becky
Jun 19th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's too bad to hear that the Yellow River gauge was so unreliable. Both Hemlock Creek and the Yellow River are such volatile rivers they are difficult to predict, and the best bet might be to eyeball the levels at the put-in to get an idea of where things are at. You make a good point about the the portages being more difficult in summer which I didn't factor in. Thank you for your kind words and comments.
Honey Creek – Bell School Road
Oct 23rd, 2022 | Dan D. from Wauwatosa | Link
Hi! Great post on Honey Creek! I’m planning on accessing this same section of stream in a few weeks and just wondering: if I’m looking to explore the first 0.5 miles downstream from the Bell School Road would I be better served in a canoe or waders? From your pictures it seems very navigable by foot—or am I being fooled by camera perspective? Thanks!!
Oct 23rd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
So are you looking to do like fishing?  If so, waders would be your better bet.  That leg of the creek is pretty shallow and will be at this time of year.
Honey Creek – Carver School Road
Jun 2nd, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I was surprised too!
Jun 1st, 2024 | Walter Majewski from Milwaukee River | Link
Great review as always, thanks for the content! I'll put it on the list. It's amazing you encountered a shallow spot considering the 5 inches of rain last month.
Horicon Marsh
Jul 8th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A warning for paddlers. As of 2023-07-08, the marsh is way too low to be paddled.
Feb 4th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment. The bike trails by the marsh are very underrated!
Feb 4th, 2024 | Steve Vaughan from Rock River in Winnebago County, Illinois | Link
I paddled the marsh in late June, 2023. It was quite hot, low 90’s, and the air was Smokey from Canadian wildfires. Nevertheless, I had a nice solo paddle from the Greenhead Landing to Horicon’s Blue Hern Landing.. I used Blue Hern’s shuttle service which was great and inexpensive. Other than the heat and smoke, conditions were fine, with just a slight breeze. I saw one bald eagle up close, and lots of pelicans, cormorants, and egrets. I camped out at Ledge Park. He next day I biked along Dike Road and saw a lot more egrets and geese. Biking is another great way to experience the marsh. I look forward to paddling the marsh again, perhaps starting at Burnet Ditch next time.
May 21st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
As of 2021-05-21, "breakaway bogs" or large blocks of vegetation have blocked access to the landings at the south end of the marsh. No word on when this will be cleared up. I suspect Horicon is starting to silt in from the Horicon dam. The DNR apparently has no interest in fixing the issue.
Illinois Fox River – Hwy ES
Jul 10th, 2024 | Don Schaeffer from Menomone | Link
Paddled from ES to Big Bend. Quite high due to all the rain but I was pleasantly surprised by the water quality. Coffee colored but free of algae etc. I took a couple dips to cool off. In addition to the customary great blue herons and kingfishers we saw green herons, two eagles, and several egrets.
Jul 10th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback.
Illinois Fox River – Poplar Creek
May 14th, 2017 | Dave Meyers from Menominee | Link
A: I have a little experience with the Illinois Fox North of River Road (Mitchel Park). I've paddled the length of Mitchel and also a bit further north. This afternoon the water was high but slow as my 8yr old and I paddled our canoe about 1.5 miles upstream from Capitol Ave. before drifting back to Mitchel. There are several submerged snags but no strainers, log jams, rapids or other dicey obstacles. Didn't drop ft as far as the River Road bridge, but suspect it may not be passable at high water. There is a tall flat hill with pvc venting north of Capitol to the east of the river. Looks like an old landfill. The water clarity was mediocre, and there were lots of vegetation debris on the banks. This entire wetland is a giant storm water managment structure for local municipalities. Plenty of wildlife. Many water fowl. 2-3 nests of ducklings and geese. 2 pair of Herons. Large muskrat lodge north of Capitol bridge. I'll explore more carefully when time permits and try to contribute a trip summary. Dave
Oct 17th, 2019 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this trip on Sun 9/13( approx 450 cfs , 4.75 ft) it was cold and windy, but I was in the area so I decided to give this trip a try. the water was high and fast, but there were no major obstructions that required me to get out of my boat (other than the dam) but there were a few spots that may have been more difficult if the levels were closer to "normal" Even with the high levels the water clarity was decent, not much wildlife, but as I said it was kind of a blustery fall day. The first part of the trip was surprisingly wooded for being an urban paddle, and the last part after the dam was fast and fun, but the high water washed out the rapids so it was just a fun roller coaster ride. I did a bike shuttle back to Wray Park and it wasn't bad at all. I used the Fox River Bike Trail to the north side of Frame Park, then less then a mile on E Moreland (fairly busy) and then a few small neighborhood streets and a really short stretch on Springfield Rd. A good trip for anyone who lives in the area
Aug 6th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Warning to of 2023-08-06, there are several significant logjams upstream from the mouth of the Pewaukee River.
Oct 17th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's interesting that the rapids wash out at high levels...this means they are likely never too dangerous. It's too bad about our bad weather...normally this would be a perfect time for a fall color paddle. Thanks as always for the information.
Kickapoo River
Jul 18th, 2019 | David J Murphy from Baraboo | Link
How do you keep the river clear of log jams?
Jun 4th, 2016 | Posie from Kickapoo River | Link
We live within miles of the Kickapoo, and have spent a lot of time on the part by us...Readstown through S. Up north we haven't spent as much time on, but we plan on doing the entire Kickapoo this summer. We don't go up there a lot because of the numbers of people. We have done Ontario through bridge 7, and lower Rockton (12?!?!) to La Farge. We will catch bridges 7 to 12 later. As we do pieces, I will add more. About Ontario to 7...soon after starting, there is a drop off in the river that wasn't mentioned before, like a mini-waterfall...maybe because we went there before the season began...we don't know. It is like going through a mini-chute. Rockton to La Farge is lovely!!! Contrary to thinking it not very interesting, we find the lower part just as beautiful as the upper portion, but in a different way. Readstown: There is NO good place to put in at Readstown. They kept telling us to go to the park...well, we did and have walked all over it. We have gone to the road on the other side of it. Where 14/61 crosses over it (bridge), the bank is suuuuuper steep. I suppose if the river was high you could get in at the park. We ended up putting in on a side creek a little bit further south of Readstown, off 61. We spent a lot of time figuring out where to put in. The last little piece before Soldiers Grove had riffles, which were fun. Soldiers Grove to B before the dam...about 9 miles, it takes about 4 hours. We have not been able to put in there at times because the mud is so deep that our feet sank too much. There are some log jams that have a few feet to pass through, submerged trees everywhere. Not very hard, but keeps you on your toes. We went with friends recently who were surprised at how much more of a challenge this was than the upper part of the Kickapoo. No cliffs, but lots of beautiful plants, animals, etc. Eagles, beavers, cranes, geese, muskrats, otter, deer, turtles, etc. I regularly see more wildlife on the lower part than I have on the upper. Takes about 4 hours and not a lot of idling. Usually you have to be paying attention. B to Gays/dam is shorter. We have portaged to the other side of the dam and then kayaked to Stump Dodger, which is sweet but short. I am glad I did it, but not so worth the effort. All of these places offer lots of shade along the way. Stump Dodger to S is where the river starts to open up wider. Much more leisurely and floaty. This is where is gets a bit more "boring" to me in terms of scenery. In all the times we have been between Readstown and S, we have NEVER ONCE ran into people on the river....except for 3 adults and 2 kids fishing. We have had people behind us get out after we did...but that is it. We like feeling like we own the river. :) I will post more as we hit other spots...especially those north of Ontarios!!!
Aug 4th, 2020 | Karen McKeown from Madison | Link
How much does it cost to float to bridge 14 6 hrs and 30 min
Jul 18th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hey David...I'm not personally involved with that but I know the liveries in Ontario work pretty hard to keep the upper stretches clean.
Aug 4th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Off hand I don't know...I advise calling the liveries to get a quote.
Sep 5th, 2013 | Jim | Link
My wife and I are new to kayaking and saw the Kickapoo on this website. We live in the Appleton area and decided to make the trip to Ontario while on vacation. We stayed over night in Tomah and then headed to Ontario. We were the only 2 on the river since school was back in session and the weather was very nice. The only regret I have is that my cell phone did not have service so we were unable to call for our ride, but we were able to get a ride back with one of the rental outfits in Ontario. I recommend this trip to all kayaking enthusiasts.
Jun 8th, 2016 | Posie from Kickapoo River | Link
There were some gorgeous rock outcroppings here I forgot to talk about. Not so many as down from Ontario to La Farge...but pretty stunning.
Apr 29th, 2024 | Eric A from North Branch of the Chicago River | Link
I'm looking to paddle the Kickapoo from Ontario to LaFarge this summer with kids. I'm thinking we would camp at one of the river side KVR sites. I'm thinking sites W, S, X or maybe M. Can anyone provide a review or recommendation of those sites? Thanks
Apr 29th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Jim, I'm not as familiar with those campsites. I recommend calling the Kickapoo Valley Reserve 608-625-2960 for more info.
Jun 7th, 2016 | Posie from Kickapoo River | Link
WILTON to NICOLETTE AVE. -- As part of wanting to kayak the Kickapoo from as far north as possible to the end, we did the upper-most bit on June 5. Wilton (from the campground/park) to Nicolette Avenue just north of NOW School took us 6 hours to go 7 miles, and it was exhausting/hilarious! I don't think it would be possible to go any further north, really. According to the United States Geological Survey Map, the water level at Ontario was 8.5 feet. It would be impossible to do this route any shallower, and would have been better to have done it deeper. That being said, I don't know how it would have affected passage through log jams. None of it was very deep, but it was rather dangerous in parts. It took a LOT of hard work to get through here. I am so very glad we did it!!! But, still, this is just a lot of hard physical labour. Lots of riffles. Kept getting caught on rocks and had to rock/drag with hands/poke with paddles to get yourself free. Or just get out and drag your boat. Some spots were dangerous with the currents and dead wood. Too many log jams to remember. We lot count. My husband twice had to climb out onto them and push his boat through and then drag mine through. I got out twice and hauled mine up a steep bank, through nettles and poison parsnip because I couldn't bear to do what he was doing. We did feel like Lewis and Clark! We knew we were seeing things not many people have seen, and it was beautiful...we loved the adventure of it all! However, this is NOT a part you want to do really unless you are just really wanting to do ALL of the Kickapoo.
Kickapoo River – Black Valley to Brookwood High
Mar 31st, 2021 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section from Nordale to Bridge #5 on 3/30/21, the trip was about 14 miles and took was about 5 hours including a 30 min lunch break The gauge was at 8.94 ft, which was OK, there were a few shallow spots,but we never had to get out of the boat. There were a few obstacles to avoid but no complete blockages, and we cleared out a few partial blockages and did some lopping of low hanging branches so this section is in pretty good shape right now. We enjoyed the upper section as much if not more than the section from bridge #1- #5, and would recommend it to anyone looking for something a little smaller, intimate and less crowded than the typical sections serviced by all the commercial canoe/kayak operations on the Kickapoo. We did a car shuttle, it would be a pretty bike shuttle but there are a couple of decent hills to contend with. Parking is $5 but it goes to a good cause....according to the parking form "All fees go directly to maintaining, improving, and protecting the Reserve"
Mar 31st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I agree...I think the pre-Ontario section is as good as the post-Ontario section despite it not being as popular. Great to hear about the cleanup efforts...thanks as always for the updates.
Kickapoo River – Bridge 4 to Bridge 7
Sep 23rd, 2022 | Michelle from Fox river (waukesha/milwaukee) | Link
Where can my husband & I rent 2 kayaks for a paddle Oct 21-23. Driving up from Milwaukee area but do not wanna trailer our kayaks that far on the freeway. Want to experience the Kickapoo river on kayaks
Sep 24th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
There are a number of rentals in the area: - Kickapoo Wild Adventures: 608.337.4522 – 30352 State Hwy 131, Norwalk, WI 54648 - Drifty’s Canoe Rental: 608.337.4288 – Highway 33 & 131, North Ontario, WI 54651 - Fred Flasher’s Canoe Camping Trips: (608) 435-6802 – PO Box 114, Wilton, WI 54670 - Mr. Ducks Canoe Rental: (608) 337-4711 – 100 Main Street, Ontario, Wisconsin 54651 - Titanic Canoe Rental: 1-877-438-7865 – 300 State Highway 131, Ontario, WI 54651
Kickapoo River – Guest Review
Aug 15th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
How many logjams did you face?
Aug 15th, 2022 | Hannah Williams from Northfield, MN | Link
My husband and I did the Wilton to Ontario route yesterday. Very beautiful but very exhausting. I’d definitely recommend doing it at least once.
Kickapoo River – Rockton to La Farge
Sep 5th, 2017 | Gail | Link
Five of us did the run from Rockton to LaFarge September 5, 2017. CFS at La Farge USGS 05408000 was 266, river depth 3.63 ft. We did the 10 miles in 3 hrs. 10 mins. with no stops. Portable toilets were at both the put in and take out. We moved along nicely with no log jams, although 2 miles from the take out, one tree crossed the river, and we just squeaked under it. All in all, the unparalleled beauty of Wisconsin is showcased on this section of the Kickapoo River. We'll be back.
Sep 6th, 2017 | Gail from Wisconsin River | Link
I think if the river had been much lower than the 266 CFS, 3.63 ft, it may have been a challenge to past a lot of trees that were laying across the river, although it would have been easier to get under that one squeaker.
Kinnickinnic River
Aug 13th, 2022 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We paddled the 'Kinni' on 8/5/22, Water levels low, 95 CFS, but other than just a few bumpy spots in some of the riffles, I did not think it was to shallow, and water clarity was amazing. We were both in boats with fairly flat bottoms, but boats with V hulls and tandem canoes may have issues at these levels I did a bike shuttle while my paddling partner waiting with the boats at Glen Park. Other than the BIG hill, right at the start on Hwy F it was a very easy and pleasant shuttle through rolling hills and past small farms. The trail from the park offers two options, stairs or a rutted path. Neither is fit for a cart so you will have to carry or drag your boat down to the landing. There is easy access to the water at the landing and, depending on your skills and the water levels, there may be some fun waves to surf coming from the dam spillway. The fun riffles start almost immediately and continue on and off for the entire length of the river. The water was amazing clear and the bottom varied between rocks, pebbles, and sand. The banks are mostly tree lined for the first half and then the bluffs start, with several areas of moss covered seeps that were truly spectacular The river stays fairly narrow, shallow, and sinuous for the entire 8 miles until you reach Hwy F, you can take out there or continue on to the confluence with the St. Croix. The bluffs get bigger but the river slows down, and the parking lot is up a huge long hill, so most people choose to take out on F. It is worth the short drive to Kinnickinnic State park to check out views of the confluence of the two rivers. While there are some areas that require a bit of boat control, and a few deep holes (great for trout fishing) most of the river is shallow and is suitable for anyone except perhaps absolute beginners. Here is a link to a map and pics of my trip using the app Relive (which I highly recommend)
May 8th, 2020 | Local Towny from River Falls | Link
It is not possible to kayak the Kinni north of the 65 put in. Farmers have several barbed wire fences across the river. Not enjoyable to come upon.
Aug 16th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering removing two dams on the Kinnickinnic River. This would be a very good thing and could open a really neat stretch for kayaking. A recent open house was hosted to get public input on this issue:
May 8th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update.
Jun 8th, 2018 | gaila olsen from black earth creek | Link
Survived it…it was lovely just solid ripples….but also got to ‘enjoy ‘ it with at least 100+ other kayakers….but what to expect on memorial day eh? (my daughter had off from work that day…so had to bite the bullet). It is really in a deep gorge without any way to really get out of it…so once you are in…you are in. also…we did it at about 138 cfs…..and that was adequate…a few bumps on rocks but nothing major…if it gets down to 120 or 110 cfs I doubt it I would do it cuz you would end up having to do lots and lots of walking….with no exit. Would love to have had 150 cfs. I will definitely do it again on a weekday ….and avoid the lines of paddlers that were in there. They were all having fun tho…and it is not an apple river drink fest type of river yet. With the 100 degree heat we enjoyed getting into the very swift current and floating between rapids….and then just sat in the water to eat. Nice clear water and very zippy. Gaila
Aug 13th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the updated information and pictures!
Kittleson Valley Creek
Apr 30th, 2022 | Rich Bostwick from Bass Creek | Link
Your description and especially your pictures really have me interested in doing this creek. The smaller the better! Will try to run this in the next couple of months and let you know how it went. Thanks for this!
Koshkonong Creek
Oct 25th, 2017 | Dave Birren from Yahara River | Link
Maybe you're talking about the banks. I did notice that many of them looked quite muddy. But since we didn't have to portage there was no need to investigate their muddiness further. From the looks of several of them, raccoons are common.
Jul 9th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the "Kosh" from Water Street in Cambridge to Hoopen Rd on 7/7/20 with a bike shuttle, the creek seemed a bit low, which is not surprising as it has been a while since we have had a decent amount of rain. We put in at the CamRock bike park, which has plenty of parking and offers 2 launching options, a set of stairs going into the water or 25 yards downstream there is a spot where you can just slide into the water from the bank. The section from Cambridge to Rockdale was totally open but the section from Rockdale to Hoopen Rd had a few obstructions, There were no portages, but there were obstacles to avoid and there was one spot where we had to get out of the boats and pull them over some logs in the water. If the creek would have been 6 inches higher we probably could have gotten through everything. This is a nice trip for a hot sunny day as both the paddle and the shuttle are mostly shaded.
Jul 5th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, I'm not sure the Turtle gauge is trustworthy. Thanks for the update though.
Jul 9th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update!
Jul 5th, 2019 | Eric from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section from Water street to Hoopen Rd on 7/5/19 with a bike shuttle. The creek seemed low (lots of exposed muddy banks) given all the rain we have been having, but it is my first time doing it so I don't know for sure. The Turtle gauge was at 250 CFs or 4.5 ft, much higher than your trip. There were a couple of obstacles to scoot over or under but no portages. The bike shuttle was easy and flat with most of it on the Cam-Rock Bike Trail. The whole trip took less than 2 hours, 1.5 hr paddle and 15 min pedal
Oct 23rd, 2017 | Dave Birren from Yahara River | Link
I paddled Kosh Creek on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. I had paddled part of it once before and wanted more, and I wasn't disappointed. My friend paddled bow in my Bell NorthStar (16'6") and we did just great. We put in at the nice little dock at Water St. There were quite a few nice riffles, plenty of obstacles to keep it interesting, and enough straight sections to enable us to stay hydrated. The creek requires some back-ferrying and setting turns to run a number of narrow slots, which makes it all the more interesting. I didn't notice much mud except at the take-out, but we took out at the riprap where the creek meets Hoopen Rd. It took us an hour and 40 minutes - fast, thanks to my friend's strong paddling. I look forward to paddling this stretch solo.
La Crosse River
Sep 4th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I didn't realize that storm damage had created downed trees on the Upper La Crosse. Your update is appreciated.
Jul 3rd, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback Denny. Yeah Hammer Road was a bit steep/weedy for an access, and a trip like this would benefit from a longer length.
May 1st, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Lynn for the warning. I'll make a note on the map and overview to warn other paddlers.
Sep 4th, 2023 | Ian from Perch pond | Link
This was an amazing trip. Water was clear and moving at a decent flow. How ever the storms took down a lot More trees into the river. Still able to get through them but can get difficult at some points.
May 1st, 2024 | Lynn Ann V from Rio Grande | Link
I floated the La Crosse river in Sparta, WI yesterday (4-30-24) and thought you might make note on your site that the Perch Lake to Amundsen Park section is plagued with lots of down trees and is not passable in one section without getting out of your boat and climbing over downed tree trunks. Cheers!
Jul 3rd, 2023 | Denny Caneff from Yahara River | Link
Paddlers, if you have the time and inclination, you should definitely travel beyond Hammer Road (the takeout for the above-described trip) and continue on to Icarus Road (a narrow but mowed takeout path) or on to County Road J, near Rockland, which features a well-developed takeout and parking lot for the canoe rental fleets. While there are no fun ledges like in the first segment just beyond Sparta, the appealing river features encountered there pretty much continue: steady current, an occasional but navigable deadfall, sandy bottom. The river slows down and widens out a bit, but is certainly no more difficult. The sand mine was quiet the day I went by. A flotilla of canoe renters were enjoying the river; some were hilariously clueless about steering a canoe (or even holding a paddle). Total paddling time from Sparta to County J was 3 hours (and I paddle fast).
La Crosse River – Fort McCoy
May 15th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the clarification
May 15th, 2022 | Jim Lavelle from Sparta | Link
Hi,I work for the Fort McCoy Garrison staff. I was excited to see this, and plan to paddle it. Don't worry about being bothered at the put in. We actively encourage outdoor recreation on base. Just use our website to ensure your recreation doesn't meet up with Soldiers training.
Jul 28th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment.
Jul 28th, 2021 | Katerpillar from Canadian River. Although, downtown OKC they rename it “Oklahoma River”. | Link
Great article. I paddled here 20 yrs ago, the bombs!! . I got to relive it just now reading this. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thank you.
La Crosse River – Onalaska
Nov 1st, 2016 | Timothy Bauer from | Link
Aaron, For what it's worth, I paddled the La Crosse River today (11/1/16) from Veterans Park to Riverside Park and there were no fewer than 4 serious obstructions. I cleared out and cleaned up what I could with pruners and a handsaw, but this trip would require a couple portages in high water, and those paddling a canoe would have a hell of a time. Sincerely, Timothy at
Aug 14th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately the La Crosse River now is a bit high...hopefully it comes down here pretty soon.
Aug 14th, 2021 | Ryan Jinkins from La Crosse | Link
WOW!!! Thank you so much for taking the time in documenting this trip. I have lived in LaCrosse for 16 years and I am just now planning a down river trip but I have no idea where all of our drop in sites are. Thank you for having such a detailed trip of what to expect.
Lake Columbia
Nov 22nd, 2023 | Mark Polakowski from West Allis | Link
How is the fishing this time of year?
Nov 23rd, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good question...I'm actually not an expert and can't say for sure.
Latest Comments
Jul 16th, 2020 | Laurie from La Crosse | Link
Arena public landing on lower Wisconsin was silted in on July 6th. We were lucky to speak to some locals on a sandbar, or would not have known we needed to carry canoe over a mudbank to get to it. Would need to do this putting in there also. Otherwise a lovely trip from Prairie du Sac. But Arena landing would be really easy to totally miss! Not visible at all right now(unless changed since 7/6/20.)
Jul 17th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That poor landing has been though a lot...hopefully it clears up in the future. Thx for the heads up.
Apr 12th, 2019 | Ian Harding from St. Croix | Link
There is a new river gage named "Eau Claire river above Lake Augusta" as follows: It should be very helpful for both South Fork and N Fork of the Eau Claire River. There is also another new one downstream at cty K near fall creek at:
Jan 19th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great question Eric...I would definitely stay away from big rivers and flowages as those can take a long time to melt. Traditionally, the upper Kickapoo actually runs ice free for much of the winter. That could be a cool paddle with frozen ice flows on the sandstone outcrops. I have a friend who really like to paddle the Kickapoo in the winter. In the Dane County area...yeah I suspect Badfish and Black Earth Creek are the best bets because of their narrow width and speed. Token Creek might likely also be navigable...if you have a drone, that might be a great way to scout for ice prior to paddling. If you do a winter paddle, let me know how it turns out.
Jan 19th, 2018 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
Hey, It looks like it is going to be warm....well over 40 for the next 2 weekends so I may try to get on the water. Any ideas? How much of the Badfish, Black Earth Creek, and or Token Creek do you think will be open. Thanks
Apr 7th, 2019 | Fly Fisherman from Dane county | Link
The Wisconsin River is a great place to kayak!I truly admire your passion of kayaking. I have done a lot myself in Montana, Colorado, California, and Wyoming. In saying that, every angler you pass has no option to fish upstream as you paddle downstream. These Wisconsin streams are often very narrow and fishing is nearly impossible when people kayak them. Trout hide from predators and won't come out if they are spooked. You can destroy a day of fishing when you go by. I have had people say "I'm scaring the fish to you" as they go by totally oblivious ... Pick up a fly rod and I will teach you. That is my two cents. Enjoy the nice weather. Respectfully AJM
Aug 14th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thank you for the comments! While I have been tempted to get a GPS breadcrumb tool (especially for tracking elevation drops) I have not used one for a trip. The main camera I use is the Nikon W300 (which is Nikon's latest waterproof camera). The good macro shots are taken with the Canon PowerShot SX280. The majority of photos have lat/long coordinates in the exif data so using any Exif viewer, you can look up where a photo was taken. The maps themselves are created with Google's "My Maps" product and I'm not sure of a way to display them in Google Earth. Some of the video is stabilized with the GorillaPod Hybrid. I don't use wheels, but do use rope quite a bit! As for saving maps for offline use...I'm not sure. You should be able to export the maps to kml and use that in some offline map browsers. If you google "my maps offline" I think you might find some other ideas. Let me know if you have other questions!
Aug 13th, 2018 | Tofer from Menomonee River | Link
Really really digging this site and all that has gone into it! So much so that I was wondering what gear you use for film/photos/GPS or tracking app/portaging (i.e. wheel cart or carry)/etc... Also is it possible to share all the Google Earth/Map routes so that I might be able to import them to my phone for offline route viewing? Thanks for all your hard work! This site is hands down the best Ive come across so far that covers so much of Wisconsin in a way that just works and works really well!!!!
Lawrence Creek
Jul 9th, 2019 | Mary Wentzel from Westfield | Link
July 2019 still quite a few downed trees throughout
Sep 24th, 2019 | Caitlin from Yahara River | Link
I'm wondering who took these photos of Lawrence Creek! I'm with the DNR, and we're looking for user photos of our public lands to share on our website and in news releases. I'm hoping to contact the photographer to ask permission to use these photos. Thanks!
May 23rd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
If you do a cleanup, can you let me know so I can update this website?
May 23rd, 2021 | Christa from Westfield creek | Link
The Budsin adventure club took 3 kayaks down the creek on saturday and what a gorgeous creek, the water clarity is phenomenal and the ice cold seeps coming out of the banks along the way were neat to see and refreshing on a hot sunny day. Lots of small fish seen. The water is shallow enough especially in the wooded section where there are about 6+ portages over and around downed trees. This creek would be perfect with a little clean up which we plan to do.
Sep 24th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yes, you can use these. I'll followup via email here as well.
Jul 9th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's too bad. I appreciate the update though Mary.
Aug 2nd, 2017 | Elsbeth Hamilton from Lawrence Creek | Link
Definitely do not recommend river tubing for the majority of this creek due to the downed trees, but it sure is fun! We lost 2 tubes out of 5 but mainly due to some branches that were avoidable. Strongly recommend getting out at the Eagle Ave bridge since it's a nice easy spot to get out. Any closer to the lake, and you may encounter some really shallow areas. Have not attempted to kayak the route, but plan to in the future. The rapids are very minor but fun in tubes, I can only imagine in a kayak! The creek is VERY cold because it is spring fed, so I personally recommend going on a hot summer day. We saw some young trout, which was pretty neat. Watch out for some of the plants though since there are some sharper ones that could scratch. All in all, a great trip. We went between the two parking lots for the fishing area and the Eagle Ave bridge.
Lemonweir River – 19th Ave to HH
Aug 26th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Note to readers...a tornado hit this area. As of 2023-08-26, there are many portages. Here are notes from Robert: "16 of us Mad City Paddlers paddled the Lemonweir River by Mauston today. 12 miles of low water and many downed tree blockage requiring a lot of portages, I lost count after 10, but it was still fun. Put in at 19th Street landing and took out at County HH"
Mar 13th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment Donna. I have updated my navigation map.
Aug 9th, 2017 | Marilyn | Link
My husband and I are doing that segment tomorrow and was good to read your post...especially about the mosquitoes ? 2 years ago we put in at HH and took out at Holiday Shores on the Wis River near the Dells which we enjoyed. Thanks again!
Aug 7th, 2017 | Gail from Wisconsin River | Link
Five of us did the section from 19th to HH on August 7, 2017. Our Garmin reported 11.4 miles. We did it in 3.5 hours of paddle time, which does not include breaks. Very slight breeze. All in all a friendly run, with a fair number of downed trees, but nothing we couldn't get around or under. CFS was 379, gauge height 4.85 ft at the New Lisbon USGS station. Smooth paddling all the way, it was easy to corner around sandbars. Best of all, few if any mosquitoes!!
Mar 13th, 2019 | Donna Thomas from Mauston | Link
The bridge on W. Lemonweir Ct. is in a Subdivision, and will put You on a dammed private pond. Not access to Lemonweir River.
Lemonweir River – Mouth
Aug 10th, 2014 | Mark | Link
This site is great! I have done many of the same trips as I live near Portage. A useful piece of information for each trip is actual paddling time. We did the Lemonweir Mouth trip expecting 5 hours per your review. We put in at the snowmobile bridge at 11:30a. We were quite casual, stopping several times and just floating quite a bit. We hit the Two Rivers landing at 1:30pm. We actually had our pick up vehicle at the camp grounds on the WI River a mile down or so. In all we had about 2.5 hrs paddling casually. A nice trip, but we would have gone further if we knew the actual paddling time beforehand. Food for thought. Thanks for a great resource!
Lemonweir River – New Lisbon
Jul 12th, 2020 | Laura from Dell Creek | Link
I paddled the Lemonweir this morning, 7/12/20, putting in at 6th Ave and taking out at Kennedy County Park. I was solo so did a nice, easy bike shuttle. I had the most pleasant, splendid solo canoe paddle. Water was high so I was able to paddle around or through any jams I encountered- not a big deal and I like the adventure of it. Saw many, many deer, bald eagle, ducks and otter, and I'm in love with the stretch just before Kennedy County Park with its' stands of white pine. I really enjoy paddling the Lemonweir. Hope you do, too!
Jan 29th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
No problem! There is actually a new public area below New Lisbon(Carl Walter Nelson Wildlife Area), and I hope to do a trip from New Lisbon to there to check out the Little Dells.
Jul 12th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's a cool stretch...and a great bike shuttle.
Jan 28th, 2023 | Eugene Taylor from New Lisbon | Link
Ty for all this information , I appreciate your tips and experience
Little Eau Pleine River
Jun 28th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's a good baseline measurement...I'll have to remember today's flow rate (400-500 CFS) for my future trip.
Jun 28th, 2021 | Daniel Akin from Marshfield | Link
Kayaked the little eau Plaine today from McMillan Bridge to Hwy 97 bridge. Nice stretch of water, we got through the various rapids but the levels were a bit low. Looked at the Big Eau Plaine gauge for reference. Stretch took about 90 minutes, one portage where the river splits (beaver dam).
Jul 11th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
This is absolutely on my todo list! I was always somewhat concerned about logjams, but it sounds like they were manageable. Good info on 300+ CFS being a good baseline. You might still consider the stretch below Hwy 97 as it is super scenic...although yes it is pretty rough.
Jul 11th, 2020 | Daniel Akin from Little Eau Plaine River | Link
Water Level was just right, almost a touch low as some of the rapids were difficult to get through due to low levels. I wouldn't want to go any lower than this. We put in on private land on 'Turtle Ridge Road with permission from land owner. Rocks and Rapids were above us and we put in below this as the water wasn't high enough to navigate through with our equipment nor expertise. We would have gotten into trouble here. What a great little stream this is, a true gem and its right in our backyard. We kayaked the Big Eau Plaine just a few hours before and wanted to try this one. We did take out well before the 97 bridge, below this bridge is significantly challenging. We scraped a few times and the river splits due to some log jams and little islands, but it is a fun little 2.5 mile run we did today. Anytime there was some larger pools, we knew to expect some rapids and we were not disappointed. These were all Class One Rapids, expect one could be a Class Two with a bit higher water, about one mile into our trip. One disappointment was the number of trees that were down, but were able to get around almost all of them. When the river narrows, expect the flow to increase and some fun awaits. Can't wait to do this one again and add the stretch from Stadt to 97, but we will take out before or shortly after the 97 Bridge Once again, we appreciate the videos and knew that below 97 was treacherous. We wanted to try the section below the steep drop right after the marsh and before 97 and we were not disappointed. I highly recommend you try this short section when the water is higher but beware of trees. The south bank shows a lot of erosion and roots and there could be surprises each and every time one does this section. Thats the downside. Stars: 4, Put-in Hwy E, Take-out Stadt Road Bridge, Date 07/10/2020, CFS 300+
Little Maquoketa River
Oct 9th, 2023 | Bob from Mississippi | Link
Deere dike boat launch is no longer accessible due to silting in. Mississippi River needs to be over 10 ft to even get thru, but current would be dangerous at that level. 2023
Oct 9th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. That is interesting.
Little Platte River – Platteville
May 7th, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Did Quarry Lane to Stumptown Rd. on 5/6/2018 4.1 gauge height on Platte R. at Rockville, ~200 CFS. Wouldn't recommend levels any lower than this. Never had to exit our boats, but did have to push up a few times when got hung up. Lots of scraping and bumping over rocks. One downed log that took some time to scoot over. We'll try to catch the Little Platte at a higher level sometime. Scouted put-in at Old Lancaster Rd, but didn't want to trespass, so didn't check to see if gate would open. Put in at Quarry Ln.instead. Barely ducked under the two electric fences between Quarry and Old Lancaster, but if river was up another few inches that would have been difficult. I may rig up an electric fence lifting tool out of small diameter PVC? Most interesting wildlife: Turkeys flying across the river - one landed on the bank just in front of us. Detailed note: The rock shown in your photo "crash landed borg cube" had a new obstruction on river right that pushed us much harder toward that rock than we expected. I'm pretty sure it was a tree branch, (I hit some branches with my paddle and snapped them off - briefly worried that the cracking sound was my paddle breaking.) Whether it was bad river reading, not making the right move, or the geometry of the rapid, all three of us took some water over the side of the cockpit. Two of us bumped off the rock.
Apr 15th, 2024 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
We paddled the section from Quarry Rd to Maple Ridge Rd on 4/14/24 levels were 4.12 ft and 120 CFS, although there were many shallow spots and some of the rapids were a bit bumpy, we never had to get out of the boats, and these were total doable levels.. Unfortunately there were at least 5 fences/wires strung across the river. Many appeared to be elcertic, but as they also had strands touching the water, so I don't believe they were active, as I would think that would ground them out. We were able to paddle over them without getting shocked, but we all took care not to touch the wire with our bodies or paddles. (FYI, Carbon fiber paddles do conduct electricity..I learned that the hard way) There is an active eagle nest about 1/2 way between the Cty B and Stumptown bridge on river left just after the Rountree Branch enters also from river left. This makes for a great lunch and eagle watching spot. We did a bike shuttle utilizing the dedicated bike path along Hwy 151. That said The shuttle starts out with a killer hill on Maple Ridge, but still is a beautiful shuttle and goes through the U of Platteville Campus. We saw numerous deer, eagles, hawks, cranes, herons, geese, ducks, and an otter.
Apr 15th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the information, especially on the depth issues, bike shuttle, and fences. It's so upsetting to hear about these nasty fences. I really wish our "do nothing" DNR would wake up and seriously address this problem.
Apr 11th, 2019 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I took advantage of an early spring 70 degree day and did the section from Quarry to Maple Ridge Rd (the next bridge after the Sumpton Rd bridge) on Mon 4/8/19. The gauges were about 180 CFS and 4.05 totally doable but I did scrape and bump a bit in many of the rapids. On the plus side there were no major jams and no fences across the river, on the negative side there was place where a tree had recently fallen completely blocking the river just after the Sumpton Bridge, but it was an easy portage on the right side. Also there were two spots where the bank had eroded and the fence posts with wire still attached were in the river. Luckily they both were parallel to the river and right along the bank so not hard to avoid, but could be dangerous in different conditions or if you did not see them ahead of time. Trip took about 4 hours with a 30 min stop for lunch. Nice bike shuttle through UW Plattvile Campus, it starts off with a BIG LONG hill but is OK after that. Saw 2 eagles, ducks, many nesting geese, big flock of turkeys, a few deer, some fish.
Jun 12th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
So aside from the standing waves it sounds like 310 CFS was a manageable run which is good to know. Thanks for the updates.
May 7th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the update Jon!
Jun 17th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Aside from the fence, it sounds like these were fun water levels. Funny you should mention gnats and wild parsnip...they were a bane during my Sunday paddle too.
Jun 11th, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled from Quarry Rd. to Stumptown Rd. on 11June2020, Platte gauge at about 5.0 ft. and 310 CFS. A tree was down between Old Lancaster and Hwy B, requiring an easy portage river left. There was a strainer in a bend of swift water upstream from the Stumptown bridge that required careful maneuvering. A couple of times the standing waves were tall enough to splash water into the cockpit of my kayak, as I expected at this water level. Notable wildlife: A pair of Canada geese. One floated down the riffles in front of us, another bolted upstream. Maybe molting, as neither flew away. Raccoon, turkey, bald eagle, grebe, great blue heron, tadpoles at lunch stop.
Jun 17th, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Paddled from Old Lancaster to Stumptown Rds. on 16 June 2019, at 5.2 ft. and 500 CFS. Ate lunch in our boats in an eddy, on-river time was about 2.5 hrs. We put in river right, downstream from the bridge. Lots of wild parsnip to walk through while carrying boats, but long pants and long sleeves protected us. If you use this put-in, don't forget to chain the gate closed behind you. I didn't use a skirt in my crossover kayak, and some of the standing waves were big enough to splash water into the cockpit. At about the 1/3 point, there was a downed tree on river left at a sharp bend, followed shortly by hard-to-see barbed wire very low to the water. If concentrating on avoiding the strainer, one might not see the wire in time. We'd brought wire lifters and eased under slowly, but at this water level or higher, caution is advised. As always, know your boat handling skills and be safe. Clouds of gnats hovered around our heads for much of the trip. Bob Marley's song "(G)Natty Dread" took on a whole new meaning for me. I didn't notice any bites until the next day when a few appeared behind my ears. It was worth it to paddle this beautiful river at a frisky level.
Apr 11th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update Eric! Lot of valuable information for other paddlers.
Jul 31st, 2018 | Yves from Fox river | Link
Is there a shuttle service company to move your vehicle downstream?
Aug 17th, 2018 | Will from Platte River | Link
Drop us a line a week before your intended trip down the river from quarry rd to stumptown and if we are around we can follow one of you from quarry rd to stumptown and take you back to to quarry to ride the river
Aug 17th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the offer!
Apr 3rd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sounds like a good trip. I might have to do a Grant County paddle tomorrow myself...
May 1st, 2020 | Eric G from Wingra creek | Link
Paddled from Quarry to Maple Ridge Rd today with a bike shuttle. Near perfect conditions, sunny, 60+, just enough green to make things look fresh and alive, but not enough to obscure any of the great rock faces, Levels were perhaps just a tad on the low side, 250 CFS/ 4.75 ft, so we scraped and bumped in some low spots and rapids, but never had to get out of the boats. The current was decent but never too pushy, but good boat control is required due to many sharp turns and currents want to direct you into rock faces Saw an eagle sitting on her/his nest, just a few cows, none in the water. many deer, some in the water, and a couple of geese with goslings. Bike shuttle is about 7 miles and took about 40 mins. The first hill is a bit steep, but after that is pretty easy, bike trails, small county roads and city streets
Apr 3rd, 2021 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We did the section from Old Lancaster to Cty O om 4/3/21 178 CFS and 4.5 ft. OK levels but would probably be better at 4.5-5 ft. We never had to walk the boats but there was a lot of scaping, bumping and "wheel chairing" through many of the shallow spots. On the upside the clarity was excellent and although good boat controlled was required in many places, all of places where the current pushes you into to the rock outcroppings were easily manageable. There were no complete blockages and no portages, but there was one place that was a bit tight. A tree is in the river from bank to bank,luckily the very top of the tree just barely reaches the right bank, so it is possible to squeeze through as the branches are thin and wispy. With just a bit of sawing and lopping work it would be fine. Put-in at 12:30 took out at 4:40 with 30 min break. The bike shuttle (8.5 mile) took 45 mins. We saw eagles, geeses, ducks, kingfishers, muskrats,a mink,trout, a turtle, and just a few little bits of ice/snow hanging on in the shadiest portions of some of the rock faces
Jul 31st, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Not that I know... You might check with the Platteville Chamber of Commerce to see if they know of any new liveries. An idea might be to simply use a taxi service out of Platteville (which is practically next door) to do a car drop for you.
Sep 17th, 2020 | Greg from Sugar River | Link
Ran the river from Quarry Rd to Stumptown Rd on September 17,2020, gage at 4.6' and 230cfs. Canoeing the trip took just under 2.5 hours, plenty of scraping, would look for something closer to 5.0 if running it again in a canoe. The two barbed wire fences were non-events just pass under from the far left side. We portaged to the right to get around the downed tree as noted by others, also an easy portage. Fun river, plenty of rapids. A pair of eagles were active at about the mid-point. Spots along to take out and relax.
Sep 17th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the updates.
May 2nd, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sounds like a great trip! Now, before scenery becomes obscured by leaves and gras,s is actually an underrated time to paddle.
Little Platte River: Hwy O to Church Road
Jul 7th, 2020 | William Shepard from Galena | Link
Been kayaking in Illinois but am disgusted with the laws here and am looking at Wisconsin. These articles are amazing and unbelievably helpful. I look foreword to posting my expectances once I get a chance to run them, although I doubt I can be as eloquent or helpful as these are.
Jul 7th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Illinois paddling laws are completely backwards...I totally sympathize.
Little Sugar River
Oct 17th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update...I do want to do that bonus stretch you did.
Sep 6th, 2022 | Ken Bradbury from Sugar River | Link
On 8/4/22 I paddled from Schneeberger Road to Albany Lake. The section from Schneeberger Rd to Tin Can Road had many, many deadfalls and logs across and was frankly a miserable trip. I had to get out numerous times to portage around or pull over trees, and the banks were steep and muddy and overgrown, and I was often sinking nearly to my knees in mud. After Tin Can Road it was fine - no more portages. I would not do the section above Tin Can Road again; below Tin Can it is really nice. On previous trips I have simply paddled upstream from Albany Lake, and that is quite easy and saves a shuttle.
Sep 11th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the information, which is very helpful for other paddlers.
Oct 17th, 2021 | Denny Caneff from Madison | Link
I ran this section and went beyond where the reviewing paddler stopped -- to Green County Hwy. C, and it is totally navigable. 50 cfs was the level the day I did it and that was adequate. You have to like paddling in a ditch, as the Little Sugar was straightened by and channelized by the railroads to minimize stream crossings. It makes this stream less interesting than most.
Little Turtle Creek
May 17th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Eric, can you calculate the exact road name of where you put in? I would like to list this as a warning to other paddlers. Was it J, S. Summerville, or something even further upstream?
Aug 17th, 2020 | Mike Newman from Nippersink Creek | Link
We paddled as a family on 8/15/20, when CFM was over 350 and the trip was a disaster. Water levels were very low, and we ran aground at least 50 times in the 6 miles we paddled. As the video above shows, it's a great scenic paddle, but we will save this one for after a spring/fall storm. Like Derek advised from his 6/1/20 post, the barbed wire at the end of the paddle was a real downer--a nasty surprise at the end of our paddle. The takeout was VERY muddy and steep, so be prepared. On a different note, there are some very nice smallmouth waters on this paddle.
Aug 17th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Mike for the update. I suspect the gauge on the Big Turtle doesn't correlate that great to the Little Turtle. It might be ideal for paddlers to scout the bridges before committing to this trip. Also some boats draft much shallower than others...small boats with v-bottoms needs significantly more depth than bigger boats with flat bottoms.
Jun 1st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That barbed wire fence must have have been put up after my paddle...most unfortunate. Thanks for the feedback.
Jun 1st, 2020 | Derek Schweitzer from White River | Link
Paddled on 5/31 at 218 CFS Thank you for finding this creek! It was a a very scenic paddle with lots of twists and turns to keep things interesting. However, the barbwire fence at the end really is a problem. We had to portage river right up thru the cattle pasture and over a low section of fence into the woods. This could be a perfect local trip without that obstacle.
May 17th, 2020 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
This little gem tricked us. The roads in the area are not well marked and we made a HUGE boo boo. We went in about a mile upstream from your posted put in. REALLY bad idea. There are 7 falls between where we went in and your designated put in place. We saw others put in there so thought we were in the right place. Once past those, the trip was awesome. Flew right over that little dam like water. It was high but not bad. The only issue we had was the barbed wire fence just before the take out. There seems no reason for its existence. But anywho...Was a great trip and your review was true 100%. Thank you and enjoy the season kids.
May 16th, 2020 | Eric Graff from ROCK | Link
Making our run on LTC today. Looking forward to a great row. Will post after finished.
Apr 29th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
You know it's likely too high right might come down somewhat by this weekend but the clarity won't be that great. If we don't get any further rain I suspect it will be good to run in two weeks.
Apr 29th, 2020 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
Thank you for taking this run and posting this little gem. I had been wanting to run this but had to postpone my scouting because of work. Now that you've reviewed it I have high confidence this will be fun. Now, it's April 29th today and we have been drenched for almost 24 hrs. and more is coming. The weekend looks awesome but running Little Turtle is in question. From your video this thing don't walk...It RUNS. And if that was the case two weeks ago I bet this thing's angry right now. Your thoughts?
Little Wolf – Hwy BB
Jul 5th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Warning...the Little Wolf dam at Manawa is on the verge of collapsing. Local officials are evacuating some of the low lying areas. Paddlers should definitely stay off the lower Little Wolf. Update...the Dam has been breached. Video of the breach can be seen here:
Jul 5th, 2017 | Jamee Hubbard from Plover River | Link
Correction to my last submission: the drop was not with the Hwy B bridge but instead was before Hwy 110. There is an island there, with rapids and a drop on both sides, with the right (west) side seeming more wide open and more easily navigable and the left side having more boulders to navigate.
Jul 5th, 2017 | Jamee Hubbard from Plover River | Link
We paddled the Little Wolf with our 7 and 10 year olds, from Manawa to Hwy 54. Manawa was a great easy put-in; Hwy 54 has a trail on the SW side of the bridge that leads to a small road-side park. We had to carry our kayaks up the trail, which is fairly steep. We were new to rapids, and our kids were new to maneuvering around boulders. The kids had been on plenty of inland lakes and a pretty easy section (Iverson Park to McDill Pond) of the Plover River before, so we thought that they (and we) were ready for that next step. There was a sizable (for us) drop under Hwy 10 that we didn't expect, so we didn't take chances with the kids and decided to portage it. There is an island there, with rapids and a drop on both sides, with the right (west) side seeming more wide open and more easily navigable and the left side having more boulders to navigate. On the next set of small rapids, not associated with a bridge, one of our kids panicked (it was our first time navigating any rapids), and he ended up against a rock and capsized his kayak. One of us was able to wade through the water (not too fast for this) and get him and his kayak. Bilge pump was very handy! My 7 year old did fine, but by sheer luck! As we paddled through the slower areas, we talked more about looking farther ahead and what to look for to determine where to go through the rapids. On the next couple of rapidy areas, they did a great job, better than me, even! I would say for kids that mostly like a relaxing paddle and fishing but enjoys the occasional excitement of small rapids, this is a great spot, but for kids that like that adrenaline rush (my 7 year old) and get bored with too much flat water paddling, this river is almost too sluggish. He enjoyed the rapids and maneuvering around boulders but got bored on the slow parts. It was also a long paddle for kids. Even my other kid that likes the relaxing steady paddling was getting tired by the time we got to Hwy 54. Just an FYI, our kids were using 8 foot Pelicans that originally had no foot braces, but we installed aftermarket foot braces in them to give them more leverage. I think without these, the kids would not have been able to do this entire river. These little 8 foot kayaks are obviously not the most expensive kayaks, but for our kids, we have found them to be stable, trustworthy, and very easy to maneuver around boulder fields and through rapids (with foot-braces were installed). As far as OUR (the parents') experience, we though the river was really beautiful, the rapids and riffles were fun (and we now have the confidence to do the first drop next time), and the 8 miles and 3 1/2 hours was just right for us recreational kayakers (but we paddle every weekend). My arms were getting a bit tired by the time we got to Hwy 54. It was a great first experience for anyone new to rapids. I hope this helps anyone considering this part of the Little Wolf River, especially with kids! I also forgot to mention that the river gauge was at 433 c.f.s., which worried me, but it ended up being just fine.
Little Wolf River
May 28th, 2020 | John Koeppe from Sugar River | Link
Thanks for a nice review of the Little Wolf. Your description is for the most part quite good. I agree strongly with you about wearing a life jacket and keeping it fastened snugly. A part of your description that I would disagree with is the rating. You say that the L Wolf has parts that are Class III in high water. There is nothing on the Little Wolf that is class III, even in high water. My wife and I have run it as high as 1200 cfs on the Royalton gauge, and it was still class II. When the river is high (1000+ cfs), then the rapids before the Cty J bridge become about 1.5 mi of continuous class I and mostly class II - which would (as you note), not be recommended for a rec kayak. Even the 'dells' near the end is class II at high water. Whitewater boats and skills would be recommended for those levels. Another note on the gauge: As you know that gauge is well downstream, and thus only a good approximation to the water levels on this stretch. We've run the river when the gauge said 1000 cfs and actually had more water on this run than another time when the gauge read 1200 cfs.
May 31st, 2017 | James Welch | Link We are open hope to save you the shuttle hassle $2 a mile $10 to wolf river rd.
Aug 2nd, 2021 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We did the trip on 7/28/21,We did Ness Rd to Big Falls, 11 miles it took us 4.5 hours with a 1/2 hour lunch stop and many stops for photos. No blockages or portages and the levels seemed perfect, but unfortunately the USGS gage has be "discontinued" so it is hard to say what the level was. There is a good visual gage at Wolf River Rd bridge, on the upstream side there is a rock in the middle of the river, just the tip was showing when we did this trip (see photo). The parking lot for the put-in is not right on the river but just down the road, but there is room to pull over to unload. There is plenty of room for parking at both parking lots. We car shuttled but I have done it as a bike shuttle, a few hills and a county highway, but the shoulder is OK and there is not much traffic. Probably not a trip for absolute beginners, but I think anyone with decent boat skills would enjoy this trip at this level. I would rate the rapids as mostly class one with a couple of low class ll's, I was in a open solo canoe with no floatation, and my friend was in crossover kayak without a skirt, I got splashed and he got a couple of lapfulls, but nothing too serious. I used the Relive app to document the trip, here is a link to the video
Aug 2nd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for all the information. The map/gallery hybrid idea is really cool!
Jun 4th, 2016 | Jamie from Little Wolf | Link
You said you put in at McNinch Road Public Access and traveled 7.8 miles. McNich road is only maybe 1.5 miles of river prior to Big Falls. Is there another access point called McNich that is much farther up?
May 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment. Class ratings are indeed subjective. I think at the time there was a tricky set of rapids going through a partial logjam that I thought was a Class 3. I assume that is clear now. The other 3 was the Dells. While in most cases high water makes rapids more dangerous in some cases it does reduce their difficulty as they tend to get "filled in". That could be the case here. I'll have to do the Little Wolf again in the future and give it a fresh assessment (this review is 6 years old and likely outdated).
Little Wolf River – Little Falls
Nov 2nd, 2021 | Lana McCarthy from Token Creek | Link
Can you provide me with the make and manufacturer of the red kayak you show in your pictures.
Nov 3rd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Wilderness Tsunami 125. They still make it...but the new version is a bit bigger and heavier. I like the old version better.
Little Wolf River – Manawa
Jul 5th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Warning...the Little Wolf dam at Manawa is on the verge of collapsing. Local officials are evacuating some of the low lying areas. Paddlers should definitely stay off the lower Little Wolf. Update...the Dam has been breached. Video of the breach can be seen here:
Little Wolf River – Ness Rd
Jul 2nd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I bike shuttled! I'm a big fan of bike shuttles. Otherwise you would likely need to bring a second car and car shuttle.
Oct 10th, 2021 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did a short section from Big Falls to Kretchner Rd to 10/4/21, and had a fantastic time. The water clarity as well as the scenery were outstanding. (Unfortunately my camera died just after this trip, and I have not been able to retrieve any of the photos) The highlights of the trip were the numerous boulder gardens, especially impressive were many car sized boulders in and along the river. There were many small riffles and rapids as wellas a couple of decent class l rapids, and one good drop (class 2?). The river was rarely 1-2 feet deep and the rapids were fairly boney so probably not a river to do if you worry about putting a couple of good scrapes on the bottom of your boat. The trip was about 4.7 miles and took me just under 2 hours, but I was taking a lot of pics and playing in some of the rapids, so I would think 1.5 hours would be more typical. I did a bike shuttle, it was about 3 miles, and took me about 15 mins. The google maps will direct you to go on Hwy C all the way, but be sure to take a little detour to stop in the “town” of Little Falls to scout the rapids under the second bridge. Debris tends to accumulate here and you will want to check to see which of the three routes under the bridge are runnable. The town is really little more than a bar that used to be a resort, but there are some kitschy things to check out, a kinda scary suspension, mini zoo with peacocks, rabbits, and a few cages with…..(nothing I could see) and no signs, as well as something that looked like a hairless deer or a newly shaved llama??? The bar was closed and there was no one around to ask. The forecast was for rain on the day I paddled so I did this short trip, if I did it again I would continue another 4 miles down to Hwy 110 Put-in/take-out There is a small parking lot on Power House Lane, which is just south east of the Dam off hwy G. There is a small trail that leads to an easy put-in spot, there is also a porta-potty by the parking lot. The take-out is at Kretchner Rd, on river right just before the bridge. There is a small field with a partial driveway, I don’t know if it is OK to park there, but it appears to have been used to load boats in the past, and there is plenty of space to park along the road and by the bridge.
Jul 2nd, 2022 | Mary Iqbal from Madison | Link
First thank u soooooooooooo much for the absolutely invaluable information on your site!! The links to google maps in particular snd the pictures! My question is… how do you get your boat up and down fro The car by yourself!
Livery Map
Sep 3rd, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I personally don't do rentals...but most rental places you see on the above map should be open by then. Call to insure availability.
Sep 3rd, 2020 | William Creaney from Glenview | Link
What are your kayak rental and shuttle fur 6 peopleopportunities for sept . 19 ,20 ,21
Apr 6th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
You're set...I've added you to my database and map.
Apr 6th, 2024 | Earl Jorgensen from Mosinee | Link
Could you add a mobile outdoor gear retailer and paddle sports rental outfitter? I am Drift Explorer, based centrally located in Mosinee and mobile the entire state of Wisconsin. Visit our Facebook page also.
Lodi Marsh
Jul 5th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the update and the details. I didn't consider this before but in later summer, weeds can be an issue in marshes like this. Your idea to do an up-and-back was a good one...very easy to backtrack if things go wrong.
Jul 5th, 2018 | Jennifer from Starkweather Creek | Link
My partner and I tried this creek for the 4th of July. We put in at the bridge at Riddle Rd and paddled upstream so that we would not need to shuttle. It was slow going with lots of overs, unders, and throughs to negotiate but we accomplished most of them by shimmying over logs. Our 10-ft, hard plastic recreational kayaks worked out perfectly and allowed us to make tight turns to line our boats up in snags to shimmy over the lowest parts of downed logs. I would not take a delicate boat here. Taking a longer kayak or a canoe would have meant more portaging, which could make this an annoying creek. We were able to stay in our boats almost the whole time by shimmying. My partner cleared some branches which made our return trip smoother. If you are inclined to carry a small saw with you, that could be helpful for yourself and future paddlers. We were able to travel much more quickly after we reached the snowmobile bridge; there were far fewer snags. However, we did not paddle long before the creek became too weed-choked for our kayaks. There was also a lot more foul-smelling algae at this point. I did not bring great portaging footwear (I'd recommend rubber boots) so we turned around when we reached this shallow part. We paddled for about 3 hours, which included about a 15-minute break for an Independence Day cold one. It broke down to about 2 hours on the way upstream and 45 minutes on the return trip. I can't believe it was only 3 hours. We felt like we had entered a whole new world (the solitude and obstacles really were fun), even though we were close enough to the roads to hear cars. If you are trying to put on the miles or going for a workout, this is not your creek (though I'd love to come back and try it earlier in the spring after some rain for comparison). However, we had the creek entirely to ourselves, and I thought all of the obstacles added a sense of adventure or exploration. We had a great mini-adventure here. I was also impressed that on a 90+ degree day, we were mostly in the shade and never felt overheated. We even left our lifejackets on because, after putting in, we simply forgot to take them off and tuck them behind our seats. We were in more sun after reaching the snowmobile bridge (again, traveling upstream) but we were fine. This is a great creek if you enjoy observing plant and wildlife species. Do watch out for cow parsnip. We were able to avoid it without issue. I read this page before picking our put-in site. I'm glad we put in at Riddle Road. There was ample space to park on the side of the road. Although we traveled much faster on the return downstream route, the current was not strong and paddling upstream was just fine. Our speed probably increased as a result of our bushwacking and experience negotiating the obstacles on the way out as well. It would have been great to continue paddling downstream to Lake Wisconsin if we had had a shuttle.
Apr 6th, 2018 | Hans Klopp from Spring Creek | Link
Ive canoed or kayaked this a few times. Its a beautiful and scenic trip but access is tough I have carried out my canoe from by the snowbile bridge on spring creek because lower portion has log jams.
Apr 6th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The logjam situation really is quite tragic. Hopefully somebody will clear this out in the future.
Lower Dells
Nov 15th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Worst case scenario, you just launch on the opposite side of the river by the public beach. Great to hear that you had a nice trip without those annoying tour boats. Fall is really the optimal time to experience the Dells.
Jul 18th, 2018 | Jay from Wisconsin Dells | Link
Unfortunately this is the put-in on the West bank below the dam that you are referring to in your review.
Apr 14th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
From the Dells dam to Portage would be 22 extremely long trip that I haven't done. This section is plenty navigable with nice sandbars at lower levels...but no outcrops and some interstate noise. It is on my todo list. I suggest subdividing this trip based on my overview map above...or to turn it into a camping trip (but only when levels are low enough for sandbars). You do this, let me know how it turns out.
Apr 14th, 2019 | Ali Reigstad from Arlington | Link
Wondering if you have ever traveled the river all the way down to Portage. Interested in a trip from the Dells to Pawquette Park in portage just north of where Hwy 33 crosses the river. Some areas look quite shallow. Do you know if this is doable? Thanks!
Jul 17th, 2018 | Jay from Wisconsin Dells | Link
The ramp at the lower Dells is not a public launch. It is actually owned by the Riverview Company and they lease it to a new Kayak and canoe rental place. This new company allows launching but at a $5 per kayak fee or they also offer to pick you and your kayak up and return you to your car for $15 per kayak (launch fee included)
Nov 15th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
Did this trip on 11/7/20, we put in at the same place you did, behind and down river a bit from Bella Goose Coffee shop, by the docks for Dells Boat tours, and took out at Indian Trails take out. As it was Nov there were no tour boats operating and there were only a few people fishing so it was an easy place to launch, in high season I am not sure you are allowed to park/launch at this spot. But during high season, if you were just stopping for a cup of coffee, and happen to unload your, and then drive down to the take out, I don't know if any would/could stop you. We did a bike shuttle, easy trip 4-5 miles, fairly flat, most of it on small roads, bike trials, just a short section on Cty A, but it has a nice shoulder. This section is so beautiful it really should be enjoyed in peace and quiet, so it is worth the effort and planning to do it early or late in the year when there will be no jet boats, no ducks, no boat tours. 2 hrs on the water, 20 min bike shuttle. The landing is a bit hard to see from the water, but there is a big boat launch right across the river that can be used as a landmark to find takeout.
Jul 13th, 2020 | christen Kirby from Fox river | Link
I am getting ready to do this trip. I am camping along the way. I have taken 2 nights to allow me enough time for this. I am currently studying maps for this. My first long trip
Mar 30th, 2021 | Gwyn from Green Bay 54302 | Link
On the Ducks we saw lots of turtles on the shore, there also was a camp ground. Does anyone know the name of the camp grounds? Or where this is located so we could explore. Thanks so much.
Mar 30th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
You saw a campground on the Lower Dells? I honestly don't know. On the Upper Dells Holiday Shores Campground is located next to Witches Gulch.
Feb 28th, 2016 | James T from Aurora | Link
Do you ever use the public boat launch at Dekorra? There's a parking lot across the street, Just curious if it's available for overnight parking on a multiday excursion
Jul 18th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Drat...well paddlers could always launch on the east bank by the public sandbar with parking by the powerhouse.
Jul 17th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Is this the put-in or the take-out? I just checked the put-in and didn't see any signs restricting access. If the put-in, paddlers could always launch across the river on the east by the portage path. Not as nice, but doable and public. If the take-out, paddlers can completely skip Riverview and use the neighboring public launch instead. They just have to be careful not to park in the trailing parking lot.
Manitowoc River
Oct 16th, 2023 | Alice from Manitowoc River | Link
Thank you for such a detailed and thorough description of this trip.
Jun 27th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Andres. The current is very strong below the dam. You would not be able to do a down and back from there...this would likely have to be a one-way trip. If you wished to do a round-trip above the dam, that would be easy though. Just launch at the boat ramp and paddle upstream as far as you wish. You could actually paddle up to Little Cato Falls.
Jun 27th, 2018 | Andres G from Little Chute | Link
In regards to the post when you launched your kayak at the Mills Clark dam. Are you able to paddle upstream on after drifting down stream.
Map of Reviewed Water Trails
Jul 24th, 2015 | sarah from milwaukee river | Link
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?
Mar 22nd, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm not sure...I checked satellite and there was a lot of tree cover which is a bad sign. You might try scouting it in person to see how bad the logjam situation is.
Dec 3rd, 2020 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
Of course. I'll be sure to let Y'all know in advance. With this wonderful stretch of weather we've had here in late Nov. & Dec. I'm sad I put up the kayaks. I will be scouting a couple others here in S.E. Wisconsin this weekend and take advantage of the weather, lack of insects and such. Nippersink near Twin Lakes is one I'm told is quite fun and diverse and is on my to-do too!
Dec 1st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
If you do the trip, let me know how it turns out!
Dec 1st, 2020 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
I am thankful for your reply in that I was curious how far it was. Not sure how you figure all that out but I'm grateful for the information. The Sugar Creek runs pretty fast and I would think you could cover the 7.1 miles in less than 4hrs. or so depending on what you find and how long you hang around points of interest. Weather permitting we could go in April or March. We'll see. Thank you again for this page and all you do to inform us!
Mar 22nd, 2024 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
Does anyone know anything about Saunders Creek near Edgerton? The parts I see seem interesting but I can't tell if this is viable or not. Thank you for any info you share.
Aug 17th, 2020 | Sheng from Lake Delton | Link
Hello! We plan on staying at the River's Edge Resort but want to raft with an inflatable. The last time we went out there it was crazy with the boats and current. Any tips on where we can raft at that is nearby and more calm. Thank you!!
Aug 17th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
There aren't many great area to tube in the Dells. To tube you need good current, but Mirror Lake and the Upper Dells are impounded. The area by River's Edge might be your best bet.
Feb 16th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Lord may have heard your prayers! El Nino is now forecasted to die in spring and possibly be replaced with El Nina. Typically that means more jet-stream movement over the state of Wisconsin and thus more showers/higher waters. I hope we definitely get more rain than last year...July onward was crazy low. But hopefully not too much rain!
Sep 4th, 2015 | Sally from Wisconsin River | Link
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?
Nov 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sugar Creek has been on my todo list for a while. Walworth ES to Bowers Road would be 7.1 miles and is likely a very good paddle.
Nov 28th, 2020 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
Hi there. My name is Eric, and my son is Ean. We are avid kayakers here in southern WI. My son and I just did a rigorous foot recon of Sugar Creek in Walworth Co. WI. We were able to to see about 70% of the route between CO. Rd. ES east of HWY 67 & 12 all the way past Bowers road to HWY 120. We only saw one & possibly a second fall that may or may not need to be portaged. We found the creek to be fast moving in many areas. We have just had our first significant rainfall in weeks but the creek was very deep in spots. Many steep banks but some very fun looking <Class 1 runs could be seen. Me being a walworth Co. resident for 95% of my life, I was taken back that this thing runs West to East (And I do mean runs) You could quite possibly could go all the way to Honey Lake but we only scouted a bit past 120. If anyone has done this run, which passes between the rest areas on HWY 43 near Alpine Valley, I'd like to hear your experience. If not, we look forward to a May run on the Sugar.
Feb 16th, 2024 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
A Kayaking Blessing: By Eric Graff Lord bring the April showers So our creeks won't lack the power To push away three years of drought Cuz that's what April's all about So all the falls can be pushed aside And thru the bolder gardens glide May your strainers and obstructions Be completely lacking suction These are the conditions we like best Now get out there, & don't forget your vest!!
Feb 16th, 2024 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
I will be sure to fill you and Y'all in on this adventure. Here's to mid-levels and be safe out there!
Feb 13th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Eric...I have not done this leg, but I have scouted it in person and it is on my todo list. The east leg is the old mill race...current is slow and it is an easy up and back. Headgates Park is a nice put-in. The west channel is the main river and this is a solid prospect. I believe there are cliffs below the Decatur Dam. If you do this stretch, let me know how it turns out!
Feb 13th, 2024 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
Greetings all you Yakers. I have a question for anyone who may know. I was exploring for a fresh row to do this spring and I found a place that looks very interesting, not far from me, and not reviewed. So I am asking if anyone has done the Sugar River as it splits and enters near Broadhead? The east split is called The Sugar Race? The west is The Sugar River. Can anyone give me an idea if this is one you can do? Rapids? Any info would be helpful.
Mar 26th, 2024 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
My son and I are going to attempt Swan Creek...The Delavan outlet to Turtle Creek. This rain should make it a decent row. I'll let you know.
Jan 15th, 2017 | Mike Saxion from Little Miami River - Ohio | Link
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
Apr 26th, 2021 | Eric Graff from ROCK | Link
Sure appreciate your suggestions. Thank you and safe travels!
Feb 13th, 2023 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
Hi, I love this website but used to enjoy the filter on the map by trip ranking/stars. Is there any way to filter the trips by ranking, so I can chase the 4 or 5 star trips only? Trying to sift through and prioritize scenic or fast flowing streams near me. Thanks, Gregor
Mar 27th, 2019 | Brenda Detloff from Hayward | Link
Has anyone kayaked the 15,300 acre Chippewa Flowage with 200 islands near Hayward, Wi?
Mar 27th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
There are a number of tubing is the Lower Dells (dam to Riverside Resort). A problem with tubing though is that they are REALLY slow...consider kayaking instead which is much more enjoyable.
Mar 26th, 2021 | Amber from La Crosse | Link
Hi, Do you have any suggestions for good places to go tubing? Which one of the ones you have reviewed would be suitable for tubing? Thank you!
Mar 11th, 2016 | Sandy | Link
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
Apr 26th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell creek | Link
Yeah, SE Wisconsin has been relatively dry this spring. There's always trips to do no matter the water levels though. The Lower Milwaukee, Lower Fox, Lower Oconomowoc, and Lower Bark should all be good to go regardless of low levels. If you do the Nippersink let me know how it turns out.
Dec 26th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A significant change has been made to the map page. You can now filter by many criteria including star rating, mileage, logjams and more. If you have problems with this, let me know.
Feb 14th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's a good idea...I might work on that soon.
Jul 17th, 2020 | Eric Graff from Rock | Link
Near East Troy there is a creek that runs through Alpine Valley. It seems to start at Honey Lake and runs to Elkhorn. Is that Honey Creek? Is it navigable? It runs right down between the two lanes of I43 at the rest areas.
May 18th, 2022 | Missy from Wi river | Link
Me and my friend want to kayak the wi river. I’m curious, can you kayak both ways? Oe is there too much of a current? We’re looking to kayak about 6 to 8 hours and am looking for a good spot to start and stop. Any suggestions?
May 18th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Generally speaking one-way trips are a much better way to experience the river.  There are liveries that can help with shuttles.  The current is usually to fast for round-trips, although the flowages like Lake Wisconsin, might be an exception.  As for general trip ideas there are many (, but the Mazo landing to the Arena landing is a good starter trip.
Jul 17th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yes, that is Honey Creek and it is navigable. Bell School to D & D to Kearny have been on my todo list for a while.
Dec 29th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Webmaster's note... I changed the trip map which used to show markers grouped by star rating. But honestly I thought this was creating a lot of clutter and confusion. I switched this to instead group the colors by river. So all the Baraboo River trips are the same color, all the Black River trips use the same markers, etc...
Apr 26th, 2021 | Eric Graff from ROCK | Link
With the surprisingly dry spring, it's not been easy to find smaller creeks to do. Our intent, as stated before, was to do the Sugar Creek in Walworth Co. but each time I have looked, it seemed too low. Going to have to find alternatives for now till some rains come. Also wanted to try the Nippersink but had heard stories of low flow and difficult runs. Anxious to go but don't want to scrap my Kayak into the junk heap either.
May 29th, 2017 | Steve from St. Louis | Link
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.
Maunesha River
May 21st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Jon for the update. Yeah this write-up is kind of out-of-date. The other is much more helpful: If I get a chance here later today, I'll try to update this.
Sep 22nd, 2019 | Ryan from Maunesha River | Link
Hi Aaron. Just thought I'd drop you a line about our river cleanups. We've got a lot done since we last chatted...and we have another cleanup coming up this Saturday (9/28). After Saturday, the Maunesha should be passable from below the Marshall dam to the Dock bar between Marshall and Waterloo. A fellow Maunesha River Alliance officer and his wife our putting in at the Dock bar and kayaking through Waterloo to document the blockages between the Dock and Waterloo. Then on Oct. 19 we are headed to Waterloo to start clearing out this river in that area. Everything related to our cleanups and events is available on our website ( We are also hosting a fundraiser/event on Oct. 5 in Marshall. Just a reminder to signup online or register via paper form for our October 5 Propel Dry-Tri at Fireman's Park in Marshall. The event starts at 9am and kayaking or canoeing is an option if you aren't interested in biking or running. OR - One person can complete all portions in a series (paddle, run, bike). - A relay can be formed where 2 to 3 people compete as a team. A team of two people can have one person complete two of the three sections (1,2 or 1,3 or 2,3), and the other being filled by the other person. - Or a partner team could participate (like a 2 person relay team) Paper & Online Registration forms can be found on this link. This event will serve as a fundraiser for the cleanup work we have been doing on the Maunesha River. Please support us by participating or volunteering. Message us at if you are interested in volunteering on Oct. 5.
Sep 22nd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
You guys are doing great work! I'll see if I can promote your Oct 5th event tomorrow on my social media feeds.
Jul 30th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good news. As of July 15, 2023 the Maunesha from to Waterloo is open again.
Nov 13th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Crek | Link
Thanks for the update! I'll post an update on social media letting others know of this development.
Nov 12th, 2019 | Jason Pitzer from Maunesha River | Link
Hi Aaron, The Maunesha River is now passable from the Marshall Millpond Dam to Waterloo Fireman's park! We'd love to have you come out for another trip sometime in the near future if you have the time. You're documentary of your trip down the Maunesha really inspired us to improve our local water trail. Thank you! Best, Jason Pitzer Maunesha River Alliance Treasurer
May 20th, 2021 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Aaron, possible updates? 1)The link in your write-up doesn't link to a photo. Aaron wrote:"Here is an interesting picture of what the old Waterloo dam and flowage used to look like" 2)In my opinion the Beaver Dam gauge is unlikely to be useful because its level fluctuates with dam releases in BD (as described in your review of the BD). 3)The Dock is now Whispers Bar and Grill (no phone). Whispers is supporting the Maunesha Meander on May 23, 2021, and is one of the takeout options: I've never paddled this stretch and am looking forward to it. Looks like the MRAlliance is doing great things. Thanks for your always helpful website!
Apr 25th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great news Ryan! I'll definitely paddle that upper part this summer.
Apr 24th, 2019 | Ryan Frey from Maunesha River | Link
Amazing day on the Maunesha! The river is clear from the Marshall Dam on Hwy 73 all of the way to the Deansville Marsh. Now it's time to get those canoes and kayaks out. We had an awesome 12 man crew (split in two groups today) for the April 13 cleanup. One crew worked on clearing blockages in the water in front of and behind the first Trestle Bridge on Canal Rd. The other crew cleaned up the shoreline (removed Buckthorn and other invasive species, and cut tree stumps and treated them) along the shoreline upriver near the Hwy TT bridge where we worked on March 10 & 24 (11 & 13 workers on those days respectively). Pictured in the group photo were: Joe Greene, Jeff Steele, Jason Pitzer, Jeff Page, Paul Wehking, Steve Falter from Capitol Water Trails, Lee Hellenbrand, and Terry Bradshaw. Not pictured were Brandon Millner, Tyson Pitzer, and Jack Hellenbrand. And thanks to Lyndsay Ampe and her bosses at the Fox for the great meal after the workday! I appreciate everyone and everything that made today a success. This group is hosting a Maunesha River Cleanup Workday on June 29, and is trying to organize a cleanup day sometime in May. For more information email Ryan Frey at
Feb 21st, 2019 | Ryan Frey from Maunesha River (Marshall part) | Link
Wow! What a great video and great pictures. I've kayaked the Maunesha from the Marshall Dam to Hwy TT before I ran into plenty of blockades. Fellow Marshall Village Board Trustee Jason Pitzer and I are trying to get the word out on two upcoming Maunesha River Cleanup days. The days are March 10 & March 24, both Sundays. The river cleanups both start at 9am and will last till about 4pm. We are starting in the Langer Park area in Marshall and hope to clear debris, cut down trees, etc. in an effort to improve kayak and canoe navigation, while possibly increasing water flow and oxygen levels. This is a grassroots effort to start and there are 10 people signed up, but another 20 on the Facebook event I created. We hope to make your kayak experience even better in the future. We'll be starting at 6200 Hwy TT, and probably working down rive to Waterloo throughout the spring and summer. The Maunesha River Alliance and several of the members are helping us out. If you go back on the Maunesha, please share with us how your experience went. Thanks so much for your time and sharing with us the beauty of what we have.
Feb 27th, 2019 | Ryan Frey from Maunesha River (Marshall part) from Maunesha River | Link
No worries. I'm excited for it and excited to keep getting more and more people to help out each day. Will do. I can post a mini update later in March as we make progress. That would be great if you can share it (I have two Facebook events), and I hope the weather cooperates for us.
Feb 25th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you...I just now found and approved your comment. Your cleanup plan sounds great! Let me know how it turns out and I can post an update on this site. I'll see if I can get your event on my facebook page here as well later today.
Maunesha River – Cherry Lane to Waterloo
May 26th, 2023 | Luke from Pewaukee | Link
Did this trip a week and a half ago (05/17/23) and unfortunately it is currently chocked up with difficult to portage logjams. Got plenty of scrapes dragging my kayak over all the logs. Once those were done, around the Davis Instruments Co. marker, the low water levels made the rapids in and around Waterloo a slog. Definitely avoid until this stretch until the logjams are removed.
May 26th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yikes...these must be new. It was clear sailing during my trip. The local friends group does have some cleanups planned and hopefully they can get the river open again. Thanks for the feedback.
Jul 30th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good news. As of July 15, 2023 the Maunesha from to Waterloo is open again.
Jun 7th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link can portage the main rapids. Just portage on the island or head down the millrace (on the right) which you can then wade over. I suggest bringing aquatic shoes if you plan on portaging.
May 6th, 2021 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this trip on 5/5/21, levels were a bit higher appx 700 CFS and 3.25 ft. Wow! what a great trip, and so close to Madison. A big thanks to all the people at the MRA for all their hard work. The trip took us less than 2 hours, including a stop to empty water from one of the boats after going for a swim in the rapids. We will certainly be back to do the longer trip from Marshal to Waterloo.
May 6th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's too bad to hear about your spill...I assume this happened at the site of the old dam. There are some tight turns in fast current...a bit harrowing but fun!
May 7th, 2021 | Eric Guderyon from Winga Creek | Link
I just wanted to add some more info,while putting in we met the man who owns the property on the southwest side of the road, he had just mowed it and said that there was an easy place to put in about 50 yards upstream from the bridge and he was fine with people using it. We took out out at the first alt access you mention (West Pedestrian Bridge)as we did not want to deal with the mud at the other points, we found it fairly easy and there is parking nearby.
May 7th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the tip!
Jun 7th, 2021 | Peter Healy from Wingra | Link
Is it possible to portage around the rapids?
Mecan River
Jul 22nd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update Eric. I didn't know about the logjam cleanup efforts on the far upper leg of the Mecan. I do want to brave the Hwy 21 route eventually.
Jun 4th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Wendy as far as camping options, I don't think so, but I just don't know.
Jun 3rd, 2024 | Wendy from Mecan | Link
Hi! Thank you for posting all this about the river. We recently moved on the Mecan, which I now tell all my friends, my section of the river! :) We have been talking about taking the river from the top of the springs to our place, but we didnt know the miles from each area. Thank you! It would be a long trip since we are near Dover. Might have to try it over a few days. Do you know if there are any camping areas along the river?
Jul 21st, 2021 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
We did the section from Hwy 21 down to JJ (Dakota) on 7/19, with a bike shuttle. The Chaffe creek gauge was at about 16 CFS and 3.7 ft.The trip was about 10 miles and took us 4 1/2 hours. We never had to walk the boats but there were a few shallow spots. I have done the of the lower sections of the Mecan many times, but I had recently heard that people had been working on this upper section so I decided to give it a try. All in all it was a great trip and certainly one that I will do again, but the section between 21 and Hwy B still has several obstructions to go over, through, under and around. Nothing to difficult or dangerous, but certainly not an easy lazy river float. From B to Cumberland Rd the river is still small, fast and twisty but there are not as many obstructions. After Cumberland, while the river is still small twisty and fast, there are even fewer if any obstructions, just things to avoid. The put in is at the HWy 21 bridge east of Coloma, just north of the small town of Richford. There is a nice parking lot with room for several cars, as it is also a access point for the Ice age trail. The access to the river is easy, grassy and convenient. The take out it is easy, and again very close to a parking lot with room for several cars, and right down the road form a nice Wisconsin tavern. If I did this trip again I would either just do the Section from 21 to Cumberland as a work trip and bring my chainsaw and loppers, or just do the section from B to Dakota (Hwy JJ). The upper part is fun in a challenging sort of way, and the section from Cumberland to Dakota is beautiful and just plain fun.
Mecan River – Cumberland Road
Oct 13th, 2019 | Gaila Olsen from Black Earth Creek | Link
We three gals just did the Cumberland to Dakota section of the Mecan on October 8th, 2019. In the first 30 minutes we only encountered two easy trees to deal with...actually with wearing my knee high neoprene chota boots i just stayed in the water and dragged the boats over the low lying limbs. After that the three of us headed easily down to 11th. Took us 90 minutes total for that upper section and then continued for another 90 minutes (including a 15 minute lunch break) down to Dakota. Note that our 3 kayaks were 9.5'-10.5' in length. We were laughing that the curvy upper section below Cumberland made the section below 11th seem 'straight'. Might try using my 12' kestrel next time....but will wait till summer when it is warmer. Sure, there are a few other limbs to duck under in these two sections but the current is reasonably slow and the water is it is no big deal. Will maybe go even further upstream next summer to explore.
Jun 2nd, 2022 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We did this section on May 27, gage was at 12.5 CFS which seemed to be a great level. fantastic trip, no bugs, no portages, and only a few things to slide over/duck under. A short trip for sure, only 4.1 miles, it took us just over 2 hrs but we stopped once to empty a boat that got a lap full of water and once to stretch our old man legs. You could easily extend this trip by going down to the next bridge at Hwy Y and JJ in the Town of Dakota, where you can get a drink and a meal at Blader's Dakota Inn. Either of these trips are great places to do a bike shuttle, as the route is on small paved country roads in the heart of Amish country. Depending on your route, you may go past several Amish farms,a sawmill, and a school. Depending on the time of the year, some of the farms may also have small produce stands. Here is a link to a map and pics using the Relive app, which I highly recommend.
Oct 13th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback Gaila!
Mecan River – Dakota
Jul 26th, 2020 | Michael Kohn from Neshkoro | Link
And, look out for the poison ivy at the put-in. Please don't leave the river until AFTER you reach 14th Ave Bridge, nearly all of that section is privately owned by a private club. There is a small take-out on the right side, just under the 14th Ave bridge.
Jul 26th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the heads up Michael.
Jul 19th, 2019 | Tyler from Rock River | Link
Myself and my best friends are making the trip from 11th Rd. to Dover Ave. Any idea how long of a trip that is and how long it would take?
Aug 31st, 2023 | Rick Hannah from 6 mile creek | Link
Thanks, Aaron! Keep up the excellent paddle reports. The videos are outstanding!
May 20th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A warning to of 2024, the culvert/bridge by Hwy JJ/Y is being replaced. Hwy JJ/Y will likely not be a viable access until this is done. Here are technical details on the project: Apparently this costs 1,000,000 to replace a perfectly functional (and scenic) culvert with a flat slab bridge. 150' of Cth JJ will be "reconstructed", a lot of grading will take place and base aggregate will be added. Complete is estimated for Aug. 23, 2024. Really sounds like a stupid and wasteful project. Hope they don't destroy the terrific stand of white pines in the area....can never trust construction companies.
Jun 29th, 2015 | Paul | Link
Paddled from 11th Ave down to Dixie Ave yesterday. It was a great run with clear water and tight twisty turns. Trees were clear but there were a few limbo logs. Lots of wildlife, we paddled right by a small fawn with spots and got a good look at a 6pt velvet buck.
Jul 19th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's a longer guess would be 5-6 hours.
Oct 27th, 2014 | Dave | Link
The Mecan River is my favorite small stream and I've paddled it over a dozen times. For a capable canoeist it presents no problem, and I find it a great river to teach canoe strokes. I've paddled it in 16' & 17' tandem canoes and 14' - 16'+ solo canoes without having any trouble. It gets 5 stars in my book. Please do not recommend the upstream put-in at Hmy JJ in Dakota. This is private property and, although the owner doesn't object to responsible use, it's best to avoid the culvert. The downstream put-in works better because of the eddy on the left side. The rocks downstream are easy to avoid.
Oct 21st, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's too bad, as it is fun and scenic to paddle under Hwy Y. At least the portage isn't too difficult. Hopefully the locals clear this out pretty quickly.
Oct 21st, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Mecan River caution: As of 20 Oct 2019, there’s a log blocking the exit of the culvert downstream from the Hwy. Y bridge. Mandatory portage (or put-in below the log if starting from Dakota). Many thanks to those who've been clearing the Upper Mecan!
Aug 27th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Mecan is a very popular river...they should have known better! As for the Amish, for them it was mostly loud vulgar language. If I didn't know better, I would have thought they were drunk.
Aug 27th, 2023 | Rick Hannah from 6 mile creek | Link
Lovely paddle, from Dakota to Dover Ave. Not sure how anyone exits at Dixie. My paddle partner and I tried taking out there for a break and found it extremely difficult to get out safely. Dover takeout was much easier.
Jun 16th, 2021 | Patrick Gelhar from Oshkosh | Link
My 17 year old son and friends are gonna take their canoes down the river. What’s there best starting point? For them. Thanks
Aug 27th, 2023 | Linda Harder from Fox Pishtaka | Link
I had to post after reading your comments about lewd Amish, which seems awfully strange. On July 3rd we also put in at Dakota and took out at HWY 22. When we dropped our canoe at the launch we ran into 3 older people getting ready to launch, one man and two women probably in their 60s. We had to drive to the take out and bike back so we were probably an hour behind them. Later as we're coming up to a bend we can hear people laughing ahead of us on the river. We come around the bend to find all three of them nude on a sand bar on the side of the river, diving for their clothes or to hold up towels as we went buy. Then one of them says to me, "Is that a camera?" as I have a GoPro mounted on the front of our canoe. I told them yes but I had turned it off when I knew we were approaching some people. So that was our first experience with skinny dippers but not sure if you could call it that as none of them were in the water. We also passed a group of tubers a little farther on. We love the Mecan too. BTW, thank you for all your great posts as I have used them with great success to plan many canoe trips.
Aug 27th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The trick with Dixie is you have to get out closer to the tunnel where it is a bit shallower. Further downstream it's surprisingly deep by the rocks and that would be difficult to get out on.
Jun 17th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Mecan can be a bit tight for canoes. That being said I wouldn't do a trip too far upstream. Mecan Springs can be nice, but could be a short trip. Your son might try Hwy Y/JJ to Dixie but should be advised it could be tricky in a canoe.
Mecan River – Post Germania
May 19th, 2022 | Mike Manthey from Fond du Lac | Link
I enjoy this section of the mecan river. Mecan river outfitters is a nice option for beginners. They offer rentals as well as shuttle services. Nice to avoid having to take 2 vehicles or bikes. The river is well maintained and easy for all skill levels.
Mecan River – Upper
Oct 1st, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
Forgot to mention that we had 14' kayaks, and did not feel they were too big, some sites and books I saw recommended against anything bigger than 13', I don't know about the lower sections but this section is totally doable in a 14'if you have have level of boat control.
Jun 2nd, 2022 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We did the section from 11th to 14th Ave on 5/30/22, the Silver Creek gage was at about 45 CFS, Chaffy Creek was at 12.3 CFS, Levels were good, no portages, no bugs, jsta a few slideovers/duck unders. The paddle was about 7.2 miles and took us 3 hrs including a short stop for lunch. A great trip and a good place to do a bike shuttle. The "Zelensky"* and the take out are both easy with plenty of parking. The water clarity is fantastic as is the scenery. An absolutely beautiful trip that I would recommend to anyone. You could easily extend this trip by starting further upstream at Cumberland Rd or ending further downstream at Dixiec, Dover, Hwy E or Hwy 22, but I agree that the river becomes less interesting and scenic after 14th Ave. Here is a link to a video/map/pics of our trip using the Relive App which I highly recommend.
May 30th, 2015 | Kayak Mike from Fox River | Link
I love this part of the Mecan!It has a real "Up North" feeling. I'm glad to see someone cut a path at that downed tree. I had to portage over it with my wife and daughter. It was one of my daughters 1st time out kayaking and she wasn't happy. I really like your site. It has a lot of good info on some of the smaller rivers and creeks that I like to paddle. If I could make one suggestion, Date of the trip.
Oct 1st, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
Just did this section yesterday, a few duck-unders, but otherwise it is clear all the way. The water was crystal clear and the fall colors were just starting to show. It should be spectacular in the coming weeks. We had bikes to do a bike shuttle but happened to stop in at Blader's Dakota Inn,and found someone who offered to give us a lift top the top for free (5-10 min drive). Blader's is just a few hundred feet from the JJ bridge, and is a good place to grab a burger and a beer and/or use the bathroom before or after a trip.
May 30th, 2015 | Kayak Mike | Link
Hi Aaron, If your going to be up in this area, you might like to try Neenah Creek. The water level is high right now which makes it paddlable. I put in on Co. Rd. CX and paddle down to the Fox. Then get out by the Co. Rd. CM bridge. Plus with the water level so high you can get around all dead falls.
Sep 9th, 2019 | Cory from Hemlock Creek | Link
Six of us made this trip from 11th Rd to 14th Ave. (6.8 mi, 2 1/2 hours, 14.5 cfs, 3.7' at Chaffee Creek). The flow was excellent and the clarity incredible. There were no portages required, though plenty of evidence of clean-up after the July 2019 wind storms. That was much appreciated!
Sep 9th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's terrific news that the Mecan is navigable. I initially feared it would be in bad shape from July's derecho. Thanks for the update.
Aug 25th, 2017 | Marsha from Yahara | Link
I did this trip today from 11th St. to 14th Ave. with a bike shuttle. The paddle was about 7 miles and took me 2 1/2 hours. It was such a wonderful place! Thank you for your write up, it encouraged me to try this river. I was able to navigate the hairpin turns, riffles, and dead fall in my 10 foot kayak.
Mecan Springs
Jun 15th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link is shallow and has some deadfall...but I thought it was really scenic. Certainly the downstream legs are more open and navigable. Thanks for the feedback.
Jun 15th, 2020 | Jonelle from Mecan or Waupaca | Link
My husband and I enjoy your sight. It has helped us get started in kayaking. Yesterday, 6/14/2020 we did the upper Mecan (listed as Mecan 1). This is the first one we did that I would not recommend. Mecan Springs is fine to kayak through, but one you hit the river it was very shallow. I had to get out and pull my kayak along the river at one point. Also a lot a debris that is difficult to navigate, moreso than other rivers. Our favorite part so far is from 11th to JJ.
Menominee River
Apr 17th, 2019 | Kyle Ochwat from Chicago, Illinois | Link
I know it said not to put the city, but I really am from Chicago. I have questions pertaining to a scouting trip to Menominee River, I was hoping I could be contacted to discuss :)
Menomonee River – Hoyt Park
Oct 22nd, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good news! Cleanup work completed on Oct 22nd 2023 has cleared all logjams from Capitol drive to the Tosa Village.
Mill Creek
Apr 13th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comments Austin! Yeah, Mill Creek is one of the most underrated Whitewater paddles in Wisconsin. It does really need a depth gauge. You might contact your local community and NOAA about adding a gauge...I think it would be so helpful.
Apr 13th, 2021 | Austin from Here and Yellow/Wisco rivs | Link
Ha had to make a comment after ready the little shout out to me! Not sure how much of it is bias to proximity and frequency of paddling but this is one of the better "whitewater" runs in all of the land. Yes, as noted it is EXTREMELY difficult to time. Sorry to even mention also but what a shame about the gauge(s!). Honestly can't we think of some sort of work around for this on the cheap??(i have two concepts if anyone wants to colab) I would consider this a must paddle at adequate flows for most of us looking for doable but actual/"real" whitewater. Sure it's on the lower end of the spectrum but that's also a good thing for many of us. It gets really fun when running but without the pushiness or technical currents of many similar level rapids. You can have a bump free run too which is always nice. If you find yourself in the main rapid after the bridge AND bend left and are feeling overwhelmed, there is a easy sneak on the left near the shore. The boil/hole is intimidating but it's not sticky or tricky at 1.5 up to 2.5 or even 3.0. Not sure after that and don't want to know ha! It was the first time I ever punched through a wave and had it go over my head! So as you see it is very special to me. I live in Rapids and have headed here several times and decided not to paddle. Only once because it was too high(great decision). All the other times it was low. Not to discourage but it might take some effort, patience and luck to time it right but is worth it. The only comparable River with similarly "easy" but exhilirating Class II segments I have paddled is the Big Eau Pliene by Stratford. Lil Wolf, Wolf, Yellow River, Halls Creek, Black River, ETC. all have difficult sections or tricky water(especially the Yellow River; be careful with that one). Can you elaborate on the pin somebody experienced here? A few years ago I was running it at a high ~2.5 and encountered some boaters who had gotten their rented kayak pinned and mangled on a rapid in that long continuous section(prob the rock in "revers view" right before "another pitch". Couldn't really stop at the time and wasn't exactly sure what was going on. I headed there after finishing and was surprised to still see them there. I didn't notice the boat when i first passed by in the water. They couldn't get it free. It was one of those PERFECT sunny/warm early season days but the water was still chilly. It was impacting their ability to be in the water and it was quite pushy when standing in it. Luckily I had my farmer john wet suit on cause i do not like being cold. So with some effort, a tie down strap and luck i managed to get it free. Don't think they got their deposit back though! So do treat this with some caution if you run it open boat and/or at higher levels but also with a dash of confidence as it really is a just right, choice Goldilocks paddle!! What is ten plus 3?
Milwaukee River
Jul 24th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I think your best bet would be to simply use Google maps. You can use the "Overview Map" embedded above. Up to you if you want to include the various branches.
Jun 13th, 2021 | Paul from Milwaukee | Link
I’m confused are you paddling upstream on this ? It looks like Newburg is south of the Hwy A.
Sep 23rd, 2018 | Dan from Milwaukee River-2 | Link
Just got off the river today. 9-23-18 ...Put in at Newburg bridge & out at Hwy A bridge. Great! Will do this again & again. Took 2 1/2 hrs. Only problem was the one time we went right around and island instead of left. We had to pull kayaks over a log. Everyone stayed dry! Thanks again for a great website! Dan
Sep 9th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Dan for the question and the comments. It's been a while since I did this route, but if I remember correctly there is usually an obvious route around the islands, and the minor channel isn't navigable. There could be an exception now though because of the very high water.
Sep 23rd, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the comment! Today was a great day for paddling.
Jun 14th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
No I paddled downstream...Newburg is both south of A and upstream of A. Few rivers in Wisconsin flow north, but this leg of the Milwaukee does.
Jul 24th, 2018 | Sandy from Des Plaines River | Link
I am trying to make a list of all the cities and towns the Milwaukee River goes through. Can you refer me to a map. From Fond du Lac to Milwaukee. Please and thank you.
Jun 9th, 2018 | Cameron from Milwaukee | Link
Hi - thank you for this post. Super helpful. Question - when did you find this trip when the depth was ideal? What time of year / month? Might have missed it, but couldn’t find it.
Aug 3rd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Monica, yes you can launch from Pioneer Park. Garrison's Glen Park is right there. See my overview map for more info:
Aug 3rd, 2022 | Monica Perkins from OAK CREEK | Link
Is there a put in access on pioneer rd for the Milwaukee river in Ozaukee County? We would like to go kayaking but need some help with put in and take out points.
Sep 8th, 2018 | Dan from Milwaukee River-2 | Link
I am new to kayaking. Been on the M. river a couple times farther down stream around Fredonia. I want to do the Milwaukee River-2 run and am noticing by your map that the black line on the river goes left at the first 2 splits in the river and then right the last 3 splits in the river. Is this a recommended route or am I over thinking it? Thanks for any input and thanks for a great website! Dan
Jun 10th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
My personal preference would be for 200-400 CFS per this gauge This will allow for best clarity. The river is likely fine to paddle at 4-600 CFS as well, but won't be as attractive. 600+ CFS might be not as fun, but likely doable for the determined. The best times of the year will be mid-summer to late fall.
May 27th, 2023 | John Jansen from West Bend | Link
Paddle the stretch from below the Grafton dam to pioneer Road on 5/27/23. River stage was about 5 ft. Duration about 90 minutes. A nice paddle with some challenging little rapids. A little more water on the lower half would have been handy.
Milwaukee River – East Branch
Jan 10th, 2019 | Ryan from Milwaukee River EB | Link
i did this trip but started at HWY S south of Mauthe and took out at HWY H that has a parking spot area. It was intense! so many trees down esp in the "flood plain" section of the Kettle Moraine forest. The scenery in the forest is amazing! saw old blown up dams, bridges, farms, and plenty of wildlife (crawfish galore). It started off shallow rapids, changed to deep water, then ended in the MKE river proper. Very eclectic paddle. at the end i had to portage so much that i lost my shoe in mud and got covered with stinging nettle. all in all it is worth it. so much adventure.
Jun 3rd, 2023 | Don Schaeffer from Wauwatosa | Link
The stretch downstream from Mauthe to Youth Camp road is nice until the youth camp. It appears that camp people keep the river clear down to the camp. But the stretch from the camp down to the Youth Camp road has many log jams; most are easy carryovers but some are more difficult. You can see one looking upstream from Youth Camp road. Since there is no public takeout at the youth camp, going downriver from Mauthe Lake involves some work.
Jun 3rd, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update!
Feb 4th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sorry Ryan for the delay in approving the comment. My email notification system hasn't been working like it should have been. At any rate I'm glad to hear you saw such good scenery. But it's such a shame there were so many logjams...I still hope to do this lower part in the future. Hopefully somebody will clear up these jams.
Milwaukee River – Thiensville
Apr 22nd, 2024 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
Katie, it does not look like any camping is offered on that island property
Feb 18th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's a good question I don't know the answer to. You contact the Mequon Parks department...if they didn't know the answer they likely would know who to contact.
Feb 18th, 2024 | Katie from Oak Creek | Link
Hi, Curious about the large island that is passed just after the Thiensville Dam. Does anyone know if that is a private or state owned island? or of any signage posted on the island? Curious if that could be camped on.
Milwaukee River: Quaas Creek to Goeden Park
Jul 30th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I do appreciate the comments. While I liked our trip from Quaas to Goeden, I do think the upstream parts by West Bend would have been more interesting which seems to be backed by your observations. The Milwaukee has been low though...was the section by River Road on the shallow side? It's too bad to hear about your issues with the Potamogeton and downed trees. Perhaps this is a product of the the lower water levels and it being later in the summer.
Sep 19th, 2021 | Carrie from Milwaukee River | Link
I just want to say thank you for this incredible resource that you have compiled! We just bought our first canoe to get our five year old out on the rivers and I am overwhelmingly grateful to have stumbled upon your site!
Jul 30th, 2018 | David Deming from Milwaukee River 1 | Link
Thank you for your write ups, they have been very helpful planning my trips. I just wanted to add a note about the River Rd drop. I have done the drop in on the MKE river at River Rd in West Bend twice now in the last few weeks. Will say that the route from River Rd to Quass Creek Park is excellent. Navigable, nice looking, clear, etc. Very naturesque with little feel you are in the city. My first trip I continued to Goeden Park. I was less happy with the run from Quass to Goeden than I was from River to Quass. The whole area around the airport was bogged down with heavy Potamogeton which made paddling difficult. Beyond that, the first deadfall was exposed and required a hurdle and drag in 4' water (thankfully I'm tall). The second was not a problem, just a bit of a pain. The end before the bridge required mostly dragging the boat due to low water. Looking forward to trying some of the other spots soon.
Aug 28th, 2022 | Miriam from West Bend | Link
Thank you for reporting on your outing. Very helpful information. Looks like it was a find day!
Sep 19th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the thanks!
Mirror Lake
Apr 17th, 2017 | Heidi Hammitt from Plover | Link
Is there a map available for kayaking at Mirror Lake? Is it easy to go down and come back, or do you need 2 vehicles ready to drop off/pick up? How long roughly is it to kayak the area?
Montello River – 11th Road
Aug 29th, 2021 | Jody Strutz from Fox River, Brookfield | Link
We did the same section you reviewed on August 29, 2021. It was a beautiful day for a paddle. While it was not my favorite paddle it certainly was enjoyable. We had no issues with downed trees that we could not navigate around. The stretch of the lake was rather unexciting and lots of algae and lake weeds. Water clarity was good the first half to two thirds of the trip until you got to the deeper water. We saw turtles, various fish, a few vultures, a couple egrets and the guys saw a water snake! The smell by the boat ramp was awful but an easy take out!
May 6th, 2019 | Jacqueline Barbeaux from Hartford | Link
Three of us kayaked the montello River on 5/5/19 starting out at Ember Lane. After 2 hours and 3 log jams that we had to get out of our kayaks and go over we met a couple who were taking a walk on their land that runs along the river. We we're going to 11th drive , they stated that there are many more log jams since last year's rain and high winds and we were not quite half way there. Seeing it was 2:30 and we had dogs at home we took up their offer to take us to our car so we could load up the kayaks. We had to walk 1/4 mile to where the car could pick them up. Had it been earlier we may have gone the rest of the way. I would like to hear from anyone that has been on the river since last year. The river is beautiful! Seen a bald eagle in a tree that watched us paddle down the river. Kingfishers, geese, ducks , woodpeckers. I wonder what Tim is up to? I'll help you maintain it!
Sep 1st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, not a five star stretch but not awful. I think the Montello upstream from this put-in though is very good.
May 12th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sorry Jacqueline for the delay in approving your comment, as I just discovered it. The updates about the logjams are appreciated. If you discover anything anything feel free to share it. I might still risk a paddle on this very segment later this year.
Mormon Creek
Apr 15th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The updated information on Mormon Creek is very much appreciated!
Apr 13th, 2023 | Bonnie from La Crescent | Link
We did a shortened version of your trip. Did a half portage of that first rapid, launched mid problem. Also removed the pesky branch that looked like it caught your head. We are hoping to help groom some of those log jams. FYI-You can exit at MM at one corner. We spoke with the property owner. ... That branch was in such a bad spot. We worked it and threw a rope around it and pulled! It was pretty rotten. We scouted that large log jam on foot. We are going to go back and see if we can saw a bit. Thank you so much! We had screenshots of your play by play and it sure gave us the confidence to tackle this lovely little creek. We will be back! We spoke with landowner at MM. She said at any bridge, one corner must be left for exiting and entering a river. We have never heard of that but sounds like a great rule! She was soooo nice!🙂
Morrison Creek
Oct 8th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Cleanup work happened on Morrison Creek on Oct 7th, 2023. Many hazards/logjams were removed from the winter ice storm. To date, there may remain 2-3 significant logjams. The creek itself was too shallow to paddle on Oct 7th, but that's to be expected this late in the season without recent rain.
Jun 12th, 2014 | Austin L. | Link
This is a very handy pdf map: It shows a private landing near the Morrison Creek one, perhaps that fella mentioning trespassing had them confused... Your blog is awesome! Did Hall's Creek recently due your type up of it; the Miles Paddled Robinson Creek was also a major contributing factor(their site led me to yours) Will comment more there(Halls Creek) since I did the lower section from where you stopped. I do a lot of biking at Levis Mound. Excellent, destination worthy trails there, possible the best in the state. Can't believe how oblivious I was to what the rest of the area has to offer until recent! I would like to state something about bike shuttles though. Please take no offense. I'd would highly discourage biking along County E for any considerable length or duration. There is no shoulder and that road is crazy busy these days. It's basically a state highway with how much Hatfield has blown up. Many vehicles are big truck/suv four wheeler types too that are inconsiderate to say the least(copious noise, fumes, aggressive driving, indifference to damaging large tracts of land, etc...) Just please use extreme caution on that road at least. I would say you'd be taking a serious risk with your life peddling that road on a Saturday especially! Thanks! p.s. I will be looking into the access issue too btw. My uncle is a registered attorney in tribal court, is native himself(step uncle so i'm not), lives down there and would possibly know definitively himself or who would. I'd say it either has to do with fishing rights or a different nearby area/misunderstanding on where it applies to exactly(like those No Tress'ing signs on state land from your WI river/dells area account! WTH?!)
Jun 14th, 2014 | Austin | Link
Glad to contribute! We used to bike from the Arbutus park down J to Levis(and back) but stopped due to traffic(there were other factors, like not staying or even being able to at the park due to no vacancy). Appreciate you not taking offense. Text can came across wrong and it seems like I'm being overly adamant or what not at times, so am glad you didn't take it that way. Your site is such a good resource I truly do feel indebted (MilesPaddled too!) Will comment more on Halls there. Was definitely lower and just on the margin of doable... It ended up being one of the most splendid experiences I have ever had though! An absolutely gorgeous run and basically my notion of what a "perfect" run would be!! (with just a little more water, gauges were 3.9 ft at Neilsville, East Fork ~650CFS 6/8/14) Many, many thanks for sharing that account and leading to my own unreal adventure there!!!
Mud Lake
Aug 12th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment!
Aug 12th, 2021 | Sala Lotfi from Milwaukee | Link
Thank so much for all of these amazing information. It was very well-explained, and hopefully will help us with our trip this weekend. The pictures are so good as well the video. Thanks.
Mukwonago River
Jun 24th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Mukwonago is a great river! Glad you had a nice trip.
Apr 6th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback!
Jul 3rd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, I don't trust that gauge either. I appreciate the update!
Apr 6th, 2021 | BJJ from Mukwonago | Link
We tried our 2-person inflatable kayak on Apr 03 2021 from Rainbow Springs Rd to Beulah Road, first time for us on the river. The water was only at ~38 CFS/2.3' and we got stuck on the bottom a few times. There was one downed tree we had to portage around, one other spot we portaged due to underwater obstructions, and at least one spot where I had to get out to pull the kayak through the shallow water. The water was low enough that the pedestrian bridge was easy to get under. The culverts mentioned in the first post from 2016 have all been removed. Overall it was enjoyable but still really early in the season, little in the way of plant life, saw a few ducks but not much else. My 9-year-old daughter gave it a 3/5 but said it would be 5/5 if we had not got stuck so many times :-). We will definitely try it again, and will make the Beulah to I route at some point as well.
Aug 31st, 2019 | Eric from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this section on 8/30/19 the creek was high 140 CFS and about 3.1 ft, the part from the put-in to Beulah Rd was fantastic, clear water, nice current. only 2 small blockages, shortly after the Beilah things were not so great, after about 1/2 mile either we lost the main channel or it disappeared, but we had to fight are way to shore through rice and cattail that were to thick to paddle and to wet to walk so we pulled ourselves to shore. We ended up in the back yard of the house just to the south of the takeout. The woman was very nice and let us portage through her back yard and load in her driveway. She mentioned that we were the fourth kayaker to come through her yard recently, so perhaps we have followed/made an accidental water trail to her backyard. If levels stay high I would recommend doing the section from Cty E to Belulah, from what I could see it looks doable at these levels. Unless you are an expert at finding your way through a marsh I would strongly discourage anyone from doing the marsh at this time.
Aug 31st, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yikes! It would be great to see the local government or DNR drone scout this periodically and post warnings at the access points.
May 30th, 2021 | Jen Hannula from Waterford | Link
Did the stretch from rainbow springs road to cnty hwy I on 29 May 2021. Weather was beautiful, still have to portage either around or climb over the downed tree in the beginning. Water was beautiful and clear, there were two stick piles or dams. One had flow over it which you could use or go around them. After beulah road the river was nice and open. We also saw the biggest mudpuppy in our whole lives. Luckily our group is always up for a good adventure so I would give it a 9/10 since we missed deer fly season this time.
May 17th, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Paddled from Rainbow Springs Rd. at LO to I. ~95 CFS. One portage around a downed tree (climbing onto the tree and pulling boat over might be possible with the right boat and skills). At this water level I almost got stuck trying to duck under a low pedestrian bridge, so would recommend caution. After Beulah Rd bridge there were no obstructions, and channel was very wide all the way through the marsh. Wild rice doesn't emerge until July or so, and it's possible that high flows last year washed it out? In any case, it was very easy to navigate through the marsh section before the takeout at Hwy I.
Jul 14th, 2019 | Jennifer Hansen from Waterford | Link
Do not do this trip in July. The deer flies are atrocious. 90% of our time paddling we were swarmed by at least a dozen of these little jerks. Also the water is pretty high so it required us to portage twice, once over a large fallen tree and then around the bridge. Other than that it is a beautiful route, just don’t go during deerfly season ?
Jun 4th, 2021 | Paula from Union Grove | Link
Hi Jen, can you tell me how many hours it took from Rainbow Springs to I?
May 15th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update.
May 15th, 2020 | Kristen from Fox River | Link
SNA was not publicly accessible... lots of signs saying private, no trespassing, etc. We thought we'd take a look, and the road down to the water/river was also gated off. Put in at Nature road instead, which was very easy. That stretch to Eagle Spring Creek was beautiful! Beware of the low hiking trail bridge (maybe a mile after putting in?), which came up fairly quickly in a strong section of current.
May 30th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's interesting that you were able to paddle to I. You didn't encounter any wild rice issues? Maybe that is only an issue later in the year.
Nov 30th, 2017 | Eric from wingra creek | Link
Hey I'm thinking of doing the Mukwonago this weekend, any idea if the wild rice has died back yet?
Jul 2nd, 2021 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Paddled from Rainbow Springs Rd. to Beulah Rd. on 02Jul2021. In addition to the expected deadfall. the beavers have been busy since our last trip in May of 2020. A few pull-overs plus the 2 ft. drop (or portage around it.) Level was low, but we expected lower flow because the area is in "moderate drought" according to: I question how useful the gauge below the dam in Mukwonago is. The recent graph had near vertical rises and falls: I wouldn't call this a beginner trip, at least at this level and with current obstructions, but a beautiful river in any case. Saw large owls a few times, probably Barred Owls? Also Cedar Waxwings along one stretch.
Sep 4th, 2017 | Jonathan Beers from Starkweather | Link
Paddled Rainbow Springs Golf Resort access road off LO to Hwy I on Sept. 3, 2017. USGS Gauge was at 73 CFS, which meant getting out of kayaks for at least one bridge. On the plus side, it made the wild rice beds more navigable, with wider channels and clearer water movement to follow. Only had to punch through thick rice a few times.
Jun 23rd, 2021 | Rick from Waukesha from WAUKESHA | Link
We traveled from Rainbow Springs Rd. to Beulah Rd. because incoming weather. It had a little of everything. A portage around a tree that was very easy, 2 beaver dams that was easy to cross. Only about 2 foot drop. Was fun and made for great pictures. lots of smaller fish. We didn't see any wildlife but we were laughing and had such a great time. Very peaceful quite and didn't see any garbage anywhere. Very pristine. Did see a bunch of golf balls. For beginners, this is a great introduction to river paddling. I have paddled a lot of rivers and I don't know why, but this is one of the best. It was so relaxing and just FUN.
Namekagon River – Hayward to Stinnett
Jul 30th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I don't think so, but you should call ahead just to be sure.
Dec 4th, 2013 | Colleen Peterson | Link
Beautiful site! So glad I happened upon all your hard work - I have book on paddling WI rivers, but love the photos and descriptions you give! We live on the Red Cedar just outside Chetek, and LOVE to kayak it - we would definitely be able to contribute some pics of the Barron to Hwy 64 stretch. No rapids, but good moving water most of the year. We've been on it from March - November, maybe some year we'll hit the other 3 if global warming continues. Thanks for the great site!
Jul 30th, 2021 | Holly Nalley from Spooner Wisconsin | Link
Hi there, do we need a reservation to float or do we just show up and do it there?! This is our first time and I haven’t been able to find this information. Thanks for your time!!
Namekagon River – Namekagon Dam to Hwy 63 Wayside
Dec 20th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
For those curious, I did find a Youtube video of this stretch that paddlers may find helpful:
Neenah Creek – Oxford
Jul 12th, 2017 | Jim Sako from Mcginnis Lake | Link
Mcginnis lake is the start of Neenah Creek. This beautiful 28 acre lake provides over 600 gallons of water per minute to the creek. Anyway being new to kayaking we've only paddled around our lake and now are looking to get a little more adventurous. (we just purchased your book) Looking to do the lower creek dropping in a Chauncey St. but are afraid the trip to County "A" will be too much for us. Do you recall if it is possible to pull out at the Fox Rd. overpass? This point appears to be lees than 1/2 of your trip. Thank you for the wonderful and informative information of your trips. we hope to utilize your experiences and knowledge of these local areas. -- Edit and Update: We dropped in at Chauncy Street and everything was going wonderful until we ran into a large amount of downed trees that had fallen from last week's unconfirmed tornado. The creek became inpassible after about a quarter mile. On to the next adventure. We're going to drop in Goose Lake and paddle around there for a while.
Aug 11th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this section on 8/11/21 (10 Mile Creek gauge was at 62 CFS and 4.82 Ft) so the level may have been lower than on your trip, but the levels seemed fine. All the rapids were runnable and there seemed to be plenty of water the whole way. The water clarity and wildlife (deer, snapping turtles, heron, geese, ducks, beaver muskrat were amazing, especially the fish. I have never seem the number or variety of fish in any stream in Wisconsin. We saw numerous large trout and countless other fish. we had to get out of the boats 4 times, 2 for portages that required going up on shore and 2 that just required getting out of the boats to pull/lift over obstacles. There were several other places that required ducking under or sliding over/through stuff but nothing was too difficult or dangerous, as the creek was usually not deep nor was the current too strong. While this trip is far from a 'Lazyy River' paddle, for those who are looking for a stunningly clear river, with very little development, an abundance of wildlife, plus a nice swimming hole at the takeout, and are willing to put up with a few easy obstacles, I would highly recommend this trip
Oct 24th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The following is a recent video review of Upper Neenah Creek that readers may find interesting.
Jun 25th, 2018 | Jaqueline Barbeaux from Fox River | Link
We dropped in at W Chauncey St Bridge qnd took out on Hwy A. There were 2 of us and 2 dogs. We made it but the trip took 5 hours, the river has about 7 log jams between Chauncey street and Fox Rd. , another 3 from Fox to Hwy A. How we made it I don't know.Do not do this section!
Jun 15th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. I wonder if this leg is best done in early spring or late fall when some of these snags won't be so overgrown and difficult to get past.
Jun 25th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thank you for the comments. I believe a tornoda do blow through this area and create a big mess, which is unfortunate.
Jul 3rd, 2019 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra creek | Link
I did this section on 7/3/19. There were a lot of obstacles, I stopped/lost count around 12... a lot of ducking under, scooting over, pulling through, and few easy portage... but it is still a trip I will do again and that I would recommend for those who are up for an adventure and are willing to do a bit of work. the water clarity and wildlife is great for the entire trip, I saw fish, snapping turtles, deer, hawks, cranes, heron, ducks and more. The trip has a variety of landscapes and even the flat marsh like section at the end was enjoyable due to the amazing water clarity, the decent currant and amazing wildlife. it seemed there was a deer,goose, duck or heron around every bend. Another highlight was a great swimming hole at the take out. A nice big deep hole after the little rapids at the bridge. For anyone willing to work for it, it is a great trip on a hot summer day.
Jun 15th, 2021 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Paddled from W. Chauncey to Hwy A on June 13, 2021. Level was lower than August 16, 2020. The portage around several downed large trees (1/2 mile upstream from Fox Rd.) ended in warm mud rather than ankle-deep water. Link to portage photo from 2020: We had to exit our boats more often due to getting hung up in shallow water. I think there are more obstacles than in 2020, mostly between Chauncey and Fox Rd. Lots of pull-overs, duck-unders, ram overs, etc. to test one's problem-solving and boat handling skills. Wildlife was outstanding, as usual. Orioles, wood ducks, mergansers, sandpipers and killdeer, damselflies and dragonflies, plus lots of small fish. We suprised deer in the creek at least 3 times, and saw a beaver den along one bank, complete with a food cache of several branches. It took us almost 4 hours to paddle 6.2 miles, but we took two breaks for refreshments. With some clearing, this stretch could appeal to more paddlers, rather than just those willing to deal with lots of obstacles.
Jun 18th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
An update on the logjam situation from another paddler: "3-4 logjams remain. We chopped anything and everything we could but there was couple spots where we would drain an entire battery just to get 1 tree .. but it is pretty runable now. All the portages are easy.. just get out of boat and drag over a tree... no need to get on river banks"
Jun 27th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I feel bad that you had such a trying time. It was a very different situation when I did the paddle. I have posted an updated message in the main review which hopefully should help other paddlers.
Jun 27th, 2018 | Jacqueline Barbeaux from fox river | Link
The creek is beautiful! Seen so much wildlife! But unfortunately the log jams were so numerous that the trip became stressful. I think the 1st 4 hours were were out of the kayaks as much as we were in them. There were many trees that were across the river that we just squeaked by either under or around. some log jams were huge. I gotta give my dogs credit they were troopers. ( a 10 lb rat terrier and 40 lb mutt!) Lost my cell phone! the last big log jam had a deep ( > 5') kinda whirlpool. I went sideways and a branch hit my dog , me and the dog fell in! it was hell! still sore and feeling stupid! Lesson: never go on an unexplored part of a river with 2 dogs! I was scared more for my dogs than anything. seen lots of deer which made my dog Sam happy :)
Aug 17th, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Eric's comments from Aug. 11 are spot-on. Casual paddlers would find the obstacles and maneuvering annoying, but we enjoyed the problem solving. (we had two canoes, one kayak.)
Jul 3rd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah there was a tornado that blew through that area after my trip and that kind of messed things up. Nice to hear you still had a nice trip though. Would be great if some locals adopted this creek and worked on its upkeep.
Jul 13th, 2017 | Jim from Brooks | Link
Heading out tomorrow. Thanks!
Aug 11th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's a major I wrote off that section as having too many logjams. Four portages for that trip is definitely worth it IMO. Thanks as always for the intel.
Neenah Creek Main Branch – Part 2
Apr 21st, 2015 | Mark Derheimer from Neenah Creek | Link
Ironic that I encountered a kayaker coming downstream while trout fishing the upper section of the Neenah yesterday and today I stumble upon your website. Since we never see anyone fishing this section, let alone trying to navigate it in a kayak, I had to wonder if it was you. Just curious, Mark
Nine Springs Creek
Aug 9th, 2017 | Eric G. from Yahara Creek | Link
I just did a spring to spring paddle today (8/9/17), put in at the J and K preserve, and headed up stream about 3/4 of a mile to another big spring area just off the Capitol City bike trail, I then turned around and floated back past the preserve and on to the other spring area, and then up stream back to the preserve. Other than a few small "scootable"snags and one small log jam in the area upstream from the preserve, it was a great trip. I only had to get out of the boat once to pull it over the log jam. With a little work it would be a very nice trip. Lots of birds and wildlife.
Jun 15th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Steve for the update. Yeah...those pipes are new. Hopefully they are removed soon.
Apr 7th, 2020 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
I've done the creek twice in the past 2 weeks,once upstream from he J & K preserve and once downstream. The trip upstream is a was a difficult at first, decent current and not much water, but only for about 1/4 mile then there are two small blockages (old beaver dams?) and the creek widens and deepens. the rest of the paddle, although upstream, was very easy. The creek here is channelized but surprisingly pretty with lots of wildlife and little small ponds and channels to explore. In about 300 yards there is a large tributary coming in from left (South)if you paddle up this you will find a very scenic large spring area with several springs and some nice water cress. Back on the main part of the creek you can continue up stream for about another 1/4 mile, to where 3 tributaries come together, I explore two of them but ran out of somelight to explore the other. Looking at google maps now it looks like the one I didn't explore looks the most promising to get close to Fish Hatchery Rd or the DNR service center, but not sure about access. The trip downstream was OK,with the section between M and the take out at Moorland road was the pretty part. There is a nice and easy bike shuttle using the Capital City trail almost all the way with just a short jog on Syene Rd.
Jun 9th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback. It's good to hear that MM to the lake is (mostly) in good shape...I was worried about this section.
Jun 13th, 2020 | Steve from Yahara | Link
Just did this trip today, putting in at MM and going to Lake Farm park. Thanks for all the info - this is the best resource I've found on the web about this paddle! It would've been an enjoyable trip, except from just before Lake Farm Road, a maybe 12" PVC pipe began snaking down the entire stream, wandering back and forth between the banks - and each time it did, you'd be pinched to the bank and forced to portage around it. Really chapped my hide, as there was no mention of it at the put-in, but there was a sign about it at the launch by Lake Farm Road. Forced us to do probably six or so unanticipated portages, including one over the train bridge (which we probably wouldn't have fit under anyway). We did see probably close to 20 muskrats, which was great - but I'd put off doing this trip until the sediment management program is wrapped up. I understand that it's probably needed, but a head's up at the put-in that downstream stretch was temporarily ruined would've been nice.
Aug 14th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. Late summer is a tough time to paddle many slow moving rivers because of the weeds/algae.
Jun 9th, 2024 | WENDY from Yahara river | Link
Did Lewis nine Springs Creek today. Easy put in highway MM. Drove down to the water just drop the kayaks in. There is a small parking lot. If you could call that. it was a beautiful but incredibly windy day . The wind just pushed us along the creek. Water level was good. A few logjams .One we had to do a small portage around. We also had to portage the kayaks over the railroad tracks. It’s a very peaceful paddle until you hit the lake because the wind was so strong. all in all,very enjoyable. saw turtles, birds and very large fish, We think we’re northern pike. I would recommend this paddle.
Apr 20th, 2022 | Eric from Wingra Creek | Link
I paddled the section from the preserve up to the springs and back on 4/11/22, unfortunately the creek was very low (about 4.5 ft on the Lake Waubesa gage) which was too low for enjoyable paddling, but not bad if you wanna take you boat for a walk. Fortunately the low section is only about 1/4 mile and then you reach a small beaver dam, which is new since the last time I did this trip in the fall. The dam has created a large pond that is 1-2 ft deep and has a few bays and inlets to explore, because it is all spring water it is very clear, and because it is early in the season there were no weeds yet. Thanks to the new dam there are some new areas open to paddling and more water at the springs. I did not have time on this trip but it may now be possible to paddle all the way to the DNR Fish Hatchery property. The wildlife on this trip was simply amazing, ducks, geese, cranes, hawks, owls, eagles, snapping turtles, spring peepers galore, and my first dragonfly of the year. I would suggest doing this trip at 4.8 ft or above on the Lake Waubesa gage. A map and pics of my trip can be found here
Apr 21st, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks as always for the water trail updates!
Apr 8th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I now regret not doing the section upstream from J&K...sounds really good. If you ever find out if the DNR Service Center is a viable access let us know. From there to Lake Farm would be very ideal.
May 29th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thank you for the update Melissa. I should have clarified but yes, you will have to portage Syene Road. I'll update the main write-up. As for the muck, this is likely the byproduct of our very wet May and I assume it is typically much nicer. I thought it was a really easy portage when I did I assume this will dry out and be better.
Aug 13th, 2022 | Lee from Wingra Creek | Link
Did this today on a standup paddleboard with a 4 inch fin from the Jenni & Kyle Preserve... Waubesa was at 5.22ft and had no problems on the SUP. A few portages but not too bad a bit stanky in a few places... the water under highway 14 seemed full of debris and did not attempt it. Turned around and Went up stream until 43°01'12.8"N 89°24'18.2"W and was blocked by a lot of downed trees. Not bad, had fun, will come back in the fall when the cold weather knocks down some of the algea/stankness.
Oct 6th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment. It's too bad to hear about all those downed trees...they weren't a problem during my trip, but I guess times change. I doubt the DNR would clear out logjams for paddlers, but private groups sometimes do. has helped out on cleaning out local Madison area streams. If I hear anything further I'll post an update.
May 29th, 2018 | Melissa from Yahara river | Link
We tried this trip on May 27, 2018. Gage at McFarland was 5.7'. Unfortunately, the bridge at Syene road was impassable. The water level was too high and the openings were packed with dead fall and trash. Since we are a bunch of middle-aged women, we weren't able to portage our boats due to very mucky conditions on the banks. We didn't see this mentioned as a problem or we would have put in on other side of Syene or at MM. Just a heads up.
May 2nd, 2016 | Timothy Bauer from Miles Paddled | Link
A word to the wise: fitting through the very low clearance bridge/tunnel at Highway 12 is pretty tricky and definitely not appropriate for the claustrophobic. You will need either to limbo all the way back or bend forward as far as possible. It's 200 feet long and too narrow to paddle. So you just have to drift in a squatting position and try to relax. If the creek is high, then this could well be impassable...and crossing Highway 14 with a kayak and gear would be ridiculously unsafe -- there's a whole lot of traffic blazing by at 70+ mph.
Oct 6th, 2022 | Glen from Starkweather Creek | Link
I put in at Jenni & Kyle, headed upstream until I came to some tree's a nice area..I should have gotten out and paddled beyond that. My main trip was to head out to Lake Waubesa so I turned and headed back downstream. I managed the Syene portage fine..yes, mucky and smelly but that's nature. I made my way eastward and came across far too many, very old and large, downed trees that completely blocked my way. I did make it over about three and then saw a fourth ahead near Indian Springs Park and decided that was that. Question: Does the DNR (or proper authority) ever clear these obstructions? I know paddling isn't the main reason to do so but just curious. I would like to try it again if they ever do get cleared.
May 17th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Lot of great info...thanks again Eric!
May 17th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section from the k & J perserve up stream to the Capitol Springs, to the DNR land and explored a few of the side tributarires. While probably not everyones cup of tea, for the adventerous type who wants a short,local, out and back paddle, this ight just surpise you with how nice it is. Although it is cartainly an urban paddle, and you can almost always hear the sounds of the city, this trip has a surprisingly wild and adventurous feel. I have done this trip several times and have never seen another person on the water or signs that anyone else dose it. Although the water calrity is generally very good, the river bottom is mostly muddy and weedy, except for the area around the springs. As I stated in an early review the first part is upstream, but if you stay to he side it is not difficult to paddle against the current. after about 1/4 mile you will get to a narrow area with an old beaver dam,depending on the water levels you may be able to scoot over/through this or it is an easy portage on river right. After this the river deepens and slows down, expect to see fish, muskrats, Sandhill Cranes, geese , ducks and if you go in the mornings or evening and are lucky maybe a beaver. Watch for a large tributary on your left marking the entrance to Capitol Springs,certainly worth checking out. Back on the main channel and heading upstream you will come to an area where three tributaries come together, the right most on is fairly straight, has many down trees to deal with and heads to the old DNR fish Hatchery, there is a fence across the creek at his point and signs saying, no hunting,no fishing... but it did not say no trespassing, so it is unclear to me as if one is legally allowed to access this by water. The middle fork, which I think is he prettiest snakes through an open marsh area and then into a wooded area. This is a really pretty area with small ponds and a lot of wildlife. Ive christened this Snapper Alley as every time I've been here I've seen at least three big snapping turtles sunning themself and I have been able to get quite close. This is also a nice area for native water plants like Marsh Marigold and Blue Flag Iris (I haven't seen them in bloom yet so not sure) here are links to a map and some photos
Oct 24th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for your comment and I'm sorry about your experience. A 17' canoe is quite big and rides very high...I wouldn't suggest that or any canoe for tight bridge clearances. Personally I didn't have a problem with my kayak. There is a note in the main write-up about clearance issues. Thanks again.
Oct 22nd, 2021 | Gwen and Wynn from Yahara | Link
We found this route online and decided to try it for a leisurely afternoon outing with our 17' lightweight canoe. This route was not leisurely, unfortunately, and we probably should have read a few of these reviews. We parked at Jenni & Kyle parking lot and carried it to the stream; a bit more of a hike than anticipated. A short distance after putting in, the first obstacle was a concrete wall completely blocking the stream at Syene Rd. There we portaged up and down steep embankments on both sides of the road through knee-deep grass on uneven, porous ground. Not a great start. After this I lost track of the order of things, but along the route there were three very low, one of them VERY long and claustrophobic, concrete overpasses that I would claim we barely made it through by having to lie almost flat in the canoe. Along the route there were two downed trees laying fully across the stream, one of which was massive and compounded with a second smaller but substantial tree also laying across the stream just behind it. With nowhere to portage, we had to step into the stream to get out of this predicament and both quickly sunk to our knees in the muck bottom, struggling for quite a while to pull ourselves out. The only way to get through was to force-thread the canoe under this truly massive tree, muscle it through, then heave it over the second tree, causing the canoe to become wedged between the two of them, until one last desperate heave. The next downed tree, also completely across the stream, required that we step out again into the false muck bottom and climb onto the grass embankment to drag the canoe around it. If there's a plus side, we have a story to share with friends and family and saw some belted kingfishers, cranes, and a heron, which were beautiful. But I wouldn’t recommend this route to people I care about! For the record, I am 60 yrs old, dad is 80+, and we are both in darned good shape.
North Branch of the Root River
Jun 6th, 2023 | Don Schaub from South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro River (Kasson/Mantorville) | Link
Hey Aaron, glad to see you made it over to some of the best paddling in the Driftless area! I have done this secction many times, it is usually one of my first paddles of the year due to the need for water flow. And yes, the best time is April to early May before the leaves show up. Other equally scenic paddles to check out would be Dear Creek, Bear Creek and the South Branch Root (see Dave Lind's guide). I have a video of Deer creek on YouTube from a couple years back and just did the South Branch, need to edit that. Thanks for the blog, I reference it often, DaggerDon.
Jun 6th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Deer Creek video is really scenic!
Oconomowoc River
Jul 20th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, it did have that exclusive/private vibe to it.
Sep 4th, 2023 | cnclathrop from Palmyra, WI | Link
put in at chaffe rd park launch was not that great but free parking no bathroom justy to warn you . River must be pretty low bottomed out and had to walk numerous times . Water clarity was ok lots of fish and turtles to be seen total time was 4 hours till elm road take out it is pretty muddy with tall grass but parking was ok Second 1/2 of paddle we were pretty exposed to the elements ,a head wind and low water made this to be not one to remember. water discharge was 15cu'
Jul 19th, 2021 | Dale from Hartland | Link
LOL! Oconomowoc Lake probably is the most private lake in Lake Country and even SE Wisconsin. There is no public property because most of those properties have. Een handed down for generations. The lake probably has the highest tax base per foot of frontage in the area. It's its own "village" with its own police force There is an attedent at the launch to enforce that fact that they don't want extra boats on the lake. The property owners don't care what it costs. Be glad there is a public launch of any type on the lake. Every owner either has their own or is a YC member. Its a beautiful lake and is kept that way. 🤪
Jul 4th, 2022 | Rick from Milwaukee from Milwaukee | Link
Just a note from our visit yesterday, July 3, 2022: The "alternate take-out . . . behind the Bear Lake Post Office (west of the Hwy 83 bridge)" is now closed -- a new owner has declared it private property and put up no trespassing signs.
Sep 4th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, the Oconomowoc is crazy low right now. It's too bad to hear that you had to walk part of your trip.
Jul 4th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the updates. I've added your information the maps and review. Paddlers can alternatively take East Kilbourne Road or the North Lake Ramp.
Oconomowoc River – Loew Lake
Dec 20th, 2020 | Paul Brozowski from Menomonee River, Washington County | Link
Excellent trip report. I am interested in buying a kayak to paddle similar small streams like you did. What advice would you give in regard to type, size, etc.? I currently own 2 dual sit-on-top kayaks (used with my wife & kids numerous times on the Hwy Q - Loews Lake segment ~8 years ago) but would prefer to get a single. Thanks!
Dec 20th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Paul...I'll contact you via email for more info. For anybody else interested I have a kayak buying guide at:
Oconomowoc River – Monches to West Shore Drive
May 5th, 2024 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
Aaron, I'm sad to say I paddled this section today 05/05/2024 at about 53 CFS. It is the worst trip I have ever paddle following your reviews. The entire river is now choked with dead ash fall, literally hundreds of trees in all directions of the water, of which about a dozen required portages and dozens required scooting over. There is a small reprieve of open marsh after the IAT bridge, but it doesn't last long. Once the water picks up after Kilbourn road, you are thrust into logs, or smack your face with trees growing across the river. Sadly, I think due to the emerald ash borer, this paddle is no longer viable for most. It took me 2.5 hours to go the 3.7 miles. Unless you want to put in at North Lake, hard pass. I would almost suggest you archive this trip as a fond memory, as such other inexperienced paddlers don't get their boats stuck doing this trip.
Jul 27th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
This section does have its challenges, but it is rewarding. Downstream legs are likely much easier to paddle. Thanks for the review Megan.
Jul 26th, 2019 | Megan Ehster from Waukesha | Link
My husband and I did the majority of this trip today (7/26). We put in just below the Monches Dam and took out at the North Lake Post Office and the whole trip took just about 3 hours 30 min. I would say that we're both at an intermediate skill level and the rapids on this trip were very doable for us. There are a few that get interesting because of logs in the water or sharp turns after a run of rapids, but overall they were fine. The water clarity for the majority of the trip was excellent but the water levels seemed a little low. There were some extremely nice parts of the trip but all the portages dulled the shine a bit. The first was at the Ice Age Trail Bridge, then the next 4 or 5 were over dead trees that had fallen across the water. The last was over Kilbourne Rd. I would highly advise NOT going through the culverts as they are completely covered in spiders. The whole opening of the middle culvert was web, water to ceiling, with spiders as big as your fist. No joke. Overall a wonderful experience.
Aug 10th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate those tips! I didn't know you could access those two lakes and will put them on my todo list.
May 6th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yikes! I'll warn paddlers. This isn't the only water trail the ash border has ruined.
Aug 10th, 2020 | Ralph Schneider from Oconomowoc | Link
I've gone from the post office to fowler lake a couple of times.Great trip, stopped foolerys for lunch. On okauchee lake go into Garvin and tearney lake they are hidden jems.See if u can find the hidden pond in one of them.
Oconto River
Jun 19th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update!
Jun 19th, 2022 | Denise from Fox River | Link
As of June 2022, Hwy 32 to Branch Rd has many downed trees. It is technically passable (we did not have to portage anywhere) but some tricky spots and very slow going. Though it’s a beautiful section of river with lots of wildlife. Logan Rd is not a practical takeout. All private property. Branch Rd is ok. Plenty of parking by the fire lane but a bit steep from the river up to the road.
Sep 1st, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great information...thanks for the feedback!
Jun 17th, 2024 | Kenny D from machickanee flowage | Link
Concerning Hwy H to Underhill County Park: My wife and I kayaked this 6/15/24. Nice stretch of secluded forest. There were MANY trees down in the river. TWO spots we had to get out of our kayaks about half way through. The first spot was not so bad as it is sandy and shallow. The second spot we had to sit on a downed tree and heave our kayaks across the fallen tree. Other than that, the downed trees are navigable if you are semi experienced at steering. All that aside, I would still HIGHLY recommend this river stretch due to the untouched nature and the beauty of the natural scenery. We seen 3 deer and one beaver. One house and one quaint small miniature cabin.
Jun 26th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I haven't...but hopefully somebody else has and will chime in.
Jun 17th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment and the warning. Perhaps these were caused by recent storms.
Jun 26th, 2024 | Debbie from Oconto River | Link
Has anyone kayaked from Suring to Underhill or Pulcifer this year?
Sep 1st, 2022 | Kate from Fox River | Link
Sullivan Springs Road to Tar Dam Road: This is actually a lively stretch of water--not still at all. We have a cabin off of Tar Dam Road and I've frequently paddle this section in a (skirted!) Wilderness Pungo. There are three sets of boulder gardens, one with a visible drop that I estimate to be close to, if not Class II. The second set includes a wave train that can fill your cockpit. In lower water this can be a bumpy ride to pick through the boulders. Putting in at Symthe Road (no longer any covered bridge), adds another two sets of whitewater. Take out at the maintained boat access off of Tar Dam Road BEFORE the Tar Dam Road Bridge, which is posted. OR, continue another few miles (through quickwater and one final bony Class I boulder garden) to the the Old Hwy 32 bridge where you can land, river right, to take out. Roadside parking. There are some downed trees in this section to maneuver around or over, one of which I have cut to create passage river left. I've heard that the Forest Service has cleaned this up in the past. Perhaps some additional nudging would help? This is really a fantastic little section! Downstream from the Old Hwy 32 bridge lies Loon Rapids, another white water section that I found to be more challenging.
Jun 25th, 2024 | Brett Crandall from Lena | Link
How long did it take you?
Otter Creek – Hwy Q
May 25th, 2020 | Lauren from Badfish Creek | Link
Sure thing. Love your website, by the way. Thank you for what you do!
Aug 8th, 2020 | Zach from Black earth creek | Link
Did this stretch of otter at 53 CFS...beautiful paddle, in my top 5. Definitely could have used a few more inches [I walked the stretch by the spring which was nice because I was able to check that out for a bit]. Water was crystal clear. Regardless of the scraping on rocks it was well worth it. I took out on the north? Side of the II bridge which was very easy.
Aug 9th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Those flags were yours? I thought they looked really cool...especially when flapping in the wind. Kind of reminded me of Tibetan prayer flags.
Aug 8th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Glad you liked it! I thought it was a neat creek myself and hope to explore more of it in the future.
May 25th, 2020 | Lauren from Badfish Creek | Link
Launched on Q and ran the creek to Spring Valley Road. There was one tree we were barely able to scoot over about a half to a mile down stream after II. A barbed wire fence spans the creek and all the way up the banks on both sides as you approach the first farm after II. We were able to pull the wire apart and float our boats through. One more tree about a mile after this but was an easy portage. I will also mention that there is a very cranky farmer in the area. He accused us of trespassing and scaring his cattle which was not true. He went on to tell us another paddler came through before us that he told off as well. The stretch from II to Spring Valley is a nice addition but beware of silly locals.
Sep 5th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the all info! I definitely want to explore some of those sections you just described.
May 25th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Lauren for the update.
Sep 5th, 2021 | Cameron James Hanson from Otter Creek Wisconsin | Link
So I actually live right next otter creek on Mill Road. I'm in highschool but I love being outdoors and kayaking especially. Me and my friends have kayaked a large portion of Otter Creek and I just got back from doing a new portion (Conway Road to Highway I). I've kayaked all the way from Highway Q down to Highway I now and the whole creek is beautiful. I love the natural spring you talked about, there's a little walking trail further up the hill if you get out and explore. The stretch from II to Spring Valley was gorgeous and I only had to get out 3 times. From Spring Valley to Conway there's two vet bad log jams, and one of them you cannot get out due to the banks being very steep. (The bridge on Conway is an excellent swimming hole, I recommend actually jumping off the bridge into the water). And the stretch from Conway to highway I is beautiful as well, it takes you past some sandy cliffs, fields, and a lot of woods. The first mile is clear of jams but the second mile is log jams after lot jam. Had to get out of my kayak quite a bit but it was a lot of fun none the less. Just look out for spiders!
Mar 12th, 2020 | Rick Hannah from 6 mile creek | Link
I’ve had my eye on Otter creek for years. Always wondered how the stretch from 130 to the Lone Rock landing was but your paddle sounds much better! Gotta check it out ASAP!
Mar 13th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
If you do Otter Creek, let us know how it turned out.
Aug 9th, 2020 | Commodore Otter Creek Yacht Club from Otter Creek | Link
The nautical flags across the Otter spelled “Wicked Pissah” when looked at from the north. I took them down this summer after a fisherman referred to the flags a “dirty laundry”. They probably shouldn’t be across the creek anyway. The flags may return on occasion to the OCYC.
Overview Maps
Jul 15th, 2020 | Connie from Red cedar, Namekagon | Link
Am excited to gather info on kayaking. Went down the river Monday, saw deer, bear, eagles, kranes, and hawks. Still very passable
Pecatonica River
Sep 5th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's too bad to hear :( Thanks Jason for the update.
Jul 16th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I've been curious about the logjams on this and the previous stretch, and appreciate the info. A reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal did the downstream leg one year ago and had a miserable experience for contrast:
Feb 16th, 2022 | Ian from Kinnickinnic | Link
I didn't realize it was the farmer's job to make sure the trip was up to your standards. He/she doesn't owe you anything and the more you people bitch and moan to them is the reason certain other boaters don't respect you and the "high-horse" attitudes. SMH
Sep 5th, 2020 | Jason from Nine Springs Creek | Link
We thought we'd try the Pecatonica from Calamine to Darlington. River at 220 cfs. We assumed it would likely be free of obstruction from the work to clear the river for the annual canoe race. About 0.5 miles from put-in, we came across an impressive obstruction of large trees from both sides, crossing the entire river. Steep river banks made portaging challenging. Not sure if was passable (high risk of getting caught up in a strainer while zig-zagging thru) but we assumed the canoe race had been cancelled this year due to COVID (which I later confirmed it had been) and that there might be additional major barriers if no clean up had occurred since 2019. Thus, we called it a day and worked back to the put-in sight.
Jul 16th, 2019 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this trip today 7/16/19 The river was at about 320 CFS and 4.2 ft..a bit below optimal but totally doable. I put in about at the bridge a mile north on Hwy O near the intersection with Rock Rd. There were enough rocks directly under the bridge that I was able to get in without geting muddy. I chose that as a put in because I was doing a bike shuttle and the Cheese County trail meets Hwy O just 100 yds north of the bridge and runs straight to the take out at Calamine. The trail is not paved, but it is level and was in pretty good shape, but does get a lot of use by ATV's. There were only 2 major log jams, one just north of the Mineral Point branch come in and one where you have the first one marked, there were a couple of other small jams but nothing that required portaging or getting out of the boat, just had to push ,pull, slide, or duck under. A few good rock formations but too much foliage to see them all, but still a nice way to spend a 90 degree day
Pecatonica River – Dodge Branch
Feb 16th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Mud banks mean there is a lot of eroded dirt being deposited into the stream. This hurts water quality and will cause the stream to meander which results in a cycle of degradation.
Jul 11th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the valuable input.
Jul 11th, 2022 | Robert Husted from Dodgeville Branch (Pecatonica) | Link
Dodgeville Branch: this was more of a hike than a float (lots of fording because of low water levels; and portaging because of several fallen trees). Put-in: Sunny Ridge Road Take-out: Hwy W The first half of the trip was nice, but the second half was difficult / unpleasant. Would advise waiting until we get more rain or until next season.
Feb 15th, 2022 | Ian from Kinnickinnick | Link
I love all your information on streams in the state! I am an avid trout fisherman and your information is very helpful. However, why do you think that a mud bank is a problem for trout? I've fished countless streams that have mud banks along them, and although besides being a bother for access to the stream doesn't have any noticeable effect on the fish population. It's the natural course of the stream, not all streams are cut directly through rock. Farmland is important, and I have found there is no problem with trout thriving in streams surrounded by it.
Jun 9th, 2019 | Lauren from Sugar river | Link
I paddled this river yesterday and loved it! Thanks for the excellent review that persuaded us to make the drive out. There is a huge tree down right below the cliff. We had to portage but it was a piece of cake. I think it’s worth mentioning that much of this trip flanks pasture land so there were a ton of pesky flies on account of all the cow patties. Might be a better trip in spring or fall for this reason.
Jun 9th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. Spring is actually not a bad time for mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and many stinging plants have died back.
Jul 9th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
So you did the trip at 200 CFS which was likely a great depth. I'm glad you had a great time. I do look forward to returning to this some day.
Jul 9th, 2018 | Rocky from Madison | Link
2018.07.08. Great paddle. I assume higher water since everything else is high. This is a great hi water run. Put in easy, take out a muddy mess (under bridge because banks were very steep/high) so bring water to wash off mud at vehicle: only negative of the trip. Bike trip hilly - took 20 minutes and a few polite words. Water was surprising clear. Lots of ripples and tight turns around things... good for paddle skills workout. Trip description was dead-on, accept an electric wire was added 15 minutes above the barbed wire (40 minutes from the end). easy to get over, unless you stare at the yellow control too long (yup - did that). Can walk right over barbed wire. Lots of wildlife because we were later in the day. Paddle time matched expected. Actual bottom is mostly pebbles; whenever you have to get up for shallow areas (none this time) you're on good ground - silt in the slow areas.
Jul 5th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. It's too bad to hear about sections of the creek being overgrown and now having some logjam portages. For cattle...cows and steers usually aren't a problem. Usually you wait for them to cross....sometimes if you clap your hands they will hurry on their way. Bulls are another matter. You want to stay as far away from them as possible and appear as non-threatening as possible. Are you sure you saw a bull and not a steer? If there was a bull that is a problem.
Jul 4th, 2020 | Chris Hofmann from Gordon Creek | Link
Paddled today with my 22-year-old son. The Sunny Ridge Road put in this time of year was too overgrown so we put in at Twin Bridge Road. There were a couple of tree falls that we had to portage. Otherwise, a smooth and lovely ride, until we encountered a wall of cattle blocking the river near at the bend near the intersection of W and Ley Road. We pulled out our kayaks and dragged them about 200 yards across a pasture, taking a wide berth around the cattle. One of cows started trotting towards us, but luckily stopped. We could see a bull was in herd, but luckily he didn't react to our alien presence in his pasture. All of which to raise a question: what is the best way to handle encounters with cattle in a river? We are beginners at river paddling and this experience was unnerving, particularly after I've researched how dangerous bulls and even cows, especially those with calves, can be. Give you've done so may trips, what advice do you have. Thanks again for this fantastic site!
Pecatonica River – East Branch
Oct 22nd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks as always. Consider taking pictures on some of your trip and posting to an online album (such as Google Photos or Flickr). You could then easily insert the album url in the comment and others could see what you saw.
Oct 22nd, 2019 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the trip on 10/20/19. with a bike shuttle, there were a few tough hills but very little traffic and it is only 5 miles with some great ridge top views so all in all not too bad. Water levels were fairly high (approx 390 CFS and 7.2 FT) so there was a good current the whole way and the trip only took us a bit over 2 hours. The put-in/take-out were easy and thanks to the high water not too muddy. There were a few tight spots that required a bit of ducking under and or sliding over and one spot just north of McKenna Rd where we had to get out of the boats to pull them over a blockage but we never had to get off the river. some of the obstructions that we were able to float over might be more difficult at more typical water levels The rock outcroppings and fall colors were fantastic, especially the section between McKenna and Horseshoe Bend Rd. I think this section would be suitable for any level paddler, and the section from McKenna to Horseshoe Bend, would make for a great short after work fall/winter paddle.
Jan 9th, 2015 | Jacki from Milwaukee River/Lake Michigan | Link
Wow, great site! My husband and I are new to kayaking. We went on our first camping/kayaking trip last year to Pattison State Park and kayaked the Bois Brule. It was great. We both tipped, I lost my sunglasses, but it was great. We're going to kayak the Pecatonica this August.
Aug 11th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
did this trip on 8/6 with a bike shuttle, levels were at about CFS 225 and 5.5 which seemed almost perfect. There were several obstacles to go over/under/through but only one complete blockage, just upstream of Mc Kenna Rd. that required a portage, we did the left bank but had to walk a ways (50 yards?) to find a place to put back in that was not too steep and muddy, perhaps right bank would be better. The river is much less obstructed after McKenna Rd. This would be a great trip to do in the late fall or early spring to take advantage of the lack of foliage so the rock outcroppings would be more visible. Yes the shuttle has a few hills, but it also has great views from the ridge tops. A stop at Nick Engelbert's Grandview is a must for anyone who likes outsider or quirky art environments and it is less than 2 miles from the put-in
Nov 29th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I would definitely be curious to know what the latest logjam situation is below McKenna. High on my todo list for 2021 will be 78 to River Road, which I hope is logjam free.
Aug 11th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update as always. I'm quite curious about the lower sections of the East Branch and will have to check those out some time...
Sep 2nd, 2017 | Chris from Black Earth Creek | Link
Attempted Highway 39 to Blanchardville on September 2, 2017. Encountered Five complete blockages before McKenna Road where we called it quits. Recommend avoiding this section.
Jun 14th, 2018 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra creek | Link
Did this section with a bike shuttle, the river was at 212 CFS and about 5.3 ft. Great trip, very quiet and peaceful, saw lots of wildlife but not a single person the entire way. A few duck unders, slide overs, and tree branches to slip through, but I never had to get out of my boat. I cleaned up a few spots so its a pretty clean trip right now. One strange thing to note, about 25 yards downstream from the put-in there is a white and orange buoy, like the ones marking swimming areas, that says KEEP OUT NO BOATS. Knowing Wisconsin laws about navigable waterways I ignored it. But you may want to add a note about it for other kayakers and canoeist.
Aug 8th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Update from"Update, a group of volunteers went down the river from McKenna launch to Blanchardville and have gotten it opened up for your paddling pleasure"
Jun 26th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the river updates which other readers should find helpful.
Jun 26th, 2023 | Otter from Mineral Point Branch | Link
Did this trip mid June 2023 in kayaks. Did not check river gauge at the time, probably about 4.6, water was low comparing to past years at the McKenna landing (looking at the concrete ramp). Very little problem with bottoming out. A bit muddy getting in at Hollandale as the weeds are high under the bridge, so just did an otter slide down the grass into the mud. Very nice trip except for three total blocks. Two between Hollandale and McKenna Road, one between McKenna and Horseshoe Bend. The last one has been there for years but we can no longer squeeze under, even in low water. The second block in the first section was downstream of the old block just before the bridge. We were able to climb over all three blocks with some effort. Hesitant to try again. Will require a large chain saw to clear as the trees are rather big. There were a couple other blocks but we could squeeze through them. Did a little cutting but only had a small hand saw.
Aug 7th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Another update from Pec River Clean-Up Group: "Quick update! Got the lower portion of the river from McKenna to Blanchardville opened up a bit today"
Nov 28th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
Took advantage of a sunny 50+ late Nov day and paddled this section with a few friends on 11/28/20 (220 CFS and 5.4 ft) The trip took us about 2 hours and 45 min, started at 11:45 and finished at 2:30. Conditions were great, good water clarity, decent current, and just a bit of mud at the take out and at the 1 portage. The portage, just upstream of McKenna, is still there and and is a series of 3-4 groups of trees completely blocking the river. We portaged on river left, bank is muddy and slippery and the pretty steep where you put back in. River right looks like it might be easier to put back in but I did not see an easy place to get out. After McKenna the river is unobstructed all the way to Horseshoe Bend Rd. I agree with your earlier comment, and next trip I will put in at McKenna, where there is what appears to be an old concrete slab landing, and go down to Blanchardville
Mar 22nd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A big update for the East Branch from the Pec River Clean-Up Group: "It was a couple rough days on the Pec but the River rats got it done. The river from Blanchardville down to thunder bridge is open. Also the most popular stretch for canoes and kayaking, McKenna to Blanchardville is also open. I will warn that if the water level is high, the tree in the first picture will be an issue on that stretch . As of today we had no problem getting our boats under it but the river is extremely low for this time of year. Please don’t forget to thank all the river clean up helpers for donating their time and equipment to this cause. Last weekend was Nate Dammen, Chad McGowan and Kevin Phillips. Today we had Ron Krause, Chad and Wyatt McGowan, Jeff Love and Kevin Phillips. There are many others that also contribute throughout the year and I personally want to thank them for their time."
Jun 6th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
One of my main goals for 2021 is to return to the East Branch. I appreciate all the intel you provided on this river!
Jun 6th, 2021 | Kristen from Fox River | Link
Here’s an update from 2021! We went on June 5 from Hwy 39 to Blanchardville (155 CPS & 4.72 ft @ Blanchardville). We accessed on the NW side of the bridge as others have. This access OK, but there wasn’t really a path, and getting down is pretty steep and rocky. Wild parsnip was further to the left. My boyfriend almost lost his muck boots in the quicksand-like muck, so be careful how far you wade in! The highlight of the first section were the bald eagles + nest ~3 miles. The low lights were a downed log that we balanced on to pull the boat over, and then the massive log jam others have mentioned before McKenna Road. To get around, the left side of the river had stinging nettles and more wild parsnip. The right side had grass and wild cucumber, so we scrambled up the steep right bank and bushwhacked a trail ~30 m to a fairly nice put in, actually - some branches to lower yourself back down into the boat instead of dealing with the muck! It didn’t seem like we were the first to go this way. The rest of the trip was clear, and we appreciate the efforts of volunteers who made it so! We saw the paved launch at McKenna road and kinda wished we had put in there instead. The exit at Horseshoe bend road looked very steep with some stairs to get up to the road. The highlight of the next section was definitely the cliffs at Horseshoe bend. As we got closer to Blanchardville, the current really slowed down, which made the last few miles kind of a slog. And there was very little shade (vs the first sections that had very nice tree cover!), which made for a hot and sunny 90+ section. We had planned a bike shuttle from the park in town by the dam, but then noticed a paved ramp ~0.2 mi north of there, where we took out instead. Getting out by the dam would be doable; the banks were almost 2 ft above the water, but it looked like there were some rocks to step on to help. We highly recommend the paved launch with parking! Portaging the dam would be challenging, because of the exit and also the put in - the banks just below the dam are very steep. The next access point looks to be a paved ramp at McKellar park, as mentioned.
Nov 15th, 2022 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
We took advantage of a nice fall day and did trip on Oct 29, 2022. We dropped are boats on the South side of the Hwy 38 bridge on river left, drove down and parked our car at the Horseshoe Bend Rd bridge, then biked back to our boats. Although it is a bit hilly this is a beautiful shuttle because it runs along a ridgetop with some fantastic views of the countryside. It was especially nice because the road was technically closed for "through traffic" due to construction,so there was very little traffic and it had just been paved so it was one of the smoothest roads I have ever biked on. The trip itself was equally beautiful. This is a fantastic trip to do in the late fall because it is much easier to see all the gorgeous rock formations after many of the leaves have fallen. I am happy to report that the muti-tree blocake just north of the Mckenna bridge has now been cleared up, so the river is open all the way from Hollandale to Horseshoe Bend and according to other reports all the way to Blanchardville. This is an easy and fun trip that I tink is doable by anybody unless levels are high. Here is a link to a map and pics of our trip
Jun 28th, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
We paddled from Hwy 39 (near Hollandale) to Horseshoe Bend Rd. on 28June2020. Gauge was 270 CFS and 6 ft. After scouting, we chose to put in upstream river right (nearest to the parking lot), which was muddy. Quite a bit of wild parsnip to be careful of as well. Not far upstream from the McKenna Rd. bridge, there were three sets of downed trees. Depending on water levels, boat length and commando skills, these three jams require some combination of portaging, exiting to climb over logs, and sneaking through tight thickets of branches. The portage route had some stinging nettles. Downstream from McKenna Rd., there were no jams, although boat control is still essential. Compared to the photos from previous years, the river seems to have eroded quite a bit, with more mud at put-ins/take outs.
Jun 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's too bad...the East Branch has really endured a lot of flooding in the past five years and it sounds like it isn't in great shape.
Aug 7th, 2018 | Rich from Bass Creek | Link
Hello! Thanks for the write up. Did it really take 4+ hours or is that a typo? Rich
Aug 7th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Crek | Link
No took 4+ hours. I'm slow though...3 hours might be more typical.
Nov 16th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The pictures look fantastic! Late fall is a terrific time to see rivers like this.
May 20th, 2017 | Steve from Yahara | Link
Paddled Hollandale to Blanchardville 5/19/17. Many downed trees along the way. If water was any lower we would have been dragging boats over trees, thankfully we were able to slip over them. Really nice few hours spent on the river, looking forward to doing other sections of the Pecatonica.
Oct 2nd, 2023 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this section on Oct 1 2023, ( USGS 4.4 ft 125 CFS), Overall the levels were good, a few shallow spots and a bit bumpy in some of the riffles, but on the upside we were able to get under a few things that might have been more difficult with a few more inches. There were certainly things to avoid, but nothing too difficult, and no complete blockages. A few of the leaves were just starting to turn, so I hope to be back in a few weeks as it is a fantastic trip during peak colors as well as a beautiful trip after all the leaves fall and you can see all the bluffs that have been hidden. Here is a link to my trip using the Relive app, that I highly recommend
Pecatonica River – Mifflin
Jun 24th, 2019 | Martin from Waupaca River | Link
I paddled with a group of 27 on the Pecatonica River on June 22, 2019. The Darlington River gauge was at 360 CFS, which I agree is at a marginal water level. We looked at the Hwy G crossing, but because of all the Wild Parsnip and the width of the River elected to put in at CTH E in Mifflin. Our take out was at CTH A, river left, which was reasonable. Ample parking along the wide shoulders of the road. The actual distance is 5.2 mile. This trip took us 3.5 hours. Water clarity was murky for our trip. We encountered 1 barb wire fence which we held down, thus allowing the others to paddle over. 1 very shallow rocky bottom which we dredge via tossing a few rocks out of the way which allowed the rest of the group to pass thru a little easier. The last mile of the trip presented several challenges. 1 logjam at which 2 of us, on standing on top of the tree, hoisted kayak and paddlers over as there was not an option to portage. Another logjam that we cleared river left to allow portaging the shore line and river right to allow a limbo spot. We also made an opening in a couple other deadfalls to allow passage. We had one very low limbo spot along the way. We took out on river left right at the CTH A bridge. The road shoulders allowed for ample and unobstructed parking. I would imagine that this trip could easily be done in 2.5 to 3 hours. Otherwise a very enjoyable trip, with riffles, chutes, twisting corners and scenery.
Jun 25th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Funny you should mention this stretch...I was going to paddle that very section on Saturday before I changed my mind last moment. IT's nice to hear this was enjoyable but tough to hear about those logjams. I'll update my overviews to reflect your update.
Sep 14th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Matthew for the update. It sounds like the Darlington gauge is just too far downstream :( Otherwhise, yeah it is a really cool river.
Sep 14th, 2020 | Matthew M from Black Earth Creek | Link
Thanks for the review/guide. Completed this on 9-13-20. It had rained the previous day but we still bottomed out in some of the rapids upriver of Livingston Branch. The PECATONICA RIVER AT DARLINGTON Gauge was over 600 CFS but it didn't seem to correlate to the upstream portion being deeper. Very pretty river. The rapids at this level were fun and still in the class 1 range. Finally we ran into two down'ed trees/logjams that we had to portage over - not too bad.
Pecatonica River – Mineral Point Branch
Nov 30th, 2021 | Otter from Mineral Point Branch | Link
We did this summer of 2021. Water was rather low. Only some water on the left side (facing) of the dam. Checked a few days earlier and it would have been better then, the dam had water coming down across the whole length and water at the start of the stream was 5-8 inches higher. We started at the bottom of the dam. In higher water I can see this being a nice trip, in low water I would not do it again. Water was very smelly and we really did not want to step in it. Unfortunately, we had to walk a large number of sections. Only obstacle was just past the 39 bridge, you can see it if you stop there. In the low water we could sneak under a tree, not sure if you could in higher water. Overall, it was a pretty trip. Getting in and out is super easy other than a little walk from the parking area at the start. The "old dam that was washed out" is actually an old bridge. Back in the day, High street ran straight from down town Mineral Point to this bridge, then close to the existing road from 39.
Nov 30th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback. When I did the trip, water levels were pretty high and I likely took that for granted. This definitely sounds like a trip you don't want to do when low.
Perry Creek
Jul 27th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for asking. Yes you can use my Perry Creek photos.
Sep 16th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update (and warning).
Jul 27th, 2021 | QUINCY BLACKWELL from Yahara River | Link
I wanted to ask if I could add some of your photos to the new Google Maps location I created for the Perry Creek Trail? I absolutely love your extensive and amazing content you provide on your site. I don't even kayak and enjoy coming here to learn about new places to explore on foot until I finally buy a kayak! I wouldn't use the photos for anything else, just did not take enough photos myself when I was there last! Thanks either way!
Sep 16th, 2023 | Laura Simonson from Yahara river | Link
In September 2023 Perry creek from Option one, cranberry drive at bog, was unnavigable. Too shallow to float over ledges and gravel bars. Continuous log jams and low brush. Took 4 miserable hours of wading, climbing, and dragging to get to option 2 put in, ATV trail off cranberry drive. Scenery unremarkable. Beaver dams throughout. Cannot recommend until high flow and creek restore. Aborted our trip early with many cuts and bruises and no paddling done.
Peshtigo River – Burnt Bridge Landing
May 18th, 2023 | Shawn Wisniewski from Fox River | Link
This run was a lot of fun -- lots of long rapids. Ran the whole thing without a kayak skirt, which is not a great decision... Had to stop and drain a few times. Picture captioned "Taking out at Goodman Park" should read "Taking out at Burton Wells Bridge". I didn't see the brown sign at the take-out, but it is the only bridge you'll see. Note that there are pit toilets and picnic tables at both the put-in and the take out. In my google maps scouting, I thought that part of the bike shuttle would be paved, but it is not. The whole thing is gravel. Very dusty! Our bike shuttle + vehicle return to take-out took 70 minutes.
May 18th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the valuable updates.
Pewaukee River
Aug 5th, 2017 | Mike from Pewaukee River | Link
Kayaked today at 56 cfm. The water level is significantly higher than the last time I paddled it on July 3rd when the flow was 85+ cfm. Severe storms in mid-July caused flooding that piled up trees and debris to create about 3 "dams" that are keeping the water level up. The water was fast and the rapids were awesome. No scraping on rocks at all. There are several 1-2 ft drops now. A couple spots where I had to scoot my boat over logs in the river. There are a few notable dangerous spots: 1. I94 BRIDGE: A large tree blocking 80% of the width at the start of the bridge where it splits into two sections. Stay far left and go slow. The water is very high under the bridge. At the end my head was maybe 6 inches from the ceiling when I leaned as far forward as I could. A canoe would not have made it under today. 2. NEAR STEINHAFELS: Theres a downed tree that bridges across the whole river. Your boat could potentially get stuck under it if you aren't careful. Portage left. 3. REDFORD BLVD BRIDGE: Do not go in the right channel. It is not 100% blocked and there's a 2 ft drop that looks fun but there is a downed tree that would smack you in the face if you try that side. Go left and portage over the downed tree. One more note: the alt access on Riverside Drive is public. There is now a sign saying Riverside Canoe Launch.
Jun 5th, 2018 | Justin from Waukesha | Link
I think I am going to try to find a launch near the parking lot and run the river again from the start. Yeah, someone will have to get out there with some large chainsaws to take care of those jams. We were a bit let down, having not yet completed the river. There is a gauge at the bridge under Oakton, right where the 201 Oakton launch is (which I prefer). Will update soon.
Jul 1st, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A warning to paddlers...kayakers trying to go I94 almost got stuck. They posted a video online: Do NOT paddle this river when high. The exit end of the tunnel lower than the entrance. You can get stuck.
Jun 4th, 2018 | Jusitn from Waukesha | Link
I love this river, but it all depends on when you catch the higher water. From downtown Pewaukee to 94, the levels are higher. Once you cross 94 though it can either get way more exciting, or really frustrating. I last went on the river 5/19/18 and this was one of those low water days, my buddy and I were pretty disappointing. There were also 2 very large fell trees past highway F, but we assumed they were fresh providing the river run was the week before. It was not mentioned here, but the river actually begins behind cosco. The first time I took this river, my buddy and I actually went upstream starting at Village Park. It is pretty cool back there, and really a whole different animal. There is some portaging required, but that is all good. We ended up just giving up toward the end and realized we were like 3 blocks from the parking lots, so I cannot give an exact launch point for the actual beginning of the river. Soon though I will figure that out and share!
Jun 21st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It doesn't cost money to launch at either put-in. But the plaza parking lot does say for customers only and technically you should get permission before leaving your car here. If in doubt, you can simply launch at the downstream pier and not have to worry about this.
Jun 21st, 2020 | Taylor Furo from Fox river | Link
Does it cost money to launch? Can we come back up river?
Jun 4th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's too bad to hear about the new logjams and the low water...wonder if my Bark gauge reference is really off. As for the upstream portions by Costco being navigable, if true that is a good find. Perhaps you could launch from the main parking lot? If you find out anything more, definitely let me know.
Apr 15th, 2017 | Cody from Fox River (Muskego) | Link
Super fun paddle in 55 CFS (12.90 gage height) nothing blocking the river just small sticks and logs to go over. I started at the Elm st. Park and had to almost lay down and use my hands under Oakton bridge, not a problem for me. There were a couple other bridges, including under 94 that I had to use my hands to guide me through, really no problem at the exit of the underpass though just had to lay low. Upon the rapids, amazing! A little water in the boat but navigate-able. Took out at the 'Wonderland Tap' and stopped in for a beer. Really nice staff let me keep the kayak behind the bar while I bike shuttled back to my car. 4.5 star rating for this one!
Pine River – Far Upper
Jul 14th, 2019 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section from Rockbridge to AA on 7/11/19. Mark and his gang from Pine River Paddle have been doing bunch of work and the river is open all the way to AA (and I think to Richland Center?) The scenery was fantastic with numerous massive sandstone rock outcroppings along the way. Putting in at the far end of the park and paddling upriver through the tunnel and back was great way to kick of a great trip. A nice current, and constantly changing scenery made for a truly enjoyable trip. I had planned on the trip taking about 4 hrs and had arrange a shuttle from Mark, but I arrived at the take-out after only 2 1/2 hrs. Just as I was getting my phone out of my dry bag to call him, Mark shows up saying he had a feeling that someone was here needing a shuttle..Hmmm...the River Gods smiling down on me yet again.
Jul 16th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sometimes moments of serendipity happen like that on paddle trips... Glad you had a nice trip...returning to the upper Pine is certainly on my todo list.
Jul 5th, 2016 | Lynn Brady from Peshtigo River | Link
We just returned from this float - RockBridge to AA. Awesome trip July 3rd, 2016 - we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Water level was good, obstacles in the river had been cleared to allow passage. Our party consisted of two fifty something years olds - that are relatively experienced on the water, and two thirty year olds that are of the adventurous sort. There were enough twists and turns around obstacles to keep the younger fellas interested, and the current was forgiving enough that navigational mistakes could be overcome. Beautiful scenery, limestone formations, flora and fauna. Downside is the farm run-off. The water is filthy, with chunks of cow feces observed floating by. I wouldn't recommend attempting this trip with any kind of open wound or sore. It must be noted that the folks responsible for clearing tangles and blockages on the river have done an exemplary job! Without their hard work, this river would be virtually impassable. Hats off to the folks at Pine River Paddle and anyone else who has committed to this endeavor!
May 28th, 2013 | mark mccauley | Link
Great job on this site!!! My friends and i have been cleaning up the Pine River from Rockbridge down. We may start a rental at Rockbridge.
Jan 31st, 2023 | Schoen’s from Horizon Marsh | Link
We are interested in checking out Pier Cty Park - Rockbridge Kayak/Canoe Landing this summer. We enjoyed looking at your website, nicely done! Please keep us updated with future updates on the river/paddling conditions. Thank you!
Jan 31st, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Upper Pine is a nice trip that you should enjoy. As for current conditions, a good bet is to follow Mark on Facebook. He's very knowledgeable about river levels and downed trees:
Pine River – Hwy 80 to Hwy D
Jul 3rd, 2023 | Ryan from Pheasant Branch Creek | Link
Did the Pine River from Pier County Park down to Steamboat Rock Kayak Landing on Saturday. No obstructions, thank you to the local outfitter or whoever keeps it clear if you happen to be reading this. There is a blockage in Pier County Park itself, in between the put-in on the west branch and the put-in on the Pine River itself. So if you want to go under the natural bridge, you need to put in on the west branch, paddle under and back, and then put in on the Pine River, assuming you want to kayak for more than five minutes. The two put-ins are close enough to each other that you can just drag your vessel across the grass to the second put-in if you choose to do that.
Jul 4th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback.
Pine River – Hwy Q
Oct 25th, 2019 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section you recommended, from Krouskop Park to Bohmann, on Fri 10/25/19 as a quick after work paddle. Levels were high (Approx 350 CFS on Kickapoo gauge) so the trip took just over an hour, even with a few stops for photos. At this level the rapids in town were easy, fun, and wet. I got a couple of good lap fulls of water (guess I should've worn my spray skirt) but still had a blast. There were a few trees and logs to avoid but no complete blockages. The put-in at Krouskop is great, just set your kayak on it, climb in, a little pull, and slide down the ramp into the river. I bypassed the designated take-out at Bohmann Rd (Port 5) and took out at 100 yds down river at the bridge. There is a small cleft in the bank, on river left just upstream of the bridge. There is enough room for a couple of cars on each side of the bridge
Oct 26th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
350 is really high! It's good to hear there were no major logjams...the Pine has taken a beating these past few years.
Pine River – Poy Sippi
Jun 25th, 2022 | Aaron from - | Link
I heard from "Alisa" that this stretch may now have many logjams thanks to recent storms. She estimated there were at least 10-12 serious logjams that required portages. Hopefully this are cleared out in the future.
Pine River – Richland Center
Feb 19th, 2015 | Peggy Timmerman from Pine River | Link
We own property along the Pine and regularly paddle (kayak, SUP and canoe) from the Hwy 60 bridge by Gotham down to the WI river and back. This section is mostly wooded and has a lot of birds, though not great views. A very pleasant paddle. However, from Twin Bluffs down to the WI river has never been cleaned up and is full of snags and strainers, which can be tricky especially with a longer boat.
Platte River – Coon Hollow Road
Jul 1st, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Several of those downed trees are likely from recent tornadoes that hit the area. Hopefully they are cleared out in the future. Thanks for the feedback!
Jun 30th, 2024 | Craig Schroeder from Cedar River - Iowa | Link
My wife and I paddled from Coon Hollow Road to Airport Road on 6/30/24. Gauge level at Rockville was 4.79 ft. About 10 miles, 3.5 hours. A very enjoyable stretch of river! Dodging boulders in riffles was fun. One electric fence tape that we had to limbo under. Several trees across the river that were barely passable. Lots of wildlife. Wouldn’t want to do it with much less water.
Platte River – Hwy A
Jul 25th, 2017 | Ken Hollern from Rush River | Link
Hi, This may be off subject, but I noticed your references of cows and fences crossing the river. Do you have any insight on the legality of this? If the river is technically public land, can cattle and fences have free access? I live right next to the Rush River in Western Wisconsin, which is heavily used for kayaking and fishing. A local farmer has his land adjacent to a long stretch of river. He freely lets his cows have access and has strung live electric fence across river. However, the biggest concern is he has put a bull in with the cows creating a very dangerous situation for unwitting river users.
Jul 11th, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
We paddled from Coon Hollow Rd. to Airport/Ellenboro Rd. on 10July2020. The Rockville gauge was about 300 CFS at 5 ft., a fun level with the right boats and skills. We got hung up a few times, but didn't have to walk our boats. It was a scenic paddle on a gorgeous day, but there's one hard-to-spot wire below Kingsford Rd., and the put-in at Coon Hollow is a bit tricky. Just downstream from the Coon Hollow Rd. bridge, there were two strands of barbed wire, one just above the water, and another about a foot above it. (See link to album of wires photos below). The only good option appeared to be to slide our boats under the electric fence and launch downstream of the wires. I drove a bit downstream to scout other options, and noticed someone sitting on the porch of a house nearby. Not wanting to trespass, I asked her if she was the owner of the fenced-off area, but she wasn't. She said that paddlers put-in downstream of the wire frequently, and that 7 or 8 Amish folks with canoes had done so about a week ago. She helpfully noted that the person who mows the park area just downstream from the bridge prefers that people park on the mowed shoulder on the upstream side of Coon Hollow. I was able to spot and most of the electric fences and sneak under them, but my buddy sitting upright in a canoe used a PVC "y-er" to lift the wires. Just downstream from the Kingsford Rd. bridge I was startled to feel a wire across my neck. I turned my head and leaned back, and the wire slid up and off my face. I pulled over just downstream of the wire to warn my friend. Despite my shouting, he couldn't see the wire until too late, so did a wet exit from his canoe, then hauled his water-filled boat to shore. We were both fine, largely because I was wearing a neck gaiter and a Kool-Tie around my neck, and had the cape of my sunshade ball cap tucked under them. The wire scraped fabric, not flesh, and I was drifting rather than paddling. However, a paddler sitting higher in a boat with no neck or face protection could get injured. The current speeds up near the wire. Here's a link to photos of the wires at Coon Hollow, Kingsford, and an example of an easy-to-spot electric tape upstream of Hwy 81: I would not recommend that beginners paddle the stretch below the Kingsford Rd. bridge without scouting it first. Scotty, (the DriftlessKayaker) posted this June 12, 2020 video of Coon Hollow to Ellenboro: (There were no wires at Kingsford on June 12.) On a brighter note, here's an album of scenic photos/videos:
Jul 11th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yikes...some of those wires are very difficult to see. These fences shouldn't exist on the river...and at a minimum should be well taped/marked so people can see them. That's horrific. I have marked that Kingsford Road wire as a hazard on both my maps. Despite that I'm super enthused to do this the preceding which should also have nice outcrops. I appreciate tips about the parking situation for Coon Hollow which I didn't know about.
Platte River – Platte Road
Jul 2nd, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the update! The Platte really got beat up by floods earlier this year and it is good to hear that it is still navigable.
Jul 2nd, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Paddled from Platte Rd. to a bend on Big Platte Rd. near Blakely Branch just off Quarry Rd. on July 1, 2018. Next time we'll likely go all the way to the Big Platte Rd. bridge, despite the muddy takeout. Nice stone steps and a carpeted kayak ramp at this takeout, however. USGS gauge was at about 4.17 ft., and 200 CFS, so very little scraping. Lots of wild parsnip by the roadside at the put-in, so we had to take care not to brush against it while carrying boats down. No wire, barbed or otherwise remains. The front end of the old car has now washed into the river. Two heavy rains within the past two weeks caused the river to crest at 800 and 600 CFS, so lots of debris 2 ft. or more above the water. Cattle in the river were cows and steers (no bulls), and we had plenty of room to drift past. Saw one bald eagle, great blue herons, turkey vultures, kingfishers. Great paddle.
Sep 2nd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Lot of good information on the logjams, water levels and fences that will help other paddlers. Appreciated as always Eric.
Sep 2nd, 2019 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this section on 9/2/19, levels were great 140 cfs and 4.08 ft, the rapids/riffles were perfect, just a good current, never really pushy. A few shallow spots where we scared or bumped along the bottom, but never had to take the boat for a walk. There was one portage, right at the Quarry road access, due to two trees blocking the creek from shore to shore, There is a wide gravel bar there so it is a very easy portage. Also there are still two places where wire/cable cross the river, they are actually fairly dangerous as they are hard to see and only a foot or so above the water. They are not barbed wire or electric but, and are not hard to get under if you see them in time. Neither was marked, but I was able to put strips of duct tape on the first one. They are both in the last part of the trip, just after a nice rock outcropping on river right and the takeout on Big Platte. Wildlife on the trip was great, we saw a lama in the water (much more fun than a cow) a badger, a swimming chipmunk (ground squirrel?) and an 8 point velvet buck who just froze and let us drift past 15 ft away. along with numerous ducks, geese, herons, and cows
Plover River
Jun 24th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link of June 2022, this section has been cleared of logjams.
Jun 19th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Webmaster's update...I've heard recently that there are two logjams on this stretch that will have to be portaged.
Jun 29th, 2017 | Mike Heinrich from Hatley/Plover River | Link
Hi, I am a resident of the village of Hatley. I am developing a website for the village and would like to quote some of your content from this page and link to this article. Would this be OK? Thank you! Mike Heinrich
Plover River – Esker
Jun 11th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update!
Jun 10th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did Esker Rd to Bevent Rd 5/23 with a bike shuttle, trip took about 2 1/2 hours and the bike shuttle took about 25 mins. The bolder gardens in the first half are fantastic, there are a couple of fun rapids that require some control and a nice 1-2 ft drop that is easy/fun but could be a bit scary for novice paddlers. I was solo and water was high and fast, so I choose to portage the low driveway bridge on river left. The water had a slight brown hue but the clarity was great for the entire trip. Great trip, hope to do it at least once a year Link to some of my photos from the trip!AjC8S6n5i35VgXQK2JaWce6BcaRD
Sep 4th, 2020 | Tim from Bureau creek | Link
Eric, do you recall the level on June 10, 2020? I’m hoping to go mid Sept but a 5 hr drive so want to be sure it’s worth it. Thanks.
Sep 4th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Tim...I'll forward your message to Eric. In the meantime I will say that current levels are just about at (although a bit below) the levels I did it at. If you watch my video you'll get a feel for how shallow this is.
Plover River – Pinery Road
Aug 1st, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's too bad to hear about that logjam. In late summer doing portages can be difficult because the banks can be so overgrown. Sometimes it helps to whack a path clear with your paddle. Hopefully somebody will clear out that jam in the future. As for the rain, that can actually make a trip interesting. I've paddled in the rain and it is actually cool seeing and hearing the droplets fall around you.
Aug 1st, 2018 | Laura and Linda from Fox River and Pewaukee River? | Link
Hi! Thank you for sharing this information! We did this stretch in a 13 foot canoe. The water was low so we had to portage around the major log jam, however, it was through a patch of stinging nettle! (Wear jeans, maybe?) We rinsed our legs in the water and it stopped itching after a while. The bridges and some sort of pipe were deceptively low and the water was very low so make sure you are nimble enough to lay down quickly and get back up to keep paddling. It was beautiful and fun, but would have been much easier in a single kayak. We saw bald eagles, herons, Kingfishers making vertical dives, ducks, clams, and a few tires in the water. We checked the weather before we left (around 10:30am) and it wasn't supposed to storm until 3pm. It stormed a half hour in so we pulled ashore by some cedar. That made for a much more exciting trip than I anticipated! I guess you never know what to expect. Lol!
Aug 5th, 2018 | Jonelle Erickson from Waupaca River River Rd. to Brainards Bridge | Link
Hi. We are new and have very basic kayaks. From Menards, 10' Viper. We are looking for some new places to kayak in Central Wisconsin and have been reading your site. Read your review of the Plover River at Esker and it sounds great. But a little worried about the class 2 rapids with our kayaks. Wise or unwise to try? Thanks!
Aug 5th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I suggest getting familiar with Class 1 rapids before attempting Class 2. Some ideas you may enjoy within a reasonable driving radius would include the lower Eau Claire, Crystal River, Waupaca River, Tomorrow River, Mecan River, Upper Dells and the lower Little Wolf (all reviewed on this site). With the Upper Plover, because water levels are so low, the rapids may be Class 1 and not Class they may be fine. But you may have to walk your boat in a few shallow areas.
Aug 6th, 2018 | Laura from Fox River | Link
Good idea about the paddle! It was thundering so we paddled in the rain for a bit, but thought it best to get out of the metal canoe with possible lightening.
Popple River
Jul 15th, 2022 | Chris Eloranta from Popple River | Link
I grew up less than a mile from the put-in reviewed above, and spent my childhood fishing the section above County Road N. Loved your review. Some notes: -The gauge at Neillsville will not be indicative because the flow of the Black River is typically (I’d guess) between five and ten times greater than the Popple at their confluence, and the rivers drain different watersheds. (The Black comes from forested land near Medford, the Popple from Spencer swamp and farmlands near Dorchester, as well as Sportsman’s Lake and the Mill Pond near Owen. ) Thus, the river levels do not always correlate, the Popple drains more quickly… and in any case the Black River will dominate at the gauge. -The area north of hwy N is similar, but as you guessed, has fewer rapids. The one exception is the point you pinned on the map… this is known as “Mixie’s Dam”… apparently this was the site of a water-driven grist mill long ago, long since washed out. It is a 5’-10’ drop through a bedrock formation around 30’ long through which the river flows, with a long, straight boulder garden below it which is actually at a noticeable grade. Mixie’s might be fun when the water is at a medium/low level (though perhaps not navigable when low…) but could be a noteable hazard in high water. The boulder garden, too, may be a bit hazardous if the water level were just so… many boulders to get trapped against on a bit of a grade. I’d suggest scoping these out before shooting them… but then again I am not a canoeing type. I’ve mostly waded the river to fish it in late May and June. Thanks for capturing my favourite river in the whole world.
Jul 31st, 2021 | Mark Adler from Yellow River | Link
My daughter and I did this trip today. I was very unsure what the water levels were going to be like; the gauge was at Neillsville is at 1,140CFS(!) which based on your review would be crazy high; but the gauge on the Big Eau Pleine at Stratford was at 109CFS, which based on your reviews of that river is quite low. Geographically these gauges are about the same distance away. I knew that the big storm that came thru Wed hit Neillsville hard, but things were calmer between there and Wausau (which also got hit hard), so my guess was that this section of the Popple would be somewhere between those two relative flows, putting it at a pretty decent level, but I was nervous that it was going to be on the high side. As it turns out, it was actually a little low. We took the trip on a tandem SOT kayak and got hung up several times, but only had to get out twice. I saw evidence on the banks that the water had been 8-12" higher recently (probably from the storm Wednesday), which I think would have been a really nice level to do it at. I think our level was maybe just a little lower than when you did it based on your pictures. Overall a fun trip, but I found it very interesting that the gauge at Neillsville wasn't very indicative of the level of this river section - and in fact, at least after this weather pattern that had gone thru, the gauge at Stratford seems to be a better indicator. Thanks for all your info - I use it alot!
Jul 31st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comments. Your gauge observations are most interesting. In hindsight I likely should have referenced the Big Eau Pleine Gauge which is likely a better representation.
Jul 16th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback. I think you're absolutely right about the water levels. The Neillsville can't be trusted...yet I'm not sure what else you can use. The information Mixie's Dam is very interesting...I'll definitely have to do that stretch.
Popular Fox River trail closed
May 28th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Katie, Yes this site does have a facebook page. Check it out at:
May 28th, 2018 | Katie from Confluence of Big and Little Sugar River | Link
Do you have a Facebook page?
Aug 29th, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra | Link
Hi, I just did a short bike/paddle trip on the Sugar (Riverside-Paoli) it was a great trip but I would like to extend it and I was looking into Badger Mill Creek. starting at Bruce Street in Verona, under the highway and on to the confluence with the Sugar and then down to Paoli. I checked out the sections I could drive to and it looked fairly doable.Looking at google maps it looks as if there are a couple of (low?) farm bridges and maybe some fences... Do you know if anyone has tried it?
Portage Canal
Jul 23rd, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The DNR has announced plans to start dredging the Portage Canal this fall. .
Aug 6th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. This is very helpful information.
Aug 6th, 2022 | Jake from Lake Wisconsin | Link
Attempted to paddle this today. Considered putting in at the suggested northeast junction with the Fox, but couldn't find an easy access and returned to the Ice Age Trail parking at 33. Heavy weeds prevented easy access, but there was a trail cut to the bridge where 33 crosses the canal - was able to get boats in the water under the bridge and headed towards the Wisconsin River. Suspect the water level was very low, only 8-12" deep in some areas, very little current, and it appears the dredging mentioned above has not yet been completed. Quite heavy underwater flora through most of the canal provided a nuisance, but no blockages required a portage around. Made it to the tunnel under Thompson St, but there was a much higher ledge - it didn't appear to be navigable, if the water was high enough to float the ledge there wouldn't be enough clearance above. Wife didn't want to try going around, so turned back and returned uneventfully to 33.
Prairie River
Jul 8th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A guest video for this stretch was just submitted by Corbin. You can view this at:
Private: Lake Redstone
Jun 12th, 2021 | Ariella ODonnell from Addison | Link
How much are the rentals for 1 kayak for 2 people to sit in?
Jun 12th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I don't think Lake Redstone has rentals, but I could be wrong. You could call the Sauk County park service for more information.
Public Landings
May 12th, 2022 | Jenny from Bark River | Link
Thank you for documenting all of these great water trails. This is invaluable information.
Mar 1st, 2020 | Troy Mertens from Iowa City, IA | Link
Is the boat ramp and main river channel open at Lynxville?
Mar 1st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm not might contact the Wisconsin DNR for more info:
Aug 13th, 2019 | Chauntel Niederklopfer from Lyndon Station | Link
Just looking for good boat launches and awesome fishing!
Rat River
Jul 7th, 2024 | Rick from 6 mile | Link
I hear what you’re saying, especially with the high river levels. I’m one of those that doesn’t paddle lakes. I like a peppy stream (but not too peppy) and love the adventure of what’s around the next bend.
Jul 6th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
People have diverse taste. Some paddlers hate lake paddles...some love them. Some hate rapids, some love them. Some love marshes, some hate them. The Rat is just such a niche river. I did it because most of my other A prospects were too high with all the rain we got. That being said I did enjoy my trip on the rat, and I know other paddlers that liked this river as well. It is however a bit of an acquired taste.
Jul 6th, 2024 | Rick from 6 mile | Link
I love your reports but am puzzled by your outings on mediocre streams. I do appreciate you doing my homework for me so I can avoid such paddles, especially if it’s a long drive to the put-in. Why do these in the first place? Thanks for your continued excellence.
Redgranite Quarry
Jul 10th, 2022 | Linda Hoover from Wind Lake | Link
Wondering if the venue is complete for possible fall wedding in 2023 - thank you
Jul 10th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm not sure. I suggest contacting the city and asking them: - +1.9205662381
Roaring Creek
Sep 10th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thank you!
Sep 10th, 2023 | Rick Hannah from 6 mile creek | Link
Beautiful video!
Robinson Creek
May 22nd, 2022 | Jim from La Crosse River | Link
Could someone please tell the real Polly Falls drowning story?I first fished that stream with my Dad in 1970 followed by many canoe/kayak trips.The Steele family used to let us park and fish off their banks,those were the days!
Dec 25th, 2022 | Tim Sprain from Millston | Link
The 2023 annual Robinson Creek Preservation Association pancake breakfast will be at the historic logging camp at Polly Falls on Saturday June 10 from 9-11 with paddle to follow. Please consider joining the RCPA (no membership fees) by emailing and enjoy a day on the creek.
May 22nd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I personally have no first hand accounts of what happened. All that I know came from either newspapers or
Jun 1st, 2016 | Don Schaub from SE Minnesota | Link
I did Robinson Creek on Sunday the 29th with my brother and his GF. It started out cool and drizzly but by the afternoon the sun came out and it was very nice. What a fantastic creek! It is now my new favorite too! The area had gotten some good rain during the week so we took a chance with out scouting it first, it was flowing perfect. I love this site and all of your outstanding reviews, keep on paddling! Don
May 24th, 2020 | Cory from Glacial Lake Wisconsin | Link
We ran this section today (300 cfs Black River @ Neilsville). It was perfect. All trees have been cleared. The water was excellent--a few bottom scrapes but no hang-ups. Thanks, as always, for your work in reviewing these amazing waterways.
Jul 7th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's too bad to hear about those strainers...hope that Robinson Creek doesn't turn into Dickey Creek. Thanks for the update.
Dec 26th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the heads up!
Sep 1st, 2016 | A.D. Long from Yahara River | Link
Very pretty stream…BUT, loaded with log jams, deadfall, and numerous strainers. We ran this in late July 2016. We had to cut through three jams with an axe and a bow saw, and line the boats under a huge tree with less than 10 inches clearance beneath. Both boats dumped trying to dodge a strainer from the right bank and a large trunk extending about 12 feet from the left bank in less than 15 feet beyond in a current of about 4 knots. I had never dumped an open boat before in over 50 years of canoeing up to Class III rivers. Possibly the volunteers who opened up the holes in the older jams were overwhelmed by a lot of new dead fall. Who knows. Not much fun in Stalingrad.
Jul 7th, 2019 | Dean Philip Arcoraci from Sparta | Link
Ran Robinson July 6th 2019 - Clear water and nice flow. The most scenic and serene "yak we've done to date! Nice extended riffle sections but NUMEROUS trees and strainers from bank to bank with steep banks and difficult get-outs = fatiguing day! NOTE: 1st bridge on Kelly Rd off County O IS NOT Robinson Creek so our ride back was left in the wrong spot. Luckily due to the many obstacles and delays, with fading light we chose to walk Kelly Rd from Waterfall get-out and found our mistake. Will check Topo maps better next time in unfamiliar areas. All in all, a great creek/river - riffles nearly made up for obstacles and beauty edged it into favorite status.
Sep 26th, 2020 | Tim Sprain - RCPA President from Robinson Creek | Link
Greetings, Please feel free to update the contact for the RCPA (Robinson Creek Preservation Association) to Membership is free and if you want to join, simply email a request. Members receive updates and newsletters and have the opportunity to participate in events and scholarship. Annual events: Spring/Fall Adopt a Highway clean up Summer Pancake Breakfast and Paddle Winter Soup and Snowshoe February candlelight ski Other events include clearing/cleaning the creek, water monitoring protocols, and trout stocking. Finally, the UW-Wisconsin Cranberry Research Center located on the Robinson Creek and other marshes in the watershed have been integral partners and founding members of the RCPA since its inception in 1993. Also, your re-telling of the drowning at Polly Falls is inaccurate. Please call if you would like to update your site: 608.498.2888. Sincerely, Tim Sprain RCPA President
Sep 26th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Tim for the update. I've updated your contact information in the main review. Hopefully in the future you'll get a website!
Feb 16th, 2022 | Ian from Kinnickinnick | Link
Boy you sure are a tree hugger aren't you?
Sep 12th, 2016 | Denny Caneff from MADISON | Link
I just ran the creek today. People who fuss about deadfalls should take up bowling,or emigrate to Stalingrad, I guess. Deadfalls are part of the paddling experience. I ducked under a few with no problem, but had to portage two new-ish deadfalls that will challenge those who clean up the creek. (If those who do so get my email address, let me know and I will be most pleased to join you to go after these obstacles.)
Oct 23rd, 2016 | Jake from Eau Claire River | Link
I met the guy who works on the crews who keep Halls and Morrison free flowing while we were paddling Halls Creek. I didn't get information from him however it wouldn't surprise me if his group also cleans up Robinson. He mentioned that Morrison is navigable above Cemetery road for a few miles after they did some work, which may be the first time people were able to paddle down that section(his words not mine). He met us as we returned to our boats from our side creek adventure, their crew was working on the opposite side of Halls(anyone who paddles down Halls probably knows about this one, it is a pull over and explore up the stream sort of side adventure).
Feb 27th, 2022 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
I am a very proud one, and I suspect this site is thick with them. The future is green
Rock River – Hustisford
Jul 14th, 2019 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section from Harnischfeger to Cw in the early morning on 7/9/19 as part of a 2 rivers in one day trip. The river had been high earlier in the week and had dropped quite a bit, so it was fast (for the rock) but there was a lot of exposed mud on the banks, but still was an OK trip. A lot of bird and animal life, and other than a couple of farms no development. There are nice facilities at the put in, none at the take out, but both put-in and take-out were very easy and parking very close by. A very relaxing easy trip, but nothing spectacular, I'm glad I paired it with a fantastic trip on the Beaver Dam River. The 2 rivers couldn't be more different. One wide, slow, and muddy, the other narrow fast and fairly clean, the only thing they have in common is that they are both short and take less than 2 hours to do.
Jul 14th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, I think the Rock loses most of its magic after Horicon. I think there are still interesting sections on the East Branch to be explored yet though...and they are on my todo list. Thanks for the updates.
Oct 1st, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, this is a slow and uninteresting section of the Rock. It's endured a lot of floods this year which likely are the cause of the two new jams you experienced. As for better recommendations... I highly recommend the Bark River which I think is really cool. Other ideas would include the Waupaca River, Crystal River, and Sheboygan River.
Oct 1st, 2018 | Dan from Fox River (WI) | Link
My wife paddled this on 9/28, on a cool overcast day. The river was over 8' so the river banks were all flooded over. It wasn't a spectacular trip at all, but the serenity was very enjoyable. We did come across two log jams though. The first one, we were able to paddle around through the weeds. My wife did ended up flipping mud in my face with her paddle, she thought this was hilarious. For the second log jam, we had to put the paddles down and grab onto branches to maneuver through, we were in a tandem kayak. This was only our second paddling adventure, the first was with a canoe. We wanted to try an easy paddle since this was our first time in a tandem kayak. Keeping in mind we are still novices, any recommendations for something with some faster flow in Southeast Wisconsin?
Rock River – South Branch
Aug 6th, 2021 | Nate from West branch Fond du lac river | Link
Just an update, the south branch upstream before the golf course is no longer navigable. Through town should be clear. Also the west branch is no longer navigable from hwy 151 until I belive the marsh. The last few storms have so many trees down its not worth it.
May 27th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A warning to paddlers. The Fond du Lac Sheriff's department rescued two female who were pinned by logjams east of Waupon (by Hwy 49/Church Road). It's not clear if this was this was the South Branch or West Branch...both both branches now have logjams and currently are very high. Neither should be kayaked unless you know what you're doing. Video of the rescue was posted online:
Aug 6th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update...that's very valuable info.
Jun 15th, 2018 | Nate from South branch Rock river | Link
Yes apologize, it is the West branch.
Jun 9th, 2018 | Nate from South branch Rock River | Link
We have put in off 49 when river was pretty high this spring (2018). Had 5 or 6 log jams right away, some may be navigable during lower water levels though. Once passed that it is a very nice paddle, one more log jam just before the golf course. Possibly a bridge or two to go around on the course depending water levels. We just recently canoed the south branch starting by hwy 151. Up steam from there is not passable. There are some ripples/ rapids right away then it's marsh and woods most of the way. We had to portage around 2 foot bridges that were collapsing or low. Once you get near oak center road there is a short ripple area and then i suggest taking out there. If the water is pretty low you'll have to carry over a few rock patches also. From there to hwy 49 has at least 6 log jams and many many over grown trees to go through. It wasn't worth the effort. Thank you for your information!
Jun 9th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Ugh...too bad about those logjams. Your updates are very much appreciated and will help out other paddlers. In regards to the your second comment, I assume that was actually the West Branch based on the reference to Oak Center Road? I hope to do this at some point in the future, but yeah that final section where it connects with the South Branch looks like a mess.
Rock River – East Branch – Mayville
Jul 19th, 2020 | Jermey Stewart from Rock river | Link
We took a trip from the lower dam in Mayville in kayaks to horicon through the marsh it was a nine-hour trip but we seen lots of wildlife even a couple of eagles once you enter the marsh there is nowhere to get out of your kayak or at least 6 hours
Jul 19th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah...Horicon Marsh is great for wildlife but not so much for bathroom breaks.
Jul 5th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I agree...I'm not sure why this stretch isn't more popular than it is.
Jul 5th, 2020 | Gary Kutzler from Rock River | Link
7/5/2020 Just paddled from Mayville millpond dam to Kekoskee dam. 250-300 CFPS. Great trip, 2.5hrs approx. Beautiful paddle no logjams bumped a few rocks, no big deal. Cooper Shop bar was closed at takeout. Have eaten there in the past and it was good. This section of the Rock is definitely under-appreciated. I thank this site for directing us to it.
May 18th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I agree the Rock River is underrated. If/when that logjam gets cleared out, definitely let me know!
May 18th, 2022 | Mike Manthey from Fond du Lac | Link
Rock river is very under appreciated. The dam in kekoskee is run by my fathers uncles family. The area where u went down the ladder was my grandmas house. My family still owns the land by the old ball diamond in kekoskee. I often put in there and paddle to the green head. Only one small log jam, but I will be clearing it out soon.
Rocky Run Creek – Hwy 51
May 27th, 2024 | Phil from Baraboo | Link
Went from Hwy 51 to Dekorra landing today. Lots of recent rain. Branches hanging down and impeding paddling every 50 yards. As we put in a local resident stopped and asked if we had a saw. The hardest challenge was the rebuilt foot bridge (now an ATV bridge) that is too low to go under and very hard to portage. About mile 2. After that the going was much better. We spooked 7 deer and 2 turkeys. A trip only for hardy paddlers.
May 27th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update and warning.
Oct 25th, 2016 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Paddled Rocky Run from 51 to Dekorra on Oct. 16, 2016. Even more log jams and very muddy portages than you reported. Fun and scenic in between jams, though. At high water levels you might have fewer portages.
Aug 25th, 2018 | Vicki Sukowski from Wisconsin River | Link
Have now done Rocky Run twice. Thanks for your pictures and advice. First time in June 2018 from J/V bridge up to Hwy 51 and back. So much fun. Today, from 51 all the way to river. 2 trees and 1 bridge to portage in the 51 to J/V bridge section. That section was lovely and took about 1 hour. I could have stopped there. I agree I also should have just gotten out at J/V Bridge and launched 500 ft down the way to avoid 4 more portages, but kind of proud I could do them. I just moved in to the area and wanted to really explore. I took out an 8 ft kayak with a good rope, so the portages went well. Really is beautiful. No bugs, ticks, or deep mud for me on either trip,but, have to be willing to portage. I will do the 51 to J/V bridge again when the trees turn color, but I am done with that first 2000 ft of creek after the bridge for now. So wish someone could get in there with a chainsaw but that is above my pay grade. I am a 58 year old, 5 ft 3 in female, with low center of gravity, so popping in and out of a kayak and over a few trees isn't that big a deal. Nice change from the Wisconsin.
Jul 3rd, 2019 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I ran the section from the hwy 51 Bridge to the second Dekorra landing (behind Hookers resort)with A bike shuttle. There was plenty of water and just a few obstructions. most of them simple. I had to get out of my boat a couple of times and out of the river once, the rest I was able to squeeze over, under or through. Fairly clear water and nice sandy bottom in many places. There was a foot bridge that was in the process of being built, unfortunately it is being built at the worst possible height, to low to get under yet high enough to require you get out of your and go to shore to get over it. On the upside the river is not very deep and there is not much current, so it is not hard, just a hassle. The Wisc was high so there were a lot of cool exploring possibilities in the flood plan forests. Felt very Bayou like, almost expected to see an alligator. The bike shuttle was a short 3.3 miles (15 mins) fairly level and a nice country road except for the last 200 yards or so which is on Hwy 51, but it has a nice wide shoulder, and is down hill so it only takes a minute or 2 to bike it.
Jul 3rd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I wonder if the Wisconsin backfilling the the lower portion of the creek covered up some the jams. Yeah that section is really cool when flooded...another similar flood paddle would be to the north by the power plant and on Duck Creek. But I've heard getting lost can be an issue.
Aug 31st, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Crek | Link
I'm not aware of any specific rules. Generally speaking it is quite common for paddlers and liveries to remove logjams.
Aug 31st, 2018 | Vicki from Wisconsin River | Link
What are the rules about cleaning out a public waterway? Can anyone try to cut out deadfall?
Aug 25th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the comments. Yeah, I do wish somebody would tidy up the creek, but it is doable now for adventurous paddlers.
Aug 12th, 2017 | Bob from Hwy. 51 at Rocky R7 entry | Link
I live at that entry point. I am amazed at how many people try this paddle. Years ago my son and I did it twice at the same time....First and Last. It is a miserable low water one must literally pull yourself through mud and not more than inches of flowing water below VJ bridge...nettles galore if you portage...just today I suggested to a group of five with one canoe that they should reconsider as two of the five were small kids. A more interesting trip is from the next road east which is dunning to the bridge over hwy. 51...winding through aldershot and open but many oxbow bit it has been cleared out and is smooth paddling
Rocky Run Creek to Lake Wisconsin
May 3rd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Update on the logjam situation from Karen. "There was a tree down where we wanted to put in by Hy51 but we were starting so late in the afternoon, so we changed our put in to J/V. There were trees down not far from the J/V bridge, but our kayaks moved around them easily. We never had to climb over or portage around anything. We do carry a small handsaw with us just in case, but we were able to maneuver in kayaks."
Root River
Dec 30th, 2019 | Rob from Root River | Link
During summer months there are hourly rentals available from "The REC" (, but that is (as far as I know) only for the 'estuary' part of the river, downtown to the harbor. I don't know if they allow you to rent and then haul (cartop or trailer or ?) their boats to do other sections of the river. It would get a bit pricey (a good number of hours rental) by the time you haul up, set shuttle, and get back to the center.
Jun 18th, 2020 | Lysa from Caledonia | Link
has anyone gone tubing down the root river or is that not allowed?
Jun 18th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm not might contact the DNR.
Jul 16th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
On the Root River...I can't think of any. You may want to contact the Racine chamber of commerce for more information. For a map of nearby liveries (that I know of) checkout:
Jul 16th, 2019 | George Kranik from Indiana | Link
Is there a place that rents kayaks on this river ? Or on a different river close to there ?
Dec 30th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Rob! I have a livery map that on this website...and "The REC" had been added.
Feb 6th, 2021 | David Fulwiler from Milwaukee WI | Link
Thanks for your beautiful pictures of this dispersed prairie wonderland. I am looking for people to help me out advocating for this river The Environmental Impact Statement is at this URL. The project will fill the river with microplastics and pharmaceuticals not yet regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WiDNR) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Cornell Policy review stated that this particular implementation of the Great Lakes was a very bad idea in addition to the unregulated pollutants. If you are a Milwaukee County or Racine county resident please write your county board members and legislators. I will take e-mails at Please help out. I wish they would follow the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee's (UW-M) proposal and run the pipe line to the lake where the School of Fresh Water Sciences can cooperate with Waukesha to further clean and monitor the water returning to the great lakes basin. I love kayaking on the Root river and I grew up a mile from her head waters in New Berlin. I spent my child hood playing on her shores in Greenfield Park Please contact me and we can get about the business of asking our representatives to do this more responsibly. Peace Be With You. Dave Fulwiler
Apr 27th, 2020 | Laurel from Root River | Link
There are 2 places to rent canoes in Racine. One above the dam and one below. There are Great Blue Herons nesting spots above. This writers experience was bad because he didn't do much reseach.
Feb 6th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the heads up...I'll send you an email later here.
Mar 18th, 2021 | Ken K from Wisconsin | Link
Stretch: Root river - Harbor to island park around trip Put-in: Rooney recreational area Take-out: Rooney recreational area Time: 1:50 Depth: 8.7' at Park Side Rec Center Date: March 13th, 2021 Went out today late afternoon for an early season kayak paddle. River was about a foot lower then usual yet the current once past the N. Memorial st. Bridge was stronger then usual except during heavy rain / flood season. Current really picked up near the 6th st. Bridge. Nice eddy behind a large Boulder just south of the bridge to the East. Went around the island to the West on the way North. Current really picked up just before the North end of the island. Current was nice on the way back (East side of island) even though the wind was in my face. No log jams or significant low spots. Saw lots of winter beaver activity and lots of recent tree trimming. Ice is completely gone. Didn’t see any other watercraft and only one fisherperson. Besides being a bit chilly was a great day on the lower Root river.
Rubicon River
Apr 25th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comments and the very valuable information. I'll update the review to warn other paddlers.
Apr 25th, 2023 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
I tried combining both Rubicon River trips you reviewed today (04/22/23) through Hartford. The first trip for the most part (from Hilldale Dr. to N. Rural Road) was great. I really enjoyed the sections going under the bridges downtown and the rapids after putting in in front of the dam. However, I cannot recommend trying to kayak from N Rural st. through to Wacker Drive. This section is extremely overgrown with Buckthorn & Boxelder thickets, with numerous logjams. Portaging around the industrial complex was difficult given the growth of the vegetation into the stream. Behind West Side Park was the worst strainer I have seen, a sturdy downed Willow tree at chest height completely across the water. At 63 CFS (Bark River gauge) the river was moving quickly enough and there is little time to react without capsizing or hitting this in the chest. The banks are also too steep to get out of the boat without plunging into chest deep water. Nature is reclaiming the river. I'd recommend editing the first trip details to stopping at N. Rural Road for leg 1, and then starting the second section again at Wacker Dr. Although that isn't a great portage with rocky embankments.
Apr 25th, 2024 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
Hi Aaron, I paddled this stretch last night at 42 CFS. From Wacker Dr to Liberty Avenue there are now over half a dozen log jams that seriously impede paddlers. None were easy portages due to the thickets of vegetation and steep banks. Unfortunately, now almost the entirety of the Hartford section of the Rubicon is not worth paddling and is impassable with dead ash, willows, and boxelder. It's surprising that at one point you enjoyed this trip, so I'm not sure why deadfall is no longer being managed. The stretch from Liberty Ave to Hwy 60 saved the trip, and I really enjoyed how the current picked up. However, I wouldn't run this again at 42cfs as I dragged on the rocks a lot. There is also a newer metal pedestrian bridge right at the sweet spot of the class II rapids where the river corners and heads south that is ripe for collisions with kayaks. I'm curious about heading south of 60 towards pond road, but not sure it's worth my effort. Are you mainly looking at Google Earth to scout log jams? I'm not sure it could be worse than the prior industrial section is now.
Apr 25th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Gregor for the warning. I'll post an update to the review on this. 60 to Pond Road looks bad. Yes, I'm mostly using satellite images...but I'm getting a bad vibe from it and would advice avoiding it. If you do this let us know how it turns out.
Rubicon River – Neosho
May 31st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thank you!
May 6th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Gregor for the update. I updated the review to include your warning.
May 30th, 2021 | Sierra from Bark River! | Link
I just wanted to say that I stumbled upon this website searching for more details on the Wisconsin River/lake system in hopes to find new and great paddle drop off/pickup points and maps. I quickly realized there is nothing that tells you established rivers/channels to plan a paddling excursion (especially since it’s a newer hobby) at the drop points. And even more so none with pictures, reviews, and maps all in one place. This website is amazing and is going to make my summer planning a breeze! Great site!
May 5th, 2024 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
I paddled this earlier this week on 04/30. Going from Jefferson Road to the Neosho Millpond Dam was a fun trip, and the best leg of the Rubicon IMO. I was excited for the section beyond the dam, however, there are massive white poplar trees toppled over into the river forcing two difficult portages through a hunting stand in thick brush. I would recommend taking out at the Millpond dam or doing a roundtrip from Jefferson Road unless those jams are cleared.
Scuppernong Creek
Jun 29th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Ugh...this is awful news. Sounds like only the Lower Scuppernong is viable now? I'll update the main review to include your notes.
Jul 29th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Jon for the info...very helpful and interesting. It's too bad that the Bark gauge isn't a good analogue. The congestion issues after Parry are also unfortunate...and it wasn't really a problem when I did the trip. Love the pictures! It really does look like a different creek though.
Jun 28th, 2024 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Don't paddle this section of Scuppernong Creek unless you're sure the cattail leaves haven't emerged yet. It might be doable in April? Or November? We paddled from Hwy 18/Sunset Rd. to Mill Pond Rd. on June 23, 2024. The cattails have completely blocked the creek between Dutchman Lake and Parry Rd. Even with unusually high flow, paddling through the cattails was impossible. At first we grabbed cattails near the base and pulled our solo canoes forward, but eventually had to get out and wade. The cattails were at least 7 feet tall, and the mud went from ankle deep to knee deep unpredictably as we waded. The section downstream from Parry Rd. might be navigable if the wild rice isn't tall. Maybe put in at Hunter Lake instead, to avoid the wild rice? We only made it though the rice bed because the water level was unusually high. (For comparison, the culvert at Parry Rd was completely submerged.) There are also new logjams and stream-wide brush jams, mostly upstream from Parry Rd. We did this same trip in 2020. Then it was OK if you didn't mind portaging and fighting through the rice bed. This year is was a sufferfest. Here's a link to a photo of one of the new logjams, which required sliding our canoes over downed trees: In 2020 Aaron correctly predicted the cattail wall: "...but in say five years, this leg might become sealed in."
Jul 28th, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
We paddled from Hwy18/Sunset Rd to Mill Pond Rd. on July 16, 2020. I don't think the Bark River at Delafield gauge is useful because the water was much higher than your April 4, 2020 photos, despite the gauge being lower for our trip. For instance, the Parry Rd. culvert that you paddled through only had a foot or so of clearance between the water and the top of the culvert for our trip. The several portages weren't bad, but paddling through the wild rice downstream from Parry Rd. in July was not for the faint of heart. At times all we could see was wild rice, so we had to paddle hard, pulling on wild rice with every stroke until we emerged next to the cattails on either side of the creek. If you want to avoid slogging through the wild rice, it's probably better to paddle this scenic creek in spring or fall. Link to 4 photos:
Sheboygan River – Johnsonville
Aug 22nd, 2020 | Paul from Sheboygan River | Link
Just did Rodchester to my house (~ 11 miles) in 5 hours with 2 teenage boys. River is down to normal again. Did it in 3 hours a month ago. Postage around both dams to the left. They are marked, but the signs are a little overgrown. @ Aaron, let me know when you are coming. I love this trip. Salmon are starting to swim up already.
Jun 21st, 2017 | Jon | Link
Did the 9.5 from Falls to Esslingin Park. Beautiful and great 3 hour downstream paddle two portages. Great idea, thanks.
Aug 22nd, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for updated and the offer!
Jul 18th, 2016 | Scott from Sheboygan River | Link
Found your site when googling for some info on kayaking the Sheboygan River. So glad I did. Very helpful. I followed your exact route on July 16, 2016, and had an enjoyable time. River was shallow and I scraped the bottom more than I'd have liked, but still happy I did this. Maybe go in spring next time when it's deeper. Thanks for creating and maintaining this site. Looking forward to trying some of your other trips in the future.
Apr 11th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sounds like a nice trip! You're from the Pigeon river, eh? That's a cool prospect that is definitely on my todo list...
Jul 25th, 2020 | sandi Fessler from Sheboygan | Link
we are beginner paddlers with basic kayaks. We want to paddle the sheboygan river. I'm unclear how you deal with the dams. When you stop at a sidebank and walk your kayaks do you do this while still in the river? or along a side trail?
Jul 25th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi law each dam is supposed to have a portage path. Most are marked or somewhat simply take out along the shore...then re-enter where you can. Some dams are tricky to portage though (such as the one in downtown Sheboygan Falls). For more information you might contact the DNR or local city council.
Aug 3rd, 2017 | Gary Mulder | Link
Aaron, Have you ever kayaked the Sheboygan River from the Sheboygan Marsh Park to Kiel WI? It looks like it would a great paddle and it looks like a take out on Water street in Kiel a block before the dam. 5 miles as the crow flies, maybe? I get my Remix XP10 tomorrow. :) Thanks for the advice on a kayak. Gary M.
Jul 1st, 2018 | Doug from Sheboygan | Link
Onion River from county road V to Sheboygan falls - Rochester park is a nice fast run with good scenery and a lot of class I and I+ Rapids . As a reverence We have done this stretch when the Sheboygan River was running at 775 Cfs and at 937 cfs. Steep gradient but you need the flow not to scrape. Checkout site miles for their review. Just found your site today and really like it!
Apr 9th, 2020 | Tim Ebenreiter from Pigeon River | Link
Any day on the water is better than any other day, so when the mercury hits 65 degrees on April 8th, you gotta grab the opportunity, right? There was plenty of water, but never pushy. We could have drifted the whole way except for minor strainers on the sides - easy to avoid because the river is plenty wide. Highlight was a goose sitting on her nest amid tall grass on a small island -- and the crazy-mad gander who taunted us from nest to 10 minutes downstream.
Jul 1st, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I really want to do that section...almost did it last year. I might save it for a fall paddle when the salmon are spawning. Thanks for the feedback.
Sheboygan River – Kohler
Jan 5th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the clarifications.
Jan 4th, 2024 | Paul Werth from Sheboygan River (live on the river) | Link
There is an eagle nest (not in the frame) to the left at 5:40 on the video. Salmon start running in September.
Shuttles and Rentals
Mar 17th, 2019 | Jacqueline Soukup from Cave Point County Park- lake michigan | Link
Was hoping to get listed for Jacksonport, Wisconsin the caves up in door county. We are right around the corner from cave point. Cave Point Paddle & Pedal (920) 473-4051
Mar 17th, 2019 | David Rack from Fish Creek, WI | Link
Please include us as an option for Door County we have been taking cave point kayak tours for the past 17 years. Https:// Door County Kayak Tours (920) 355-2925
Aug 21st, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
All set!
Aug 28th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Sally...they've been added.
Aug 10th, 2020 | Donna from Sauk City | Link
What year is this from??
Mar 17th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Done! I hope to do a Door County trip this summer...
May 6th, 2017 | Ryan from Spring Green | Link
Hi Aaron, I just wanted to let you know we have a new location covering the Baraboo River and would appreciate listing it. Also, I noticed the link for our main location on the Lower Wisconsin seems to be broken. Thanks! Ryan Wisconsin Canoe Company - Baraboo 1660 Water St. Baraboo, WI (608) 729-3383
Mar 17th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
All set. Thanks for the heads up.
Apr 12th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
All set...appreciate the heads up.
Aug 28th, 2019 | Sally from Yahara River | Link
We use Drift Away Paddle Company for shuttles and rentals of kayaks and tubes. They meet customers at Murwin Park in Fulton (Rock County) and take them to the put in at the old Stebbinsville damn location. Great company! Very accommodating! Drift Away Paddle Company 1(608) 295-4348
Mar 25th, 2015 | Easton Dreher from Wisconsin Dells | Link
Hi, Vertical Illusions is an outfitter for Kayak and Canoe rentals in Wisconsin Dells. We do the Upper and the Lower Wisconsin Dells on the Wisconsin River. We have been in business for 10 years. I just noticed we are not listed as a provider on your page. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions. Thank you, Easton Dreher Vertical illusions 608.253.2500
Aug 21st, 2023 | Gena Brayton from Wolf River | Link
We are a new outfitter for tubes and would like to be added to your list please. Wolf River Tubing Co. N4445 Hwy 55 White Lake, WI 54491 715-351-TUBE Thank you!
Jun 26th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's horrible...they were one of the better livery options for the islands. Appreciate the update...I'll tweak my listings.
Aug 10th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The list is over 10 years old...but has been randomly updated throughout the years. I can guarantee it's not 100% up-to-date though. Always confirm availability of the livery service before committing to a trip.
Jun 26th, 2019 | Catie C from Chippewa and Eau Claire Rivers | Link
Just an FYI: Living Adventure listed under the Apostles section is no longer open. They just closed up shop and retired this year after having a party and massive sale of all their equipment.
Apr 12th, 2019 | Jon Sarver from Bark River | Link
Hi, I would like to get Listed for Waukesha county Wisconsin. We run a kayak and canoe tour/shuttle service. Our 3 Tour locations are: Bark River - Delafield WI Pewaukee River into Fox river - Pewaukee WI Mukwanago River into Fox river - Mukwonago WI We have a 15 passenger shuttle bus, shuttling customers to the launch, picking them up and returning them to their vehicles. We offer Old Town canoes and Kayaks, or shuttle only. 262 424 9805
Six Mile Creek: Ripp Park
Sep 21st, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's unfortunate news...hopefully that gets cleared out in the future. Thanks for the update.
Jul 25th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Mike...that is a good question. As a non-swimmer, you might stay off the more congested sections (downstream of 113). But really any section you do will have deeper pools and possible logjams. My suggestion as a beginner would be to simply do another creek until you are more comfortable dealing with logjams and other surprises creeks can toss at you. Black Earth Creek (Olson to Mazo) might be a better starter prospect as that section is kept clear of hazards.
Jul 25th, 2018 | Mike from Six Mile Creek | Link
I am a 60 year old non-swimmer (not comfortable in water, would panic if I fell into water over my head, although I have canoed in my younger days while wearing a PFD. I have access to an inexpensive kayak (blow-molded polyethylene, think Menard's). As I live close to Six Mile Creek, is it safe for a non-swimmer, again wearing a PFD, to paddle on any portions of the Six Mile Creek? Are there any spots that I should avoid? Or is it just not safe for a non-swimmer to be in a kayak anywhere?
May 10th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Denny for the update. It's too bad to hear about Kingsley Road. I wonder if it is better at high levels. Mill Road though is good news. I know a local group is working on cleaning out the creek there and they should have this to Woodland Drive cleared later this summer.
May 10th, 2022 | Denny Caneff from Monona Bay | Link
I took Aaron’s suggestion and put in at Kingsley Road. DON’T do it! There’s a nasty debris dam with 20 yards of putrifying cattails behind it 10 minutes from the put-in. The nettles-infested portage is lumpy and no fun. Your reward for all this? More marsh paddling and sweet noise from Hwy. 19. The put-in at Ripp Park is a relative dream. I extended Aaron’s route to Mill Road — it continues what you just ran and it’s worth it, but ONLY IF the USGS gage is at at least 20 cfs. Otherwise you’re bumping your way downstream. There is in fact legal street parking on Mill Road. If you’re jonesin’ for Six Mile Creek, do a round trip on the other section described here; start at Woodland Drive, paddle to County M and return.
Sep 20th, 2020 | Rick and Janet Wayne from Starkweather Creek | Link
ALL HAIL WRT.COM! We just ran this same trip at about 4.3' on the Hwy 19 gage, and the bridge was utterly impassible. Well, unless you wanted to lie down in your boat, helpless, and hope you emerged at the other end! On the other hand we had very few groundings that weren't due to poor route selection. The marsh contained several flocks of jump-scare ducks and even a big one of Canadas that left several hundred square meters of white down atop the water when they boogied. We didn't have to limbo or portage a single tree; by the Piggly Wiggly there was one 30-meter section of extremely thick weeds backed up behind some downed wood in which it was very difficult to move. Water quite clear, sand & gravel bottom for most of the trip. Take-out just before Division Street bridge was excellent, though the bottom there was so soft we just hoisted our keisters onto the bank.
Six Mile Creek: Waunakee Village Park to Woodland Drive
Aug 29th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The dredging of Six Mile Creek has started. Here is a video of the dredging machine in action:
Sep 26th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good work has been done cleaning up many of the logjams we faced. Here is a recent video that shows that most signicant logjam being removed:
Aug 26th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
An update here from Friends of Six Mile Creek: Creek is now open from Division Street to Mill Road!
Six Mile Creek: Woodland Drive to Lake Mendota
Jun 29th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the heads up. I'll add a warning for readers.
Jun 29th, 2024 | Alex Prochaska from Pheasant Branch | Link
Fyi sixmile creek from woodland drive to mendota is currently impassable regardless of water level due to tree obstructions. Love your site!
Dec 16th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update! CWT is actually still working on the creek and hopefully in early 2022 a section further upstream by Waunakee will be navigable for paddling.
Apr 8th, 2022 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
We did an out and back on 4/1/22 from the North Shore Bay Dr bridge, to see if we could make it to the Woodland Dr Bridge. We got close, maybe 1/4 mile away before we got to a blockage that would have required a portage or more sawing/lopping than we were up for. You can see where we turned around on the attached map, it is right were there are some old I-beams in the creek. There was also one duck under that would be hard for bigger boats or higher water levels. I also scouted down from the bridge on foot, there are a few places that need some cleaning up/clearing out, but nothing major. Here is a link to virtual map and pics from the trip.
Apr 8th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Nice pictures!
Dec 16th, 2021 | Denny Caneff from Madison | Link
I can attest that the work that Capital Water Trails did in Six Mile Creek has held -- mostly. I paddled and up-and-back on an unusually warm mid-December day (2021) from the bridge at North Shoe Bay Drive to 200 yards short of Woodland Drive, where I encountered a double-trunked basswood blocking the stream -- a beast I didn't feel like portaging around. By the looks of the photos, paddling this creek in fall/winter has the advantage of not struggling with aquatic vegetation. I also saw that the creek had cut a new channel, leaving behind a 200-yard long oxbow. Things get quite shallow at the merger of Six Mile and Dorn creeks.
Jul 12th, 2019 | Rick from Six Mile | Link
Just checked out possible put-in spots off of Woodland. West side of the road is damn near impossible due to steepness and lots of vegetation. SE is the best put-in spot but is super muddy. ☹️
Jul 23rd, 2019 | Rick from 6 mile | Link
Satellite view. Awesome! Thanks Aaron!
Jul 12th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm surprised to hear that the east side is in bad shape. Last year it was great for launching.
Jul 23rd, 2019 | Rick from 6 mile | Link
Has anyone paddled 6 mile from Castle Creek Conservancy to Woodland? Color me curious.
Jul 23rd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I haven't, but multiple logjams can be seen from satellite view. If it were cleaned out, it could be a cool paddle though.
South Branch of the Root River
Oct 2nd, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Your videos are really good! For those curious to see how the South Branch looks with more water:
Oct 2nd, 2023 | Don Schaub from South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro River | Link
I did County Rd 5 to County Rd 12 (Carimona) back in May when there was more water, challenging and fun! There were several major log jams to contend with but overall a fantastic paddle. Check out my videos on You Tube.
Special High Water Bulletin and Warning
Jul 9th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update and warning.
Jul 9th, 2024 | a l from M C/WI river | Link
My buddy dumped on the crystal river unfortunately. There was a bottle neck of TUBERS, congregating by a log, clogging up the small line through. My friend had to wet exit when he got caught up on the tree/log and flipped upriver. Luckily he was ok and I retrieved his gear. WATCH OUT FOR THEM STRAINERS AND TUBERS!! Another group started to congregate there and we advised them to move. It's sad people can't realize that they are blocking the line through. Maybe the land owner will put up a sign or somebody will cut the log cause the "line" was only about two tubes wide. After that, we noticed some people emptying a kayak near a tree that looked impassable but asked them quick and said it was a go on the left. The person whose kayak was being emptied looked spooked and can only assume she had a bit of a rough situation. There was also a raft of some sort and a life jacket caught on a tree randomly. So yeah good to see the warning, I'll try to update some comments from recent trips and observations. Appreciate your effort.
Jul 6th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Michael. I don't have a first hand report to share with you, but the Cedar Creek gauge currently is at 213 CFs which is very high. I advise not doing the trip until things settle down.
Jul 6th, 2024 | Micahel Flynn from Cedarburg | Link
Considering Cedar Creek from covered bridge to Lion’s Park. Any reports on this stretch that we should pay attention to?.
Spring Brook – Lower
May 19th, 2021 | Jeremy P Tourdot from WISCONSIN DELLS | Link
How much is the launch fee at lake delton boat ramp?
May 20th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I can't remember! You can call the local government and they will let you know: (608) 254-8331
Spring Creek
Mar 25th, 2024 | Peter M Chase from Spring Creek | Link
Do you have a contact for Lyft Lodi so I can pitch in on the clean-up?
Mar 27th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Peter, I think you can contact them on Facebook: There is also contact information on their website:
Spring Creek – Lodi
Aug 8th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A new kayak rental place has opened up in Lodi:
Sep 24th, 2015 | Noumenon72 | Link
This is a very accurate review. Thanks for all the takeout detail. I did sections 2, 3, and a bit of 4. There's really not good parking by the first Hwy 113 bridge either. The third cow fence I almost got stuck up against - thanks for the warning.
Jul 5th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Logjam Update: Significant work has been done to clear logjams off of Spring Creek from Veterans Park to the Bay. As of 2023-05-10, Spring Creek should be clear (but shallow) from Veterans park to the Sanitation Plant. I've heard there are still logjams between the Sanitation Plant and the Bay (figure three portages). Lyft Lodi has an annual cleanup every May if you want to chip in on the cleanup efforts. If you the reader knows more about the logjam situation on Spring Creek, please leave a comment below.
Jun 16th, 2016 | Karl K from Yahara | Link
I just ran the rapids in section 2 at 5.5 feet after a rain and pulled out after the sanitation plant. 5.5 feet is amazing for waves and dips -- very little scraping, nice speed. I ran it twice (it only takes 15 minutes) and next time I think I will take someone to ferry me back to the start and do it several times. There were a couple fallen trees to steer around. I was not quite worried about being pinned on them as strainers, but a bit faster and I would have been. I took out so early because I was worried about getting swept against those cow fences, but in hindsight it wasn't that fast. However, there are a ton of deadfalls everywhere I've been recently and I didn't want to deal.
Stony Creek and Robinson Creek
May 7th, 2023 | Denny Caneff from Madison | Link
All the praise-singing for Robinson Creek is well deserved. But paddlers, beware: Between Kelly Road and Fall Hall Road, my paddling partner and I (both in kayaks) encountered innumerable snags, deadfalls and strainers -- our rough count was upwards of 20. A few we easily passed through; a few more, we cut and plowed our way through; and we had to portage 7-8 times. This issue is "congenital" with Robinson Creek, with stately but unhealth old white pines along the bank, all-sand soil which doesn't hold roots well, and -- early this spring -- a wet, heavy snowfall that brought down a lot of trees (which in turn brought some of their neighbors). There had been some cutting and trimming between Old County Road I and Kelly Road and that was excellent and passable. I would suggest waiting for a couple of months for the local river angels to clear some of those snags. We still had an excellent run -- another batch of stories to tell!
May 7th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yikes...that is awful news. Thanks for the warning which should help other paddlers.
Story Creek
Apr 3rd, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
In this case I bike shuttled. I paddled downstream and biked upstream back to the put-in. You can pedal before paddling or vice-versa...up to you. This means leaving your boat and bike unattended for a bit...a cable lock is recommended.
Apr 3rd, 2024 | tj from Rock | Link
I have to ask if you do these runs how do you address the two locations. Is there two parties on these trips?
Dec 28th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's too bad it was overcast for your still looked nice. Hopefully this leg gets cleaned up in the future for other paddlers.
Dec 28th, 2023 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
I paddled this section on 12/27/23, the creek was at about 55 CFS and 3.05 ft. While we had a great time and I will certainly do this creek again it is probably not everyone's cup of tea. The Good: The water clarity was fantastic as was the gravel and sand bottom. The river is small, narrow and sinuous with a few small riffles, and while there were some shallow areas we never had to get out and walk our boats. Also, there is a small beaver dam that was a simple slide over, and once on the Sugar there are some nice big trees and a huge eagles eyrie. The Bad: this time of the year the scenery was just so so, perhaps it would be better in the spring/summer/fall. The creek flows past/through several farms with some signs of cattle in the creek. there are several small jams that may require short portages.The Ugly: there are several fences that may require ducking under, climbing over, or portaging around. With a bit of clearing blockages and removing fences this could be a really nice paddle, but for now it is probably best left to those of us who enjoy what I call adventure paddling.
Submit a Trip
Jun 28th, 2017 | Austin from yellow river/mill creek | Link
Hello, Way too long time no comment! You reviewed a trip once where there is a cavern/cave/arch that you can paddle through. I've been searching your reviews to no avail. I thought/figured it was in the driftless area but didn't find it in any of those... Surely you know what im talking about? I certainly hope so! I do believe its the only feature on any river quite like that; it was fairly sandstoney i do believe. Thanks for all the reviews!!!
Jun 28th, 2017 | Austin from yellow river/mill creek | Link
ah looks like i found it over on milespaddled Mormon Creek, Oehler Cave or whatnot. Looks like a crummy paddle unfortunately. On the flipside I stumbled across your review of Bridge Creek that looks neat-o. Where ya paddling this weekend??
Aug 22nd, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the kind words! 99% of reviews will have a date (I think a few don't). If you view a page (say the date will be at the top. eg Date Paddled: March 31st, 2019
Aug 29th, 2017 | Eric G. from Yahara | Link
Hi, I just did a short bike/paddle trip on the Sugar (Riverside-Paoli) it was a great trip but I would like to extend it and I was looking into Badger Mill Creek. starting at Bruce Street in Verona, under the highway and on to the confluence with the Sugar and then down to Paoli. I checked out the sections I could drive to and it looked fairly doable.Looking at google maps it looks as if there are a couple of (low?) farm bridges and maybe some fences... Do you know if anyone has tried it?
Aug 8th, 2016 | Bonnie Senft from Burlington | Link
It was just what we wanted. A short paddle before dinner. Easy parking and water access.
Aug 22nd, 2020 | Jeff Michaelis from Yahara River | Link
Absolutely love your website! Have used the overview maps and many other features. I think I have kayaked eight weeks in a row with one week off. The only thing I wish your site had was the date of each review. Or am I missing it somewhere? I keep looking. The only ones that seem to have dates are the most recent ones on the homepage.
Apr 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
You know I'm not familiar with the Pungo 105...but I am familiar with the manufacturer (Wilderness) and I consider them top notch. I also like the length (one of my boats is that width). IMO this seems like a good buy.
May 24th, 2016 | Mark Martello from Wisconsin River between Rhinelander and Tomahawk | Link
Please consider reviewing the Wisconsin River starting at Hat Rapids dam down to the Rollie Road DNR Canoe landing. It's my "home paddle" and I would love to see how you rate it. thanks, Mark
Jul 30th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah, it does change after that point. There is still good paddling to be had on the river though.
Apr 28th, 2020 | zach from Black Earth Creek | Link
Question, I purchased a pungo 105 (quite an upgrade from my sun dolphin aruba 10) and was wondering what your opinion is on it. Its pretty similar in size and shape and honestly I love my aruba 10. I do small rivers and creeks, and am planning on doing the little platte river from your post stumpton road to hwy 0, and was just wondering your thoughts on my boat purchase for this type of paddling (mild buyers remorse but we will see how it handles this friday when I get it out.)
Apr 22nd, 2016 | Sarah | Link
Good Morning. I purchased my first kayak this week and am very excited to start paddling. I have only gone a couple times though so am looking for advice on some good rivers to kayak.(hopefully within the next couple weeks) I will be bringing my bike to get back to my car so please keep that in mind when giving me your suggestions. Thanks much!! Seriously, this site is so helpful!! Sarah
Jul 30th, 2020 | Shep and Mary from West Side of Milwaukee | Link
Bark River is wonderfully clean and fresh until you get to the Hwy 18 Wayside near Dousman.
Sugar River
Aug 18th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Ugh...pretty bad news. The Sugar has been beat up pretty bad by highwater this year. Hopefully this will improve in the future. Thanks for the feedback.
Mar 4th, 2019 | Lauren from sugar/badfish | Link
Ok. Thanks, anyway.
Aug 17th, 2019 | Big Red from Yahara | Link
Did the section from Falk Wells to the County A takeout on 8/17/2019. A number of deadfall trees that needed to be portaged, including a section where a large screen TV was dumped in the river. One of the cattle gates is no longer passable and had to be portaged. A deadfall tree has landed in the middle of the section of the cattle gate and forces a tricky portage to the paddler's left. Due to water levels and deadfall I wouldn't recommend this section at the present time. Riverside road to Paoli is still in good shape.
Jun 9th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great to hear this section is in good shape. I believe the preceding section might have a cattle fence that might not be circumnavigable though. As always, I appreciate the updates.
Jun 13th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Michele, I highly recommend joining a paddling club. is the largest in southern Wisconsin and they frequently do trips in the SW part of the state.
Jul 18th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update. If viable a hiking shuttle on the Sugar would be pretty cool.
Jun 8th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the section from 69 to A today and had a great time. The river was 85 CFS/ 3.45 ft, and was very cloudy which was surprising because it has been a while since our last good rain. The section from the Paoli landing to Bosco was surprisingly nice, lots or rifles, good mix of open farmland and tree lined banks. There was only one cattle gate that was easy to duck under but could be a problem at higher levels as it is not just a wire or cable but a flat piece of metal that could be dangerous if hit at speed or unaware. But other than a few duck unders, some low hanging limbs and one easy mandatory portage at a small log jam, the river is open all the way to Bosco. We did a shuttle that was easy and pretty thanks to the Ice National Scenic trail that is right there and is an alternative to using hwy 69 or PB to get back to Paoli, you can then take Ridge Rd to Sunset Lane which will take you to 69 just north of the put-in . There is a shortcut you can take off the trail right before the bridge under Scenic Valley Parkway. As soon as you see the bridge start looking for a small dirt path on your right, it leads to an unnamed farm road that will take you up to Scenic Valley Parkway, if you miss it don't worry, there is a driveway 200 yards past the bridge that will also take you up to Scenic Valley Parkway
Aug 19th, 2022 | Jilayne S Paley from Platteville | Link
We have a kayak group based out of Platteville but kayak everywhere within a 2 hour radius. There are usually 3-10 paddlers every week. We would love to include you. We usually paddle in Mondays but fit in a few weekend paddles too. We have lots of info on great options. Please contact me!
Jun 12th, 2018 | Michele Nungesser from Cadiz park in Browntown | Link
I am looking for people to go kayaking with. I have one friend in town that kayaks with me but would like to get with other people who enjoy the same thing I do. Madison is too far for me to drive and have checked with Dubuque and Platteville about kayak groups but know luck. If u have any suggestions please let me know thank you-
Feb 27th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Lauren, unfortunately no, that missing paddle wasn't that brand or color.
Feb 26th, 2019 | Lauren from Sugar & badfish | Link
Love your website! I’m very happy to have stumbled upon it last year. I’ve done this stretch multiple times and lost a black whisper paddle. Does that fit the description?
Jul 3rd, 2017 | LBkayaker | Link
This is a really nice river to paddle. The only reason I give it 4.5 instead of 5 stars is the put-in at Bobcat Rd. It is extremely muddy, and not a lot of room to maneuver. We hired Kelly from Sugar River Outfitters LLC to shuttle us with our Eddyline kayaks to Bobcat Rd. He is prompt and professional, and very knowledgeable about the river and the area. Volunteers clean up the river, so one can easily maneuver around some downed trees. The current is good, and the water deep enough so that we didn't have to get out and portage. It is approximately 8 miles from put-in to take-out in the village of Paoli. The best part of the trip is that upon take out you can have a beer and listen to music on the patio at the Hop Garden Tap Room ! It doesn't get any better than that! Put-in: Bobcat Road Take-out: Paoli Time: 3.5 Hours Date Paddled: 07/02/2017 Depth: 3 feet
Jul 18th, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
We paddled from Riverside Rd. to Canal Street in Paoli on 17July2020, 115CFS at 3.6 ft. More folks on the river than I would have expected on a Friday afternoon, including two people in a giant float tube. Paddling time was a little under two hours. I was impressed by the water quality improvement projects, brush along the streambank and large rocks for erosion control downstream from the Bruce Company. An angler we passed reported catching two brown trout near Paoli. Sugar River Outfitters says Valley View Rd. to Paoli is clear, but he hasn't heard first hand reports about Bobcat Ln. to Valley View. Here are links to maps. The Capitol Water Trails one shows a hiking trail that I plan to walk. (Walkable shuttle route for a patient paddler??)
Sugar River – White Crossing Road to Valley Road
Apr 29th, 2022 | Ryan from Sugar River | Link
Just for curiosity's sake I decided to try a pretty far upstream segment of the Sugar River, from County Highway J (Riley) to White Crossing Road. To my surprise, there are signs someone has cleared the largest obstructions on multiple occasions, some possibly fairly recently based on the color of the sawn wood. I was able to get through without having to portage or get out of my kayak (wouldn't recommend a canoe). I did have a mishap in one place where there's a drop of a foot or two through a narrow opening without room for doing anything with a kayak paddle - the current hustled me under the riverbank before I could change direction, where I was able to hold out for several seconds but ultimately turned my vessel into a bathtub while attempting to extricate myself. A few bumps and scratches otherwise. I wouldn't recommend it to most.
Apr 29th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Other than that ledge, it sounds like a great section. It's now on my todo list!
Taylor Creek
Apr 26th, 2021 | Rich from Bass Creek | Link
Yesterday we paddled down Taylor Creek from Highway 81 into the Sugar River. The first half of the trip up until Smith Road was not too bad, we had to fight over under or around some log jams, but it seemed worthwhile. Downstream of Smith Road, things got ugly. I lost count of the number of problems we encountered, at least 14. I would not recommend this stretch to anyone because of this. It is too bad because it is nice country that you’re going through, but if you’re always looking ahead to the next problem, it kind of ruins it. Luckily we had a group that had a good attitude, otherwise we might have had a mutiny! So there you have it...
Apr 23rd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yikes! I think that stretch has a lot of logjams...good luck! As far as gauges go, I guess I don't know. Generally speaking we're in a dry period relatively speaking, so I assume levels will be down regardless of the gauge you use. If you still do this trip, I would be very curious to see how it turns out.
Apr 23rd, 2021 | Rich from Bass Creek | Link
Hi Aaron—will be paddling on Sunday, only going fro Smith Road to the Sugar River landing @ Avon. I think that using the Sugar River gauge @ Brodhead is a more accurate correlate as it’s way closer than Verona. I’ll let you know how it goes. BTW I did this run many years ago, but upstream in the dark. Yes.
Tips & Tricks
Mar 23rd, 2017 | Bill Longe from Lake Redstone | Link
We've kayaked on the Wisconsin River where we put in at Prarie Du Sac and take out at Arena or Spring Green. We pay a guy at a canoe outfitter to drive out truck down to the take out landing, so it's there when we arrive 6 or 8 hours later. Easy to understand. I can't figure out on a small remote river, like many you go on where there is no help around, how to handle the logistics of getting the cars figured out. If you are 6 hours downriver from the put in point (and your car), how do you get back? Do you park a 2nd car at the takeout before you put in? Needing some guidance, thanks.
Apr 9th, 2016 | Sarah from Milwaukee | Link
I am new to kayaking and am looking for a used kayak. I saw a 14' Seacret Ocean Kayak on Craigslist and am wondering if you are able to tell me anything about it. Its an old one, so I am having trouble finding any information on it. Thanks!
May 7th, 2018 | Scott Meskin from Madison | Link
Hi. thanks for the great website. We have one of the high quality sea eagles. Looking for an easy, safe paddle with some fishing opportunity with my 9 year old son. Do you have recommendations? thanks. Scott
Feb 8th, 2022 | John Kuenzle from Elm Grove | Link
Hi and thank you for this great website. I am a scoutmaster planning a mini high adventure for our troop Most of the participants are 12+ with mediocre kayaking skills. Looking for a 7 day trip in August 2022. Thinking of doing the Lacrosse River from Sparta to Lacrosse. We'd camp a state camp grounds and just kayak 5-6 hours each day. 3 years ago we did the Current River in Missouri (perfect) but looking for something closer to home. Thanks for your advice.
Oct 2nd, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The red model is the Wilderness Tsunami 125. It's a great boat and very different from the 140 because it is a wider boat meant for larger paddlers. I'm not that, but I appreciate the extra stability. I got this at Rutabega in Madison...had to ask for it as a special request as they don't display it in the main store.
Oct 2nd, 2018 | Eric from Milwaukee - 33 Dam | Link
What model wilderness kayak (red) do you have? I am currently looking for a new, more touring style rig and it looks versatile.
May 7th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Scott...a lot of ideas. Something really easy and attractive is Mirror Lake in Wisconsin Dells. Doing a short trip on the Kickapoo would be a great way to get your kid hooked (but wait for lower water). When your son is more experienced, you could try some more interesting local prospects with light riffles (Black Earth Creek, Badfish Creek and the Upper Yahara by Deforest). All are great prospects.
Feb 8th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The La Crosse River isn't a bad option for multi-day trips...not too many hazards and a nice paddle. I'm assuming you want to avoid rapids? Other good multi-day trips in that part of the state would include the Kickapoo River, Eau Claire River, and even the Lower Wisconsin River. You want to keep an eye on water levels and have a backup plan in case your target river is too high.
May 22nd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Wilderness Tsunami 125...good tracking, stability and speed. A rare combo in a kayak.
May 22nd, 2019 | Kim Nido from Great Miami River | Link
Malibu X13 is my favorite kayak. what is your favorite kayak?
Dec 10th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I personally don't really kayak in the winter. But I know others do and enjoy it. Generally speaking you need rivers/creeks that have good current or springs that will keep the river from freezing. Lakes and big rivers are generally no go. One option might be the Kickapoo because of its springs. You might call the local liveries to inquire as to conditions.
Jun 14th, 2016 | Kim Pence from Tomorrow River | Link
I'm originally from Hancock Wisconsin and now live in Plano, Texas. My favorite summertime activity was taking a canoe trip from Ding's Dock on the Crystal River. I am most interested in Tomorrow River, as my mom wrote and published the book Tomorrow River based on Tomorrow River Country. I am in the process of finishing the sequel to Tomorrow is a River and am working on maps of Tomorrow River country. Taking trip on Tomorrow River area week in June 2016. I would love to know who wrote the documentation on their tip of Tomorrow River and the photographs as it would be great to reference this information in my book. Thanks. Kim Pence
Dec 10th, 2019 | kirsten from green bay | Link
Just wondering, what in your experience has been some of your top rivers to canoe in winter.
Jul 4th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the kind words Gary.
Sep 15th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the kind words Christopher! Gordon Creek is an amazing little creek...and hopefully somebody will clean out the jams between Brue Road to Hwy A, which would be a great extension to the trip you did.
Jul 4th, 2020 | Gary Kutzler from Rock River | Link
I gotta thank you for this site. I reference it all the time while planning trips, the water gage reference is very valuable. Very well put together with photos and vid. You should put this into a book. Thanks Gary
Sep 15th, 2019 | Christopher Hofmann from Mount Horeb | Link
Thank you very much for this excellent website. You should receive some sort of special recognition for this. I did my first-ever solo stream paddle at Gordon Creek, just a few miles from my home in rural Blue Mounds. Threw my bike in the back of my car, put the kayak on the rack ( with the rack and J-hooks you recommend) and did the 2 mile stretch between Sand Rock and Brue Road. Had a lovely, meditative paddle. Had to navigate a couple of downed trees, but only one required a portage towards the end of the trip. Hit two patches of shallow water where I had to get out and walk the kayak 50 feet. All in all, just very fun.
Token Creek
Jun 7th, 2019 | Rick Hannah from Six mile creek | Link
Checked out takeouts at Token Creek and Daentl Rd. The first is silted in at the dock. The second is muddy and weed infested. Put in at Portage Rd. is nice.
Jul 10th, 2018 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
I just did the section from the Conservancy to the park,levels were very low (18 cfs/1.65 ft on Yahara at Windsor gauge) but the water was crystal clear so I was able to see the bottom for almost the entire trip. Saw lots of trout, turtles, crayfish and other wildlife. Other than a few shallow spots there were no obstructions on this section, and because of the low levels it was easy to get under all the bridges, even the snowmobile bridge that can be tricky at higher levels.
Sep 1st, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Jon...I think I saw that logjam from the interstate. Hopefully it gets cleared out soon.
Jun 7th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Six Mile has faced some serous flooding recently. Hopefully it isn't too difficult to use either the park or Daentle Road now. I appreciate the update.
Dec 9th, 2023 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
A friend an I took advantage of an unseasonably warm Dec afternoon and paddled a short trip on Token Creek. While there were the usual obstacles to avoid, as can be expected on this section, there was only one complete blockage. This was due to a new beaver dam that has appeared since this summer. It is a nice sized dam, approx 2 ft tall,but is an easy portage on river left, we barely even had to get out of the boats and it was an easy otter slide back into the creek. We saw many deer as well as nice (8 point?) buck, a GBH, eagle, and a racoon sitting neck deep in the creek that let us get very close and never did run away ( sick? rabbid?). The right culvert at the park was clear and out trip ended just as the sun was setting. All in all a delightful trip made even better by joining a few members of Mad City Paddlers for bonfire at Token Creek Park after the paddle. Here is a video of the trip and some photos of the beaver dam. Here is link to a video of the trip
Dec 7th, 2023 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
Frank, I think I know the place/area you are talking about,and the creek is way to small shallow in that area and full of dead fall. I think it might be better to come in from the north off Meadowbrook Cir.It dead ends just to the east of the Conservancy land and there are trails there. I don't know how easy it would be to launch from there, or how legal it is, but might be worth a try
May 15th, 2022 | Frank from Starkweather Creek | Link
Since the launch at Culver's Springs is less accessible/technically closed, does anyone know if you can launch upstream at Highway C? Also, it appears there may be a public ROW from Arrowhead Trail (court) to the creek, though its not clear if there is a launch once you get to the creek.
May 15th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good question...hopefully somebody will chime in here with an answer.
Oct 1st, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
I simply love this trip,I have done it 4 times in the past 2 weeks, I only do the part from the springs to the pond at Token Creek Park, so it only takes about 2 hours and is an easy 15 min bike shuttle. The whole trip takes less than 3 hours including loading and unloading so I can do it after work and still be home for dinner! The crystal clear pools at the top by the springs are my personal highlight but the rest of the trip is rewarding with an abundance of wildlife, plants and varied scenery. There are currently 2 small obstacles, one is a very low duck-under of a creosote soaked snowmobile bridge, and the other is an easy lift over and can be done without getting your feet wet if you are nimble and can balance on a downed tree. I highly recommend this trip if you are in Madison and are short on time.
Oct 22nd, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra | Link
I've almost always paddled it in the afternoon so I don't think it was the sunlight, I suspect it was a combination of low water and dust from harvesting. I saw a mini dust devil in a soybean field that was being harvested on my bike shuttle. I may try it again on Monday
Jun 29th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A logjam update from Jared: "MCP and CWT got most of the Portage Rd to Token Creek County Park stretch cleared today on Token Creek. MCP folks will finish clearing that section this Wednesday prior to our Independence Day Paddle and Picnic event. Currently you can paddle up and back from the park to the foot bridge. The water is actually too high to get under that and the highway 19 bridge right now, but hopefully levels will be down by Wednesday and Thursday to allow everyone to paddle all the way from Portage Rd to the park (or Daentl Rd) once we've cleared it. Note that there are still blockages on the lower Creek before it reaches the confluence with the Yahara. We hope to clear those soon. I hope everyone is finding some relatively safe water to paddle this weekend!"
Aug 11th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Jon for the background and information. I think when the upper portions of the creek were rerouted, this did reduce downstream sediment which cleaned up some of the issues that occurred before. Nice to hear this is still navigable despite some ducking/hopping.
Aug 11th, 2018 | David Milbradt from Yahara River | Link
August 11, 2018 Thanks to the original post we just did this paddle from the springs to the park. We started at 11 AM, got out at 2 PM, and it was beautiful. The water was lower than the posted photos and it was easy to clear all of the bridges. We had to push through a few low spots and zig-zag around a bit, but it was great fun. It's amazing to find a paddle like this so close to home. Thanks again for pointing it this out.
Jul 5th, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
The gate at the Culver Wetlands appears to be locked all the time now, and there's a sign cites a fine for accessing the water, even if you wanted to do the 300 yard carry to the headsprings: We put in at Portage Rd. instead, and had a leisurely 2 hr. paddle to Token Creek County Park. Pleasant, but I was disappointed to not be able to wade into the 50F springs to launch into the prettiest section.
Jun 10th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Update on the section... Portage Rd to the County Park had two logjams plus several squeakers. Mad City Paddlers plans on clearing out this section in late June for their independence day paddle.
Oct 20th, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
Just did this trip yesterday afternoon, 10/19, and was surprised with how different it was from all my previous trips. Low, slow and cloudy. It was an OK trip, but the water was nowhere near as clean and clear as before. I was surprised as I didn't think the levels/conditions changed this much on spring feed creeks.
Mar 4th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's crazy how people really hate beaver dams...I think they are kind of cool. Appreciate the watertrail update as always.
Mar 4th, 2024 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I took advantage of yet another unseasonably warm day (a new norm?) to do Token Creek again and check on the beaver dam. the river was very low, and there were a few new obstructions, but nothing that required a portage. I did a bit of clearing, but there are still a few tight spots and place that require a bit of maneuvering to get through. Unfortunately, the powers that be, have removed the beaver dam, as there were signs of heavy equipment and the remains of the dam were in a pile on the bank. I usually take out at the landing on river left just past the park bridge, but this time I continued through the pond to the small dop after the pond. It was not runnable at these low levels but it a very easy to step out of your boat pull it over the drop and get back in. I continued downstream for a few hundred yards to a small slough on river left, which is about 200 ft from one of the Token Creek parking lots. I think this is a better option than Daentl Rd, as it is only a little shorter paddle but a much shorter shuttle and allows for a bike shuttle. Also you can now avoid biking on Hwy 19 by going through the new development on the northside of 19 using Williamsburg Way and Pederson Crossing Blvd. It does however, require back tracking on Portage Road.
Aug 10th, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
I paddled from Culver Wetlands headsprings to Hwy 19, then back up to to Portage Rd. I've paddled this stretch for about 14 years, and it's been fascinating to see how it's evolved. Initially, there was a small drop at a head cut in the sediment from the drained millpond As the creek cut down though the sediment in subsequent years, some tight meanders developed where my 9.5 ft. kayak would bump both ends while passing through. The banks were a few feet high, and looked like unvegetated black dried out mud. Now the stream bed is sand and gravel instead of mud, and the banks are full of vegetation. Mostly reed canary grass, but butterflies and other insects were visiting Joe Pye weed and daisies today. Near Portage Rd, there were some obstructions. I managed to sneak under over and around them without getting out of my boat, but portaging around them would have been easy.
Aug 11th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update! Good to hear the creek is navigable at lower depths. Upper Token Creek is really cool....definitely one of the Madison areas better hidden gems.
Jul 5th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's horrible...hopefully the park service will change their mind. Otherwise paddlers will likely have to put in at Portage Road and just head one mile upstream to see the springs. Thanks for the update!
Dec 11th, 2023 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
Yep, and I wonder if whoever controls that part of the creek (county/state/private?) will leave it. I know trout fisherman aren't too happy about beaver dams on "their" rivers. And a correct we went through the left culvert not the I don't know if the right is clear.
Dec 9th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's a huge beaver dam! It will be curious to see if it survives spring floods. Great pictures and info as always.
Aug 31st, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
As of 21 Aug. 2019, only the northwestern-most tunnel under the interstate was free of debris and logs. Just upstream there's a large tree across the entire creek. Water levels were a bit low (1.7ft. and 27 CFS on Yahara gauge at Windsor), which made for lots of pull-overs between Daentl and the railroad bridge.
Tomorrow River
Jun 10th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the updates and pictures. So you put in upstream of what I did...yet didn't have any logjam issues which is great news. I'll have to put the Tomorrow River on my "redo todo" list...
Jun 10th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did a slightly different section of this trip (Rolling Hills Rd to Cate County Park) on 5/21/20 and would highly recommend it to anyone. The river is pretty enough to keep experienced paddlers happy and easy enough that beginners should have little problem. There is an easy put-in on river left on the downstream side of the bridge, there is shoulder parking for several cars as seems to be a popular place for fishing and kayaking/canoeing. There were no blockages thanks to the obvious work of other working to keep the river clean. There is one really low farm bridge that required an easy portage. Lots of wildlife with the highlight being eagles on and near a nest just before the take out. The take out at Cate park is easy to miss so be sure to check it out during the shuttle, or as someone had done when I was there to a piece of flagging/marking tape on a tree. Taking out at Cate park saves a boring paddle on the flowage, and since it is right on the bike trail makes for an easy bike shuttle. The trip took about 2.5 hours and the bike shuttle took about 25 mins with a stop for ice cream. Here is a link to some of my photos from the trip and the shuttle!AjC8S6n5i35Vggdp5IuMqYModZxY
Oct 5th, 2015 | Tim M from Baraboo River | Link
Thanks for the review of the Tomorrow River. We enjoyed kayaking from the Mill to the State trail this past weekend despite temperature in the 50s and windy but we also were able to stay out of the icy cold water. You do have to know how to steer your boat around obstacles though. We were able to kayak under the cow bridge! I would make a comment about the "rant" of the above reviewer regarding fishing potentially taking prioroity over kayaking. As both a kayaker/hiker and a hunter/fisherman, I do know for a fact that 98% of the money and efforts put in to the conservation of wild areas in WI come from hunters and fishermen, not we kayakers and hikers. I am a freeloader, even when I am on public land where hunters and fishermen are not allowed yet they exist because of the dollars and efforts of these sportsmen. Perhaps it is time for we kayakers and hikers to also buy an annual license and pay taxes on our kayaks/gear to help fund the conservation efforts of hunters and fishermen in our state?
May 30th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It's a nice river...small but I think you'll enjoy it.
Oct 5th, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
Can you take out at the bike trail?
May 30th, 2024 | Tad A. Pufall from Lemonweir | Link
Just Googled Tomorrow River on bus trip back from Brewers game. Never heard of it before. I sold my whitewater kayak a few years back. Need to get a 12 footer as I am now too big for 9 footer. I enjoyed everybody's comment and the original post. Very informative!
Trempealeau River – Perrot State Park
May 23rd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
It is one of the better loop routes in the state...very underrated.
Dec 13th, 2017 | Cole White | Link
how much would it cost to go down the Trempealeau River at parrot state park? for shuttle and kayak rental?
May 22nd, 2021 | Kristin from Mississippi River | Link
Nice kayak loop. Go to the right for less kayaking against the current. Took us two hours. We brought our own kayaks.
Turtle Creek
Jul 19th, 2018 | Steeny from Delavan. Dam Road. | Link
Hey my name is Steeny. I live on Dam Road,in Delavan... about 1 mile to the Creek. I put in there sometimes and paddle towards lake Comus. i call it, like being in Disney Land. All the wonderful things to be seen. thousands of dragonflies to keep you mosquito free. Currently a Snowy White Egret has been hanging out at the bridge on Dam Road. I have a few pix, though grainy, as they were with telephoto on a cell phone. You can only go so far towards there is a log jam to encounter every few yards of Creek. We went under a few. Is it legal to go in with a chain saw and make a path? Probably not. Had an Otter swimming towards us. Saw a great white heron on Lake Comus. Great site! Will be discovering the other Turtle Creek from the Dam to C/Fairfield or vice versa this weekend.
May 30th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link's on the northwest corner:,-88.6889285,16z/data=!4m15!1m8!3m7!1s0x52ad6f82eebacf8d:0xe2caed56166515b8!2sTurtle+Lake,+WI!3b1!8m2!3d45.3944027!4d-92.1424066!16zL20vMDFtamdm!3m5!1s0x8805e58076d953cd:0xe0bbbf9208c30a27!8m2!3d42.7284906!4d-88.6892148!16s%2Fg%2F11h3df8nzz?entry=ttu
Jul 29th, 2021 | Dixie Stever from Whitewater | Link
How long does it take to paddle from Hwy C to Carvers Rock Road on Turtle Creek? Is the Creek extremely low?
Jul 29th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Dixie. Figure 7.2 miles and 3 hours for that stretch. The creek is definitely low, so you may may need to get out and wade some sections.
Sep 21st, 2019 | Jean Borchardt from Johnson Creek, WI | Link
It was very nice, a lot of rain so some areas had stronger currents. Lost my phone and wallet and keys. They are in an orange waterproof box. Please, Please if anyone find this please take it to the police department or give me a call at 920-699-5383 or 920-988-5816. There is a reward. Thank You, Jean b.
Sep 21st, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's too bad. If I hear anything, I'll definitely let you know.
May 29th, 2023 | Diane morris from Darien | Link
Is there a public fishing spot on Turtle Lake.. we drove all around.. could not find one.. went by turtle tap.. also the Mobil home park.. if so could you give us address and/or directions from Delaven.. thank you
Jul 19th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback. I've been curious about Comus Lake for a while and do want to check it out. As for clearing out logjams, locals do it all the time and it is quite common. I think it is ok, unless the DNR posts special rules for a creek. If you do the section below the dam, let me know how it turns out. There is a lowhead dam visible from satellite that might be a little problematic.
Turtle Creek – Beloit
Aug 3rd, 2021 | Sue J Kurth from Beloit | Link
Re the clams: There are lots of clam shells at Macktown in Rockton in river running by Pecatonica?) Anthropologists who did the dig for that area determined Native Americans had eaten the clams and dumped shells back into river at this spot. Maybe something similar along Turtle Creek?
Jul 5th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Honestly, I'm just not much of an expert when it comes to fishing and I can't say for certain whether the Turtle is or isn't good in this department.
Jul 5th, 2021 | Zachary Timm from Turtle Creek | Link
Really interested in creek fishing
Aug 3rd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
My worry is that some type of pesticide wiped them out. They are bottom feeders and strainers so are very sensitive to chemical pollutants.
Turtle Creek – Tiffany
Jul 11th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the update. Note the photo album link didn't work? Maybe the permissions weren't set to public.
Jul 11th, 2024 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
We paddled from O'Riley Rd. to Sweet-Allyn Park on 10July2024 at about 255 CFS on the Carver's Rock gauge. About 4 hours to paddle 9.75 miles, including a stop for lunch at the Hwy. 140 bridge. We liked this water level because you didn't have to worry about scraping or avoiding gravel bars. As always, one needs to pay attention to avoid strainers along the shore, especially at higher flows. Strainers had debris a few feet up in their branches - evidence that flows had spiked at 400+ and 900+ CFS within the last 3 weeks: Notable wildlife: Lots of herons (both green and blue), cedar waxwings, and a whitetail fawn in the creek. And the Tiffany stone arch bridge is always scenic:
Upper Dells – 1
Jun 22nd, 2016 | Sharon Shepherd from Chattahoochee river | Link
Hi, We are headed to the dells this july. I notice you say that we can access Standing Rock &another cool site via a road for a small fee. I cannot find any information on how to do that. Can you direct me to a site that would help? Loved your photos and greatly appreciate your detailed info. Best, sharon Shepherd
Upper Dells – 2
Nov 12th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The following is a recent video/map reply of a recent trip on the Upper Dells done by Eric Guderyon: It's done in late October but there is still some nice color on the cliffs. The Dells can be a terrific fall paddle.
Nov 25th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the tips. The put-in you refer to is pretty good...but it would mean a longer trip. I need to scout the new take-out by Illinois Ave. Another option would be to take out at the dam itself...just take out by the portage path on the left and hike up the public parking lot (but it would be a long hike).
Nov 25th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I do this trip with slightly different put-in and takeout that I think makes for even a better trip as it cuts off some of the lake paddling and you start directly across for Witches Gulch. It is about a 2-3 hour paddle, and the shuttle is only about 4 miles so it makes for a great bike shuttle, plus both the launch and take out are free and open to the public,a rarity in the Dells area. I recommend putting in at the Upper Dells Kayak launch and taking out at the Illinois St Bridge at the mouth of Crandall's Bay, just before the dam.. The put in is marked as "61st landing" on your map, and is a really beautiful place to launch,as it has a nice level beach in a fairly sheltered cove. It is DNR land with facilities, a big paved parking lot, and an old paved road down to the water, but it appears to be closed at the present time. I am not sure if it is due to covid 19, or budget cuts, but all the buildings are locked and the gate to the big parking is chained and locked. There is another small parking lot just outside the main gate with room for 6-8 cars and room for more cars along the road. It is about a 300 yard walk to the landing, and you have to go around 2 gates, but it is all downhill on an old blacktop road, so it is really quite easy if you have a cart. The fantastic scenery starts right at the launch and is non stop for the entire trip with lots of stuff to explore. I have only done this trip in the late fall, after the tourist season is pretty much over, so I can’t speak to what it would be like in high season,with Jet boats,Ducks, and tour boats, but on a sunny late fall day it is a truly spectacular trip. An additional thing to note is that this trip includes an area called the Narrows, that can be a bit turbulent in certain conditions. Luckily this section can be easily avoided by simply going around Black Hawk Island. The take out will be on river left, once you see the dam and start seeing buildings, you can either go under the Illinois St Bridge and then left into a little marina where they have a nice floating kayak launch, or just before the bridge there is a small beach that is just steps a small free parking lot.
Apr 10th, 2017 | Sam Peterson from Eau Claire - Chippewa River | Link
For the last few weeks my partner and I were planning a paddle on the Wisconsin River. We had seen a few beautiful photos online from the water, including the glens like Witches Gulch and Coldwater Canyon, and knew we needed to check this place out. Your blog post was BY FAR the most helpful resource we could find! There's so little information out there about this waterway... and not unintentionally, I think. The boat tour industry certainly seems to have a monopoly on the area. Thank you so very much for all the photos and detail you provided about this trip. We went this past Friday and I already want to go back. By the way, the take-out beside Blackhawk Island is indeed inaccessible now. We went to check it out first and a fence has been built there. Ironically, when we pulled up with our kayaks atop the car, a gentlemen waved us down and told us about how he'd enjoyed this paddle many times, but on his most recent trip, he actually got arrested for trespassing at the landing. What a ridiculous shame, in my opinion. You'd think law enforcement would have higher priorities to attend to. Anyways, I digress. The river was even more gorgeous than we thought it would be. Thanks again for your resource, it was a fantastic help!
Upper Iowa River
Apr 3rd, 2024 | Flint Z from Rock River | Link
I'm interested in a 2-day float on the Upper Iowa. Where's the best put-in and camping for a night? My boys are 13 and 7 and would love an adventure on the river. Appreciate your thoughts...
May 13th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Joli, I'm not an expert on the area and likely who you want to contact are the local liveries which can answer all your questions. The main ones are: - Hruska’s Canoe Livery & Bluffton Campground – (563) 735-5633 - Randy’s Bluffton Store – (563) 735-5738 - Chimney Rock Canoe Rental – (877) 787-2267 - Harvest Farm – (563) 883-8562 (a bit further upstream, but they should service this section, too)
May 13th, 2018 | Joli Ewart from Des Moines | Link
I want to kayak the upper iowa river. I need to rent 2 kayaks, tent camp, and will need a company to help with put-in. Can you advise? I will do this during the summer months, however, I am able to do this during the week, as opposed to weekend. I understand it can be very busy on the river. I am from CA and need to experience some wilderness here in IOWA.
Aug 31st, 2022 | Jeff Pilgrim from Rochester | Link
Just read the main discussion on this route. There's a lot of misinformation here. Since this is in Iowa rather than Wisconsin suggest you correct the inaccurate and outdated information by removing this entry.
Feb 7th, 2023 | Jeff Johnson from Carol Stream | Link
Hi could i run this mid late june in a kevlar canoe? Or is water getting low
Feb 7th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
You can definitely run this stretch in a kevlar canoe. June should be a great time to run the river as then it will be a bit above normal. Typically the river can get a bit low by late summer/fall.
Apr 3rd, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Flint, I don't know the rules for shoreside camping...but I do recall seeing campgrounds along the river. Here is a map:,-92.0192198,12z?entry=ttu A number of options depending on your endurance. eg Cattle Creek > Bluffton (camp there), then Bluffton to Malanaphy Springs. For a longer trip you could start earlier and take out later.
Aug 30th, 2022 | jeff pilgrim from Rochester | Link
Pine trees are not a surprise, but balsam fir is.
Jul 22nd, 2021 | Ed Walsh from Platte River (Denver, Colorado) | Link
Despite the cfs being on the low side, just under 200, we had a wonder float here yesterday with paddleboards and inflatable kayaks. Truly a majestic stretch that lives up to the five star rating. Thanks so much for posting this blog! The information provided here provides us with new adventures every summer from our vacation home base in La Crescent, MN.
Sep 27th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. The situation with the bridge was tragic. It was kind of an antique...but an over-weight truck drove over and destroyed it.
Aug 31st, 2022 | Jeff Pilgrim from Rochester | Link
The access at Chimney Rock road is much improved with the new bridge. Good parking, toilets. We did Kendallville to here on 8/30 at 800cfs in about 4 hours including a half hour stop for lunch and two short breaks. We saw a heron, a couple eagles, kingfishers, cedar waxwings, kingbirds, phoebes, orioles... a spring at the base of the cliffs river right just before the balsam fir on the river was bubbling away. Have run this anywhere from 150 to 1500cfs and 700 is about ideal to me for my paddling style and skills. Seemed to be fewer sweepers than some times and not too many cows. Midweek we saw no campers, and at most only one other vehicle at the access points. On the river we passed a group of maybe 8 rented tandem aluminum canoes.
Sep 19th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The following is a GPS/Image slideshow of a recent kayak trip on the Upper Iowa from Eric:
Sep 27th, 2021 | Peter Johnson from Sugar River | Link
Enjoyed your review and checked it out for myself. This river is spectacular! Since the review the Cattle Creek Rd and Chimney Rock Rd bridges have been replaced. There appears to be more parking available at Cattle Creek Rd now than what appears in the picture.
Jul 23rd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Glad you had a nice trip and that you appreciate the site!
Upper Yahara River
Jul 2nd, 2023 | Jeff from Madison | Link
Yes I have it set so I get an alert if it's over 2 ft. That's the minimum to navigate. But this is an awesome trip! I couldn't do it last year because of the low water.
Jun 30th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's an excellent question. I'm not sure what is going on....despite a lack of rain, the Yahara gauge has been steadily increasing for the past 30 days. I suspect a gauge malfunction but I don't know.
Dec 20th, 2019 | Colleen from Yahara River | Link
We paddled the upper Yahara River (Veteran’s Memorial Park to Sunfish Pond) on Aug 17, 2019, in a MadRiver Explorer whitewater open canoe. The online gauge indicated 40 cfs and 2.0 ft. There is now a dangerous strainer midway through the trip. A very large living tree collapsed across the river. The branches extending down into the water have made a massive debris trap through which a significant undercurrent is flowing. Upstream of the strainer, the water is at least 6 ft deep. Downstream it is 1 ft deep. There is a portage on river right with a difficult put-in from a bank about 6 ft above the river channel. A tip-over upstream of the strainer while trying to exit the river could lead to entrapment of a paddler in the debris below the water surface. The debris in the surrounding trees indicated that in flood, the water level was a good 8 or 9 feet above the current water level above the strainer. As an (inactive) ACA whitewater canoeing instructor I would suggest that this section of the Yahara cannot be recommended until this strainer is cleared (and that will be difficult work). We also noted a dozen tires, many plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and a half dozen obstructions that we were able to dodge or wiggle across. The river did not carry its water through the lower third of the run; a half-dozen stretches were so shallow that we could not float and walked the canoe. We will be crossing this one off our once every year list in favor of the other beautiful runs in Wisconsin.
Jun 30th, 2023 | Jeff from Madison | Link
Hi, has anybody done this recently as the water's been over 2 ft for about a week?
Sep 23rd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's good news in a way. I feared the logjam situation would actually be worse. It's also nice to hear that 220 CFS was navigable.
Dec 20th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update on that strainer.
Mar 13th, 2021 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
We spent a few hour picking up trash, clearing brush, removing snaps, but did not feel we had the manpower or expertise to remove the one major blockage or some other trees that spanned the creek from bank to bank, but there is still only one place that may require a fairly easy portage, it is located just up stream for the 2nd River Road Bridge
Sep 23rd, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled from Veteran's Park to Innovation Dr. on 23 Sept 2019. Gauge was about 4.6 ft., ~220 CFS. Trip took longer than usual due to 3 mandatory portages. One portage was due to a tree we couldn't duck under at this level, and another duck-under was extremely tight. Lots of maneuvering to avoid branches and leaves, and one duck-under that was extremely tight. The higher level washed out some of the rapids-virtually all the rocks were covered. I'd say 3-4 ft. on the gauge is the sweet spot for swift water enthusiasts with the right skills and boats. Saw kingfishers, great blue herons, deer, frogs, and an owl - it was drizzling for part of the trip.
Mar 1st, 2023 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
I did this trip on 2/28/23, thanks to recent rains and some "warm" weather the river was up to 3 ft and 100 CFS. This part of the river is know for going up and down quickly, 24 hours earlier the river the river was over 5 ft and 275 CFS. We put in about 20 yards up river from the official Zelensky at Veterans's Memorial Park, because it was much easier and we were able to just "otter" in. As we were probably some of the first people to paddle the river this year, I was worried that they would alot of blockages. While they were several spot where tress had fallen across the river there was only 2 complete blockages. We cleared one out and the other is just a simple portage. There were several places that required go over,under, around or through partial blockages but none require getting out of our boats. The current was good, and there were only a few spots that were shallow enough to scrape a bit. Other than a bunch of deer we did not see a lot of wildlife. Although not 100% necessary,it is nice to have a cart for both ends of this trip as both parking lots are about 100 yards from the water. A Relive video of our trip
Mar 1st, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Pictures look nice! Hopefully somebody will clear out that last jam. Nice to see how open the creek was with no ice issues.
May 26th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Upper Yahara update from Ahnna: "Just a warning for anyone considering a paddle on the Upper Yahara ( Veterans Park to Windsor Park in Deforest). A few of us were on yesterday - it is a Beautiful paddle and it was my third time on this section- but there were Many downed trees. We portaged around 2-3 large strainers and squeezed through many others. We manually cleared paths where we could. For reference, it took us 4 hours to paddle 6 miles😂 I love a river challenge but others may not want to encounter these types of situations. With the water running much higher than usual it also created a more dangerous environment." ...Jared also noted: "Capitol Water Trails and Mad City Paddlers will be doing a clearing event on June 29"
Jun 30th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We did the creek on Mon 6/30/20 with a bike shuttle. The river was at 40 CFS and 1.8 ft. which is on the low end of my recommended levels 2-3 ft is ideal. We never had to get out and walk the boats but there were several very shallow areas and most of the rapids were a bit bumpy. On the upside there were no complete blockages or portages, and we meet a couple of guys from Quercus Land Stewardship Services ( who were cleaning up the river. A big shout out to them! The trip took us just over 2.5 hours and the bike shuttle took us about 15 mins using the adjacent bike trail.
Jun 30th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That nasty logjam that Colleen encounted must have been cleaned out...which is great news!
Mar 14th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hopefully others will see your notes and will be able to help finish that off.
Jun 21st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update Eric. If this situation changes, definitely let us know.
Mar 6th, 2022 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
we did this trip on 3/6/20, after a day of rain and snow melt. The river was up to 4.5 feet and 200 Cfs overnight, but had dropped to about 70 CFS and 2.5 ft by 1pm , Good levels, good fast current the 5 miles only took us about 1.5 hours. We were worried about obstructions as we were probably some of the first to run it this year, but there was only one fairly easy duck under and no obstructions. The river is in great shape for spring paddles, let's hope we get some decent rains this spring.
Apr 11th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the heads up!
Mar 12th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sounds like a great trip! If that one jam gets cleared out, definitely let us know.
Mar 11th, 2021 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
I paddled this section today after with a bike shuttle, 60 CFS and just over 2 ft. The trip only took 1 hr 45 mins, but I was paddling hard and fast because I did not know how many blockages I would find, and I wanted to be sure to be off the river before sunset. It was a surprisingly nice trip. Lots of waterfowl,tons of deer, huge muskrat (or beaver?) good fast current,and only one partial/full blockage. I was able to squeak through by laying down in my solo canoe,might be tough for some kayakers, but there looked to be an easy portage on river left. I am planning a cleanup trip this weekend with MadCity Paddlers so hopefully we can get it all cleared out.
Sep 14th, 2020 | Jason from Nine Springs Creek | Link
First time on this section of the Yahara. Levels at 40.4 cfs and 1.81 feet. The original description remains very accurate, in general. There were no major obstructions at this time. There was a hop-over about 1/2 through that would have been easier with a 1-2 more inches of water. My wife and I each got stuck in shallow areas a few times, and there was a fair amount of scraping. While a few more inches would have made that less of an issue, there were a few duck-under sections that would have been challenging if the water had been a few inches higher. The run at the South Street bridge was one of our favorites. Overall, an enjoyable day. A good opportunity to practice our skills knowing the river tends not to be too deep (if you do get caught up on a boulder). The best part? Stopping at the Norske Nook for some pie afterwards!
Jul 13th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm horrified that you had to face "30-40 tree branch blockades"...3 can be too many! I'll update my maps/write-ups to warn other users.
Jun 27th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the depth reference which should help other paddlers. Also good tip on the email alerts. Personally I'm constantly checking the USGS map to see where water levels are at:
Aug 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great photos! Thanks as always for the updates.
Jun 27th, 2019 | Eric from Wingra Creek | Link
I've done this section probably 10 times in the past 2 years, it is by far my favorite local paddle. The only problem is that it is hard to catch it at a good level, my target is 2-3 ft or about 40-50 cfs, I find the ft a better indicator for this river. If it is much below 2 feet, the rapids are pretty bumpy, but between 2-3 they are perfect, fast, fun and almost nonstop for a long stretch of the river, too much above 3 might be a bit pushy for some folks. The river rises and falls quickly, it is often only at a good level for a day or less, so you have to watch the gauges or set up a USGS WaterAlert that will send you an email when the river is at or between levels you choose ( Also this part of the Yahara stay open all winter, and because you are always close to a trial,houses and a road it makes for a safe place to try winter paddling. It is beautiful in the winter, and you will see an amazing amount of wildlife, especially deer
Jul 13th, 2020 | Joey from DuPage River | Link
We did the Upper Yahara on Saturday, 7/11/20, and the online river gauge showed 120-140 cfs, which was down sharply from the 600 cfs just 30 hours prior. This was our first time on the UY and we weren't sure just how dangerous it may be. We put in at Veterans Memorial Park. However, while there were some tight duck-unders of some bridges and some weaving through branches, we never had to portage around or over anything. The first 30-45 minutes are more scenic than exciting I'd say, but the latter section was really, really fun with some rapids and such. It was the best stretch we've been on in our admittedly young kayaking life. There's quite a bit of bend in this stretch which made it all the more exciting, as we were never quite sure what was around the corner. It took about 2hrs 15 minutes to get to Sunfish Pond, including a brief lunch break. However, since we don't live in the area and made the driving effort to Madison, our plan was to keep going all the way to Yahara Heights County Park (a 13-mile trek from Vets Park) to make our effort and trip really worthwhile and memorable....and that's where the real adventure began. The earlier section from Veterans Memorial Park to Sunfish Pond was for fun, in hindsight. The Windsor golf course immediately after Sunfish Pond was nothing special to paddle through, and it did require a couple of portages and some close duck-unders of some brdiges, so mehh on that section. Once we crossed under Interstate 39 and entered the Cherokee Marsh Wildlife area, holy cow that's where things really got rough and we got bogged down. No less than 30-40 tree branch blockades, some of which were quite challenging and required portaging over, including a major couple of blockages right past I-39. Some we could pass through even though they were tricky, but make no mistake, this was as much an exercise in determination as it was in kayaking. And occasionally the river would split and we were left wondering if we took the right path (always chose the path where the current was moving strongest towards). Now having looked at the map in closer detail, I guess it all links back up eventually, but in the heat of battle and in the thick marshlands, we weren't really sure. Eventually we made it out of the Cherokee Marsh, but this was probably close to a 4-hour adventure itself once we passed Sunfish Pond. But we weren't done yet...nope. We had to then contend with the Cherokee Marsh Fishery area, a much wider channel branch of the Yahara that was essentially like kayaking on an open lake. We did that for close to an hour and a half before reaching Yahara Heights County Park, and at the end of a long day of kayaking, just to see wide open water in front of you as far as you can see with very little changing landscape, well, let's just say this wasn't the most thrilling part of the Yahara for us. But we eventually made it, roughly 7hrs 30 minutes after we launched at Vets Memorial Park. What an adventure that was! We Ubered back to our car, circled back for our kayaks at Yahara Heights, and then went right back to DeForest for some awesome Mexican fare and margaritas we had our minds set on. Upper Yahara, we will not forget you...and nor you Cherokee Marsh areas!! Thanks to this website and all its contributors for allowing us to plan a fun kayaking trip from the Chicago area...on Sunday we did the Badfish Creek in Rutland and put some comments there, too.
Mar 6th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update as always!
Nov 16th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the river updates as always Eric!
Jul 13th, 2020 | Joey from DuPage River | Link
Hi Aaron, yeah it was really slow going through the Marsh Wildlife area. I had no idea it would be as rugged with all the blockades. Fortunately, there were no sea creatures and the insects, while plentiful, were of the spider, mosquito, and fly variety. Also fortuitously, we weren't super pressed for time and we exited the worst of the marsh wildlife by about 5pm. And the temp was probably low 80s, so it could've been worse I imagine...had daylight really been a factor, that would've added a much more harrowing element to the adventure. I bet we had to get out of our boat to pull our kayaks over logjams in the Cherokee Marsh Wildlife area at least 10 times it seemed. Some were major blockages that required playing "Frogger" over some floating/half-floating bigger limbs for leg support. The other blockages we were able to maneuver through, but nearly all of these weren't very straight forward and we definitely had to use our arms and the branches to pull ourselves forward and through or sometimes under. It was an adventure, that's for sure.
Jun 9th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm probably in the minority, but I actually prefer many creeks/rivers on the lower side for the reasons you mentioned. Great pictures BTW.
Aug 28th, 2020 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled from Veteran's Memorial Park to Innovation Dr. (aka Rivers Turn Park Trailhead) on 28Aug2020 with a bike shuttle. Windsor gauge was at 2.3 ft and 55CFS. Scrapey, but never had to exit my boat - someone's done some major clearing since 2019. Innovation Dr. no longer dead-ends at the river. A new bridge now allows one to drive between River Rd. and Cty Hwy CV (aka Main St.) This made the car shuttle portion of this trip shorter. There's a tree spanning the entire river upstream from the second River Rd. bridge. I barely made it under, but at higher levels it might require portaging. Link to photo taken downstream from the tree: And, a link to a photo album: I saw Great Blue Herons at least 8 times, some were surely repeats. A few times they took off right in front of me as I drifted around a bend. The takeout at Innovation Dr. is a little steep. I stood in knee-deep water and heaved my kayak onto the bank.
Jun 21st, 2021 | Eric G from Wingra Creek | Link
I did the same section a few hours after Jon (on river 3:30 off river 5:45), similar report, but either you for got one, or a new one fell in the hours between us. There is a big Bur Oak with a bunch of trunks and branches in and across the creek right at a right hand bend after a big ranch style house on a hill on river left with a big mowed lawn. (I'm pretty sure it is on a line between Prairie Fire Ct on the east side of the river and Diamond Dr on the westside) I was able to get through/over/under so I did not have to get out of my boat, but it took some doing and the current is fairly decent there. The river is not too deep at that spot, so probably not too hard to get out to portage, but I suspect it is private property and in view of the house. As I said it was not that difficult but could be an easy spot to tip if you are not paying attention. I was short on time so did not stop to do any cleaning, but hope to get back in the next week or two to do some clean-up work with saws and loppers
Jun 8th, 2022 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We did this trip on 6/8/22 after a spell of good rain, 3.5 ft and 125 CFS. There were no major obstructions and only a couple of places where we had to duck under stuff. This is one of my favorite local trips, and we all had a great time, but I think I like this trip at slightly lower levels. I think some of the fun and challenging rapids were washed out by the higher water, I had expected it to be more fun and more challenging with more water, but it was not the case on this trip. But as I said it is one of my favs, so I will certainly do this trip again, both at higher and lower levels to try to find that perfect sweet spot for this river. Here is a link to a map and pics of our trip
Apr 11th, 2021 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
The blockage has been removed, river is now clear form Veteran's memorial Park to SunFish Pond
Sep 14th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Glad you didn't have too many issues...this is a great stretch...perhaps my favorite paddle in Dane County. Norski is awesome too!
May 23rd, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled 23May2019 at 40 CFS and 1.7 ft. Lower level than I prefer, but a good paddle for birdwatching. Lots of wood ducks, warblers, plus spotted sandpipers and common nighthawks. Got hung up several times, but was able to scoot over without exiting the kayak The mandatory portage route around the big tree has nettles which could sting bare skin once they mature later. A new tree is down, but I managed to ram the bow onto a low spot, then pull my kayak over by grabbing branches. To get a shorter carry at Veteran's Park launch: park as close to the bridge, unload, then move car to parking lot.
May 25th, 2019 | Rick Hannah from Six mile creek | Link
Love this stretch! I do a lot of my paddling solo so I appreciate the bike trail option for shuttling. Water level is important for optimal paddling experience. Check the USGS streamflow website for Wisconsin for level and cfs daily updates!
Jun 18th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. That rain storm sure opened up a nice window for the Upper Yahara...I doubt it lasts until Monday though.
Nov 15th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this section on 11/11/20, levels were excellent at CFS 65 and 3 ft. I have done this trip many times but never at these levels, and it makes a huge difference.This trip was fun and fast, especially after the first bridge (South Street). Usually there are several shallow spots,bumpy rapids, and it takes a lot of maneuvering to avoid rocks and find the deepest part of the creek to avoid scraping, but at 3 feet that is not a problem and there are many sections with constant riffles and small rapids. Nothing was truly dangerous but good boat handling skills are required if you want this trip to be fun rather than frustrating. There were no blockages but there were three trees to duck under, all of them between the second River Rd bridge and the new Innovation Drive bridge, that would probably not be too bad in lower levels but at 3 and above may require some limboing skills, and may be a problem for some. I was in a solo canoe so I can easily duck down and get below the gunnels. The whole trip took only took me 2 hrs 1:45 mins on the water and 15 min bike shuttle on the trail. A perfect way to spend an unusually warm Nov afternoon. I am always surprised by how wild parts of this trip feel, as it is really a fairly urban paddle. Because of this it would also be a great river for someone who wants to try winter paddling because you are never very far from a street, road or house and the Innovation Drive landing makes a good halfway point if you want to try a short trip.
Jun 18th, 2021 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled from Veteran's Park to Innovation Drive on 18Jun2021, 2.4 ft at 70CFS. A bit scrapey, but no blockages, and I never had to exit my boat. The only stream-wide tree was between the Innovation Dr. bridge and the takeout. At higher levels this might not be an easy duck-under. Link to photo: I think the City of DeForest cleared some blockages last winter?? I was pleasantly surprised at the absence of major obstacles.
May 25th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Definitely a gauge dependent stream. The gauge actually nearly spiked to 800 CFS today...wonder if anybody tried paddling it.
May 23rd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's one advantage of spring paddles...less weeds and understory growth. hopefully both jams get cleared out in the future. Good tip for Veterans hindsight this might be viable trick forSunfish Park as well.
Volga River – Mederville IA
Jun 7th, 2024 | Michael D. Simom from Robert's Creek? | Link
Thanks for these descriptions and pictures. I want to do many Volga stretches soon!
Waterproof Wisconsin Water Trail Maps
May 25th, 2024 | Sarah Zblewski from Stevens Point | Link
How do I get the maps
May 25th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Here is the link:
Jul 11th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Note, I don't sell the maps. You should contact Jared for more information:
Jul 10th, 2024 | Jesus Guralski from Wausau wi | Link
Hi. I'm interested in all the Wisconsin river map sets! Are they all available? And pricing? I only see the link to south east and south west Wisconsin. Regards James Guralski
Waupaca River
Aug 20th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell creek | Link
Thanks for the tip! I definitely want to do that specific trip...
Sep 24th, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled this stretch on 23Sept2018, 320 CFS at about 2ft. Good level, only minor scraping. Minor dodging of trees and rocks, but didn't need to exit our boats. Aside from blue herons and kingfishers, we didn't see much wildlife. Nice paddle, but next time will likely combine it with Little Wolf and/or Crystal River for a two day trip.
Aug 7th, 2022 | Justin Stephens from Crystal River | Link
8/7/2022 We just did a 5 day run from the chain of lakes, Waupaca to North Asylum Bay in Oshkosh. The Waupaca River leg was clear from the end of the crystal river to the wolf river. The last leg of the Crystal River is a nightmare from Churchhill St to the Waupaca River. There is a really nice put-in at the hwy 22/54 bridge just north of Waupaca eco park, south of fox valley tech. 2-3 hour easy paddle from there to Weyauwega. Weyauwega portage is a bit of a walk but they have a real nice launch dock at reentry. The last bit from Weyauwega to gills landing on the wolf river was a beautiful evening paddle.
Aug 7th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm surprised the Lower Waupaca was that open. I'll definitely have to that on my todo list.
Aug 20th, 2022 | Justin Stephens from Crystal River | Link
The river is open from Q all the way to the wolf. I did Hwy Q to Hwy 22/54 by fleet farm yesterday. 8/19/2022. Saw a bunch of deer and other critters. Watch out for Waupaca Falls! There are a lot of nice places to get out before just no sign to say you're there. Use Caution. Bit of a portage to get down to the park but a great, easy paddle from there to Hwy 22/54. Waupaca Falls to Weyauwega would make a great day trip. Pack a lunch and take your time.
Sep 25th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update!
Waupaca River – Buchholz Road
Sep 21st, 2022 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this section and then continued down to Cobbtown Rd, for a 9.4 mile trip. It took us just under 3 hours. We did a car shuttle but it would be about a 7 mile bike shuttle, with about 1 mile of that on Hwy 10, not the best nicest place to ride a bike but there is a wide paved shoulder. The trip was fantastic, the glacial erratics are truly massive, and the section after Otto Rd is spectacular. The drop at DD/Steadman park was totally runable at these levels. The take out at Cobbtown Rd is also a trail head for a section of the Ice Age trail and there is a beautiful short hike up to one of the free cabins, well worth it if you have the time. Here is a link to pics and a video/map of my trip.
Apr 26th, 2017 | Aaron from Near Puchayan river | Link
My wife and I are looking for a few good spots to kayak with rapids... We just got whitewater kayaks and have been training to use them. Do you have any recommendations near puchayan that would be worth checking out? Thanks!
Sep 22nd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for sharing. Great photos!
Waupaca River: Amherst to Otto Road
Jun 19th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's good to hear!
Jun 19th, 2023 | BILL from CUSTER | Link
Just went from Hwy A to otto road on fathers day 2023, everything is trimmed nicely for kayaks, canoe will have to portage around a couple trees that were a tight fit under with kayak. all in all it was a great trip
Jun 28th, 2020 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this trip on 6/25/20 with a bike shuttle. Since the USGS is no longer operating a gauge on this river I don't know the exact level, but I think it is safe to say it was high as there had been a decent amount of rain in the last week, the river looked high, and the few fisherman we saw all agreed it was relatively high. We had a fantastic trip, the water was surprisingly clear, rootbeer colored, but clear. The current was fash, bordering on pushy, but as there were no complete blockages, it was just challenging in a fun way. There were several tight duck unders, and a lot of maneuvering around and through branches, trees, and other obstacles,in a pretty decent current, so we needed to stay on out toes and have good boat control, but we never had to get out of out of our boats. A great trip, but probably not for beginners or longer boats. The trip took us about 2 hrs and 15 mins, and the bike shuttle was about 25 mins with the only big hill being right at the take out. The next section down looks intriguing including a class II-III drop at the DD Bridge/Steadman Wayside park that looked runnable at this level
Jul 20th, 2020 | Jane Dumke from Mill Creek | Link
We did from Amherst to Otto Road today and it was absolutely awesome. No other paddlers, not a single Portage was necessary, as someone had cleared a path through all of the snags. Not a paddle for novices, but we are far from expert, and still had a blast navigating through and around all the cut areas and the boulder Gardens. I couldn't get the grin off my face.
Aug 24th, 2021 | Ryan from Middleton | Link
Has anyone done this stretch of the river this year? Wondering whether it's still blockage-free.
Oct 3rd, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update Sarah. That might be one of the better fall water trails in the Central Wisconsin.
Sep 26th, 2020 | Sarah from Waupaca River | Link
We did this section of the river today, 9/26/2020. Water level was probably on lower side but we did not have to get out at all. Impressed with the path that someone clearly made through the deadfall with a chainsaw - it was not an issue, no portaging necessary. The last stretch of this (last mile?) was the best - the boulder gardens and white pine and fall colors were beautiful. No issues with takeout at Otto Road.
Jun 28th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Eric for the update. Note NOAA has taken over some of the gauges discontinued by USGS. For example the Waupaca gauge can be found at: Your trip was done at 2.59' which should be roughly 600 CFS (which yeah is high). Unfortunately NOAA usually doesn't use I'll have to convert all my estimates to feet eventually). Great to hear you didn't portage...I feared the worst after last year's storms.
Jul 29th, 2019 | Marty Anderson from Yellow River | Link
My wife and I ran the section of the Waupaca from Keener Road to Otto Road on July 29, 2019. The storms from a bit more than a week ago really changed this section. Many, many downed trees that you have to portage around. It was still fun, but a lot of work. I would avoid this section of river for now.
Jul 29th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That stupid storm caused so many problems...many rivers in central Wisconsin are in bad shape because of it. I appreciate your update.
Jul 20th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That's great news! The Waupaca did endure some nasty wind storms...and this stretch is truly special. It does amaze me that the nearby Crystal River is packed with a crazy amount of people when the next door Waupaca is just as scenic.
Wazee Lake
Sep 6th, 2020 | Scott Parnell from Rock river | Link
What a great coverage of Wazee lake! I do blogs on our search for Wisconsin's clearest lakes -to snorkel/freedive/& underwater spearfish in. Im workn on a blog bout Wazee lake. Hoping it'd be ok if I refer folks to your blog (link) as the best overall coverage of Wazee lake on the internet.
Sep 7th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
That would be great! Wazee is one of the cooler lakes in the state.
Aug 5th, 2023 | Jennifer Wedemeyer from Chippewa Falls | Link
Is there camping done at this park?
Aug 5th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I believe so. You may want to call Jackson County for more info though:
Wedges Creek
Aug 9th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comments. It is a cool creek! ...but you do need to do it when it isn't so likely a bad time to paddle Wedges.
Aug 9th, 2020 | Michael Pogorzelski from Menomonee river | Link
Thanks for the great tour of Wedges creek. Been on Halls creek many times, mostly wading and fishing, and up and down the Black, but definitely going to check out Wedges with the kayak. Truly wonderful pictures.
Wedges Creek – Snyder Park
Jul 1st, 2019 | Mark from Taylor Wisconsin | Link
Where exactly is mouth of the wedges
Jul 25th, 2019 | Greg last from Homer Glen | Link
How is Wedges creek near intersection of county B across from the wildcat inn?
Jul 2nd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The mouth of Wedges Creek is on the Black River and is located just off Opelt Road. If you view the map, you'll see the spot (where the little blue line joins the big blue line).
Jul 25th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm not as familiar with that landmark, but I believe Wildcat is just west of Snyder County Park. Above the park of course would be a simple lake paddle. Downstream of the park, it can be a little rocky and shallow but it is pretty nice. The latter section is covered in this review.
West Fork of the Kickapoo – Bloomingdale
May 6th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Great to hear you had a good trip. That area experienced some huge floods and even a burst dam recently. I feared the worst and to hear this only resulted in one logjam is fantastic news.
May 6th, 2019 | Matthew from Black Earth Creek | Link
Did this trip on 5/4/19. CFS was 124. We put in ~1/2" mile downstream (off of Hall Road) and there was plenty of shoulder parking but also took out at the further point on the map. It was a little rocky at spots near the beginning of the river but didn't get stuck too seriously. There was one downed tree that we had to portage. Overall very fun trip!
Westfield Creek
Jun 14th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I didn't know about the breach (which would explain the subsequent over-engineered banks that now follow the dam). If you do this trip, let me know how it turns out. Sadly things are kind of overgrown now on the creek, so it may not be as scenic. It could be a cool paddle to save for October when things have thinned out.
Jun 14th, 2021 | Gary Kutzler from Rock River | Link
Back around 1986 the dam at Laurence lake failed, washing out Cty rd E. They ended up draining the lake (Laurence). Not sure but I don't recall much damage to Westfield or Harrisville from the sudden surge of water. Also Westfield had a water contamination problem from a local Manufacturer dumping solvent on the ground for several years. I will definitely do this trip. Thanks for the review. Your site is so well layed out with Pics Vids and river gages, it's the first place I go when planning a trip. Thanks again.
White Creek
May 19th, 2015 | Jonathon from Wisconsin River (upper) | Link
I tried 14 mile creek last summer and it has great potential. Unfortunately, the number of large log jams and high flow rate make it fairly dangerous as is. It's really a shame. Glad to see people are trying the creeks around the area!
White River – Neshkoro
Apr 14th, 2016 | Adam Kiernicki from White River | Link
Sorry to double post. you mentioned you wondered if maybe the white river upstream of the flowage was navigable? hell yes it is! i do a ton of trout fishing all over waushara, marquette, and adams counties. i know the white river well. the portion between wautoma and the flowage is your best and most interesting float! probably you want to put in at the chicago Rd DNR land downstream of the chicago rd bridge. you could try upstream too to run under the bridge but be careful. Chicago rd is the southernmost road of the wautoma city limits. from here you can float to multiple locations. there is plenty of water for a kayak no problem. float all the way past the white's junction with its famous West Branch and your first option to get out would be at the 2 swan flower pots you can't miss. this is all dnr land and until last year an abandoned lodge stood on the empty lot behind the 2 swans. your next option to get out is not much further at the cottonville Av bridge. this is all dnr land too. your third option is to float the river all the way to the flowage which is just a couple minutes past the cottonville bridge then go to the public boat launch on the eastern shore of the flowage. if you leave out the section of the white river between chicago road and the flowage pond you absolutely are missing out on the most exciting stretch of the White.
Apr 14th, 2016 | Adam Kiernicki from Fox River | Link
Aaron keeps calling it Hwy 22. the road is actually called 22nd Av. Google Maps has a misprint which subsequently caused Aaron to think its Hwy 22. Google maps says "state road 22." this is NOT the road's actual name. again, he means 22nd Av even if he doesn't know it.
Jul 11th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Here is an updated trip map that shows the put-in in green and the take-out in red:
Jul 11th, 2024 | Michelle C. Stephenson from Milwaukee | Link
Can you give me more exacts on exactly where White River Neshkoro is located?
Apr 11th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Aneta for the feedback!
Apr 11th, 2018 | Aneta Rietveld from Menominee River | Link
The large number of canoes you speak of near he Neshkoro Dam are owned by Renewable World Foundation. We use them for school trips down rivers where the students learn about water resources. Sorry, not a livery.
May 22nd, 2015 | Jean Kurek from Wisconsin River (central) | Link
Looking at the map, I don't see how the take-out can be on Hwy 22. What am I missing?
White River – Sheridan Springs Road
Aug 22nd, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I suspect the "Highlands Golf Course" is to blame...
Dec 13th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell creek | Link
No...but I want to. If you hear of anybody that does this section, let me know how it went.
May 5th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the feedback!
May 4th, 2024 | Glen Pawelski from Madison, WI | Link
I started at the launch on Sheridan just north of the resort today, 04-May-2024 and paddled to Wagner Park in Burlington (about 15 miles). Higher water levels made this run a real winner. With the exception of one massive, river-wide downed tree I had no troubles. I highly recommend this river when levels are higher.
Aug 19th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm surprised you didn't have many issues at 130 CFS. I appreciate the info. Eventually I do want to return and explore more of the White River but it's a long drive for me.
Aug 19th, 2019 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
I did this section on 8/19/19 and had a great time. Levels were a bit low (Cfs 130, 4.35 ft) so I scraped a bit in some low spots and the rapids/drops were a little bumpy but not too bad and I never had to get out of the boat. Water clarity was great through the trip and the current was good but not pushy. There were a few low branches to avoid after the 2nd park bridge, but not hard to avoid if you are alert and have good boat control.
Jun 17th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I suspect levels are really low. The main rapids would likely have to be portaged. Hopefully someone will chime in with a more recent first person experience.
Jul 10th, 2023 | Kat Bell from Nippersink Creek | Link
Thank you for this excellent write up - it was our guide for the trip we took yesterday. We dropped one car at the 1st Bridge and left the others are the Riverview Park. We did notice that sit on top kayaks seemed to navigate the stretch from White River Park to Riverview Park much better then our sit in (Old Towne Vapor10). Ours bottomed out quite a bit, seemed river levels were very low. Does anyone else have this experience? Also, is there a better way to gage water levels for the river?
Jul 10th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm not sure that sit on tops draft lighter. I think what matters more is the width/length/shape of the hull. Big flat hulled boats should draft lighter regardless of whether they are sit on top or sit in. Note this stretch of the White is known to get low during late summer. This is normal. As for a river gauge there really isn't one on the river itself. Roughly speaking though the White River should parallel the Nippersink:
Mar 21st, 2021 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra Creek | Link
We did this section on 3/22 (220/CFS 5.10 ft ) these seemed like great levels, no bottoming out, rapids were all doable and fun, and the drop at the Spring Valley Rd Bridge was perfect, splashy but easy and not pushy. We stopped and spent some time cleaning up three blocages so the whole section is now clear. Fantastic water clarity the whole way, so we saw tons of fish, several pike, some carp, and some huge trout, and many I could not see well enough/long enough to ID. Easy 3 mile bike shuttle
Jul 7th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Lake Geneva area is cool...I definitely want to return to explore more of it.
Jun 17th, 2021 | Stacie L Martinez from WAUKESHA | Link
We usually kayak this river at least once a year. We are looking at getting out there in the next week or two. Can anyone comment on the level? I know it can get pretty low. We like to kayak between Sheridan Springs Road and Mill Street. Thanks!
Jul 7th, 2020 | John G from Twin Lakes WI | Link
Just want to say how appreciative I am to see this online and thank you for taking the time to break this down and provide so much detail, this should help a ton of people have a good time. I have lived in the area a long time and there are always people launching from these 2 areas... worth it... and cool areas to hang out... In lake geneva there are tons of places to get breakfast... There is a small place across from Potbellys that makes huge breakfast burittos or if your into healthy breakfast, Simple Cafe is super cool. When in Burlington after you come out for lunch Freds Parkview for a burger and a beer or if you like a great sit down place Lucky Star.. If dropping the recovery car off in Burlington Sheila Mae's Town Fryer is my favorite greasy spoon cafe... Awesome.. Enjoy your time its a fun day... Dont forge to bring the moutain bikes head up to Kettle Moraine with the Trail forks app.
Mar 21st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
This is a great time to do the White as normally it can be a crowded river in summer. Thanks as always for the update Eric.
May 14th, 2022 | Elesabeth from Chicago | Link
So how do you get back to your car with your kayak from where you put in?
May 15th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
In this case we brought two cars and car shuttled. But for most trips I use a bike shuttle which works well.
Dec 13th, 2020 | Deb Lenell from Lake Geneva | Link
have you paddled from Flatiron park to Sheridan Springs put in #1?
Aug 22nd, 2020 | Tami Victor from Waterford, wi | Link
I’m curious as to why there were so many golf balls so far down the river? Also, thank you for the great information you’ve provided we had a great trip and were well prepared!
Jun 29th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
From Friends of the White River: "We are proud and pleased to report that the route down the White River from Sheridan Springs to Riverside Park in Lyons. 6 volunteers worked tirelessly to unobstruct the areas most relevant to safety.The river is moving quickly right now but it's a beautiful day to be down on the river. Remember to report other obstructions as they occur as we continue to make the river as safe as possible so we can all enjoy it together."
White River – West Branch
Jun 25th, 2021 | Mark Webber from Sugar River | Link
Did the same trip you did this spring but took at the bridge on Cottonwood. Narrow and intimate paddle. One portage (walking bridge) and 2 pull-overs; the first is less of a pile now compared to your picture from the spring. Other challenges as well including one very low tree a little ways after Hwy 22. Water clarity was great. Thanks for your reports, very much appreciated!
Jun 25th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the comment. The White River West Branch is a pretty underrated paddle IMO.
Whitewater Creek
Nov 2nd, 2022 | Bob from Prairie River | Link
The put in at the Millis Road bridge is good and easy. There is a public parking lot close by. I had done short trips on this creek many times as a kid. There is another put in from Millis Road (south and west from the bridge) that is upstream. There is a restored prairie area on the north-south oriented portion of Millis Rd. and a short gravel trail through it on WDNR land goes down to the creek where a gas line ROW crosses. From there you can also easily paddle upstream to where there is a fork in the creek. Years ago the upstream right fork would bring you to a beaver dam. Doubtful they are still there though.
Oct 16th, 2019 | Eric Graff from Palmyra | Link
The description is quite accurate. But I would not give this 4 stars. 2.5 would be more like it. The jams were so bad on our trip yesterday (10-15-19) that we HAD to give up and carry out at a fourth portage with more to follow. This needs cleaning up. If I have time and equipment' I'd do it. But it will take more than two hands. This is a mess!
Oct 16th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Eric for the comment. Where did you take out? I took out at Hwy U but that was too far. My suggested take out was to disembark at the pedestrian bridge by Wells East. I wonder if the logjams you faced were before that? If so, this is unfortunately a new development and a problem.
Nov 2nd, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I appreciate the information. the creek up by Millis Road is definitely on my todo list.
Wildcat Creek
May 23rd, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Yeah it is a shallow creek. It's too bad about the dead ash...those are all likely future logjams.
Nov 26th, 2023 | Kathy Gill from Hustisford | Link
Interesting read about Wildcat Creek. Our property ends very near the Hickory Road part of the Creek. There is a corridor that is being routinely cleared of trees (dead ash as well as trees that may hinder the power lines) by services contracted by our local power company. I would like to plant weeping willows in this area (it can be "boggy" when it rains) but wonder if they might be cut down if the maintenance services determine they might become a liability. Presently, it's a pretty boring stretch although navigating is easy. We have lived here 3+ years and I have wondered why we do not see recreational use on a regular basis.
Nov 26th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good question on tree types...I'm not sure. I suspect more don't paddle this creek because it can be so shallow.
May 23rd, 2023 | Gregor Wilke from Milwaukee River | Link
Hi there, I just paddled this stretch yesterday evening after work at 40CFS. I would not recommend going any lower. I was able to get by without getting out, but did have to scoot/scrape in a few spots. My only updates are that the beaver dam is now gone, and there are some freshly fallen trees near the finish which might require you to get out and wade at lower levels. Lots of dead ash near the finish poised to fall in over the next couple of years. How/why do farmers straighten these channels? This is the first river of such that felt like I was paddling through a grass canyon in the beginning. I'm glad the river changed pace later on.
May 18th, 2022 | Mike Manthey from Fond du Lac | Link
Great videos, always look forward to finding new places to explore.
Willow Creek – Richland County
May 6th, 2019 | steve schloegl from genoa city wis | Link
was wondering how high the water was coming up in about a week for little canoeing and trout fishing thinking about willow and the pine any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks
May 25th, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
If you do this trip, let me know how it turns out!
May 25th, 2021 | Joe from LaCrosse River, Black River | Link
I essentially grew up on Willow Creek, living in the village of Ithaca. My grandparents had a farm up Lost Hollow. Excellent trout fishing, although I never canoed or kayaked the creek. I always wanted to. I know the scenery is beautiful, especially the sandstone bluffs mentioned. I do have quite a bit of experience watching the spring flood waters turn Willow Creek into a dangerous waterway every year. Maybe some day I'll get a chance for an adventure where I grew up.
May 6th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The Richland Center creeks are at normal levels now but may rise here in the new few days because of forecasted rain. I think the Willow would be great condition for paddling this weekend, but it may be a bit small for canoeing. The Pine will be somewhat above normal, but should be plenty navigable. Contact for more info. For fishing and scenery, the Willow will be a much better experience...but again it is small for a big canoe.
Willow River
Jul 6th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update
Jul 18th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the heads up. Hopefully this warning helps other paddlers. I've updated the review and map.
Jul 18th, 2022 | Nathan Rhodes from Eau Claire | Link
Attempted to run the Betterly Waterfowl Production area to Mary park section of the river. After about and hour, maybe a mile, and 4 full blockages of the river we pulled out at the farm of a nice family that gave us a ride to our car. They informed us that there was a pretty major flood a few years ago that jammed up the river. Do not attempt this section until some cleanup is done.
Jul 6th, 2023 | Bobbi from New Richmond | Link
Just a short way down from the New Richmond launch significant river blockage, 4,5 trees down blocking the route did not see access around nor did I attempt since I had my son with me. Don't anticipate it being cleared anytime soon due to the wall of trees down from the heavy snow fall this winter. Maybe they'll clear out for a portage to walk around it.
Wisconsin River – Arena to Spring Green
Sep 1st, 2021 | Sean Tanner from Whitewater | Link
She is the address of the Hwy 14 Takeout landing in Spring Green? Thanks, Sean Tanner
Sep 1st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm not sure...I think Google just calls it the Spring Green Boat Launch
Wisconsin River – Castle Rock
Feb 16th, 2016 | james from Aurora | Link
When was this trip taken? Curious if the troll is still collecting his toll?
Jul 7th, 2020 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I honestly don't know. I will say that most of the fishermen we saw were below the I assume if there is good fishing it is there.
Jul 7th, 2020 | Chris from DuPage River | Link
How is the fishing on this part of the river for smallmouth and pike?
Aug 2nd, 2021 | Julie from Kishwaukee River, Union IL | Link
The bait shop has lovely new owners as of March 2021. They are required by the power company to collect a $5 launch fee. They operate on the honor system and will not "chase you down" for payment but may leave a note on your reminding you to pay if you launch without doing so. They are very concerned about upkeep of the property and walk it daily to collect litter left behind by those less considerate.
Aug 2nd, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update!
Oct 2nd, 2017 | Karen Schmit | Link
I can tell you exactly how to find the Castle Rock formation, and yes, there is a path! I walk around it very often, as it is located at the campground where I have my permanent site. I've seen Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Deer, turtles, snakes, otters, and more. There's even a few wolves that live up on "The Rock"...even a family of coyotes nearby that I often hear at night!
Wisconsin River – Lone Rock
Jul 21st, 2021 | Kate from Lake forest | Link
Hello! Wow! This is definitely the most helpful website i have come across. Thank you for making it so detailed. Unfortunately I am still unsure which trip may be best for my family. I was thinking the lower wisconsin river but then read about the currents. Perhaps you could advise me on which might be the best fit for what we are hoping to do? My husband and I would like to take our 2 daughters on a 1 night camping canoe trip. Their ages are 7 and 9. (Would wear life jackets though are good swimmers). We would probably want the 2nd day shorter than the 1st. Campground preferred but sandbar works too. We are from Northern Illinois (near Kenosha) so somewhere in a 1-3hr drive or so. We would like to use an outfitter where we leave our car at put in and they will pick us up at the end and drive us back to our car. Do you have any suggestions for me on which river or river camp spots would be best options for us? There are just so many! Thank you very kindly.
Jul 21st, 2021 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The best camping locations are subjective. My favorites are the sandbars and you can see where these are from a satellite map. The best region is Mazo to Lone Rock. There are countless ideas you could try. If you prefer a "proper" campground the following is a good option. Day 1: Arena to Trader's Island Campground (8 miles - +16085887282...they can also shuttle you I think.) Then for day 2 you could do the campground to Lone Rock (9.5 miles).
Jul 25th, 2021 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
I'd recommend these two outfitters. For trips that end in Spring Green: They have a "next 4 days" forecast on this page: For trips farther downstream: Traders seems to outfit the drinking and partying crowd more than the above outfitters, so their campground might be noisy?
Wisconsin River – Mazomanie
Oct 6th, 2015 | Robert VandenBroeke from Colorado River | Link
I paddled the Wisconsin River from Blue River down to Boscobel with my new packraft. It was a very enjoyable trip. I did have to get out and walk once. I was hoping to see more wildlife though, so that was a little disappointing. I plan on coming back next year to float the Kickapoo.
Wisconsin River – Pine Island
Jul 12th, 2023 | Kristy Carlsen from CADILLAC, MI | Link
We have a trip to the Dells in August. We tube the rivers here in MI and were wondering if there are good places to tube in the Dells? We want to bring our own tubes and put in/out ourselves so looking for a family friendly route. Suggestions?
Jul 12th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The only spot I can think of that gets tubing traffic would be the Lower Dells. Kilborn Dam to Newport Park would be an option but there would be slow spots.
Wisconsin River – Prairie du Sac Dam
Jul 1st, 2016 | Karl K from Yahara | Link
I disagree with the statement "You can subdivide this segment into two legs". Because the Arena takeout is on the south side of the river, on River Road, it's a 36-minute drive to shuttle between Arena and Ferry Bluff -- more than going all the way back to Sauk City!
Jun 29th, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Thanks Aaron for this web site. We paddled from Sauk City to Ferry Bluff on 29Jun2019 at about 12000 CFS at Muscoda. Sand bars are smaller than at lower levels, but no braided sandbars to avoid! FYI, the old railroad bridge pillars have been removed, so you might want to update the text below: "The next major ‘highlight’ is the old railroad bridge that is partially torn down. It’s considered dangerous because the current picks up there and turns at the same time. Generally speaking you should stay all the way to the right and avoid the pillars like a hawk (they create mini-whirlpools that can capsize your kayak)." Aaron wrote about the Wisconsin Canoe Company: "Again, this is an example of an older business that mostly rents canoes but they are catching up to the times and renting some kayaks now as well." Re: The Wisconsin Canoe Company The company was founded in 2009. The high canoe to kayak ratio among local outfitters is because most overnight renters prefer canoes. From: "What started out as a new business with 10 canoes run by a couple of college kids trying to avoid the real world (or stay in it?) has evolved to include a husband and wife team (yeah, two of those college kids) now operating over 150 canoes and kayaks from Sauk City to Spring Green..." They also have a page that predicts water levels for the next 4 days:
Jun 30th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Jon! I did update the review and add a note about the RR bridge. I checked out the site and really liked how the embedded the USGS graphs on their page...I'll likely do this on all my pages in the future.
Wisconsin River – Stevens Point
Oct 12th, 2022 | John Vollrath from Plover River, McDill Pond | Link
Put in at the north end of Mead Park, where the dog beach is. You can park on the street very close to the water. There is a sand beach there. The spillway (which you call a low head dam) is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Two people (one of my students and his father, one of my colleagues at the University) drowned there. I would not recommend that anyone get anywhere near it. Especially in the Spring.
Oct 13th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the warning. I 100% agree that dam is very dangerous and should be avoided.
Wisconsin River Thru Paddling with Lloyd Hovorka
Apr 9th, 2024 | Robert Avery from Rock River | Link
What were the longest and toughest portages you had? Have to make a couple of trips with all your gear? I might want to tackle this sometime. Thanks.
Apr 9th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Hi Robert, I'm not sure Lloyd follows this page. You can reach him though Facebook at:
Wolf River
Jun 15th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Megan, you would be fine for kayaking. The river is actually higher now than it was during my trip (7.75' vs 7.57'). But rafting might require more padding. You might ask the local liveries for their advice. I think you're ok though.
Jun 14th, 2023 | Megan Micheau from Hermansville | Link
I plan on coming to camp and go rafting on Saturday with the Britton/ felter group. Is the river going to be high enough for us to go rafting in saturday??
Wolf River – Hollister
Oct 17th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Here's a cool fall video of the Wolf River. It includes a whitewater run of the Dells which is really scenic:
Jul 19th, 2017 | Stacie Kenney from Fox River | Link
Thanks so much for this very in depth review! My family's cabin is in Summit Lake, not too far from Pearson. We have kids and plan to take them kayaking along the Pearson to Lily route, so I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!
Yahara River
Jul 7th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Appreciate the update Jon!
May 27th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Warning to Yahara River paddlers...a teenage girl was killed recently when canoeing the river by Fulton. She and the canoe became pinned by a strainer and did not escape. The Yahara was very high (over 1000 CFS). High rivers should rarely be paddled as strainers can become deadly traps at these levels.
Jul 7th, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Forklift is no longer blocking the circle drive, but paddlers seem to have started putting in closer to the bridge anyway. Paddled Stebbinsville to Murwin Park in Fulton on 07July2019, 650 CFS at 5.30 ft. I prefer this stretch at a lower water level, but it was a beautiful day on the river, with 2 juvenile eagles perched next to the nest that Aaron mentions.
Feb 10th, 2024 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Via, courtesy of Jim J: 'The February 8th, 2024 tornado that caused so much damage around Evansville/Edgerton touched down right on the river a mile or two upstream of Fulton. A thousand trees were shredded & every tree on river right for 100 plus yards was uprooted and laid directly into the river. Miraculously there is a clear path through that takes only a little maneuvering. However, anybody leading beginners down this section needs to be aware, & probably should have a saw. It probably isn't a section to be recommended for beginners for a while. I had my phone, but didn't think to take photos."
Aug 16th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good question does seem really odd. Hopefully another reader will chime in with an answer.
Feb 10th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks Jon for the update. I don't see too many downed trees on satellite maps, but those may be outdated.
Feb 12th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
A followup on Jon's point...the Rock County Sheriff's is warning of debris in Yahara River and Badfish Creek:
Aug 16th, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Anybody know why the owner has blocked the circle drive at the former dam with a large forklift? There's an alternate put-in closer to the bridge, and I think the old put-in on the opposite side of the road is still legal. Here's a link to a photo of the forklift, "No Trespassing" sign, plus a photo of the path to the old put-in on the opposite side of the road.
Yahara River – Deforest
Sep 3rd, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm surprised you are scraping as the upper Yahara is one of the main tributaries to the lakes, and yet we are still having flooding on the isthmus. Maybe they are release too much water from the dam. Great to hear about the trash cleanup...wish more people would do this.
Sep 23rd, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I hope they remove the dam complete. It could fail (dams to all the time). Also the issue with high lake levels isn't just the lake...but the adjacent ground water table. That capacity is need to absorb rain. Lastly, lowering lake levels would reduce the amount of stagnate water which would reduce unnatural algae growth.
Aug 18th, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra | Link
8/18/17 Just did the paddle/bike shuttle on this section, with a level of about 2.25 ft. I would agree that any shallower would mean a lot of scrapping and hanging up in the shallow riffles, This section is great trip with a good mix of quite water, riffles, and a few drops, with a pretty bike shuttle at the end. I cleared out 2 small jams, there is still one place I had to scoot my kayak under a log while I climbed over, and another that I cleared out a passage way, but there is still a big sweeper to deal with.
Jun 20th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Sounds like some of those previous jams were cleared out. Appreciate the update.
Jun 20th, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
We paddled from Veteran’s Memorial Park (DeForest) to Innovation Drive on 19June2018. USGS gauge at Windsor was at about 3.5 ft when we put in and about 3.4 ft. when we took out a little under 2 hours later. Fun level, and we only exited once to pull over a log. A few tight duck-unders and sneak-throughs.
Jul 3rd, 2024 | Joseph Delahoussaye from Salt Creek | Link
Thanks Aaron, I'm just revisiting this page and saw your comment from last fall. Indeed it was much too shallow to be real fun, tbh. Much different conditions than back in 2020 when it was ripping. We bottomed out many, many times, ugh. Anyhow, we were thinking about trying again this weekend (7/6 and/or 7/7), so I checked the Geologic gauge report at Windsor for its current discharge rate and lo and behold it's been on an upward trajectory for much of this year and is currently around 250-400 ft3/sec. The data is indicated to be "provisional" - and has been for much of this year - so I guess I'm wondering if this is accurate or if somehow the data has become upward skewed. 300 ft/sec would be pretty ripping through there. Alternatively, has something changed in the water system that is now allowing a much higher flowrate through the UY?
Jul 3rd, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good question on the gauges. They do periodically get calibrated and it is very annoying when they do that. However...we've had a lot of rain, so 244 CFS seems accurate to me. We're getting more rain on Thursday/Friday. I suspect the Upper Yahara (like most rivers in the state) will be too high to run this weekend.
Sep 22nd, 2019 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Re: Madison Lake levels: The Upper Yahara is a very small watershed, which is why it goes up and down so fast. Token Creek contributes twice as much base flow as the Upper Yahara. Lake levels are a hot topic, here's a link to a deep dive by former mayor Dave C:
Jul 13th, 2020 | Joey from DuPage River | Link
We did the Upper Yahara on Saturday, 7/11/20, and the online river gauge showed 120-140 cfs, which was down sharply from the 600 cfs just 30 hours prior. This was our first time on the UY and we weren't sure just how dangerous it may be. We put in at Veterans Memorial Park. However, while there were some tight duck-unders of some bridges and some weaving through branches, we never had to portage around or over anything. The first 30-45 minutes are more scenic than exciting I'd say, but the latter section was really, really fun with some rapids and such. It was the best stretch we've been on in our admittedly young kayaking life. There's quite a bit of bend in this stretch which made it all the more exciting, as we were never quite sure what was around the corner. It took about 2hrs 15 minutes to get to Sunfish Pond, including a brief lunch break. However, since we don't live in the area and made the driving effort to Madison, our plan was to keep going all the way to Yahara Heights County Park (a 13-mile trek from Vets Park) to make our effort and trip really worthwhile and memorable....and that's where the real adventure began. The earlier section from Veterans Memorial Park to Sunfish Pond was for fun, in hindsight. The Windsor golf course immediately after Sunfish Pond was nothing special to paddle through, and it did require a couple of portages and some close duck-unders of some brdiges, so mehh on that section. Once we crossed under Interstate 39 and entered the Cherokee Marsh Wildlife area, holy cow that's where things really got rough and we got bogged down. No less than 30-40 tree branch blockades, some of which were quite challenging and required portaging over, including a major couple of blockages right past I-39. Some we could pass through even though they were tricky, but make no mistake, this was as much an exercise in determination as it was in kayaking. And occasionally the river would split and we were left wondering if we took the right path (always chose the path where the current was moving strongest towards). Now having looked at the map in closer detail, I guess it all links back up eventually, but in the heat of battle and in the thick marshlands, we weren't really sure. Eventually we made it out of the Cherokee Marsh, but this was probably close to a 4-hour adventure itself once we passed Sunfish Pond. But we weren't done yet...nope. We had to then contend with the Cherokee Marsh Fishery area, a much wider channel branch of the Yahara that was essentially like kayaking on an open lake. We did that for close to an hour and a half before reaching Yahara Heights County Park, and at the end of a long day of kayaking, just to see wide open water in front of you as far as you can see with very little changing landscape, well, let's just say this wasn't the most thrilling part of the Yahara for us. But we eventually made it, roughly 7hrs 30 minutes after we launched at Vets Memorial Park. What an adventure that was! We Ubered back to our car, circled back for our kayaks at Yahara Heights, and then went right back to DeForest for some awesome Mexican fare and margaritas we had our minds set on. Upper Yahara, we will not forget you...and nor you Cherokee Marsh areas!! Thanks to this website and all its contributors for allowing us to plan a fun kayaking trip from the Chicago area...on Sunday we did the Badfish Creek in Rutland and put some comments there, too.
Oct 26th, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
Just did the section from VMP to Innovation Drive,with a bike shuttle. The guage was at about 32cfs and 1.7 feet. I only did a short (1.5 hr) trip because I was not able to start until 4pm and it was dusk by the time I got off the river. I was still a great trip on probably one of the last 55+ days of the year. I have never done this trip below about 2 ft, as I read that was about the minimum for an enjoyable trip. While I had fun, I was scrapping bottom a lot and had to do a lot more maneuvering to keep from bottoming out and/or hitting rocks. This was a much more challenging trip than it is a 2 feet, but still very doable if you don't mind a bit of work and/or scraping up your boat. Also There is one small log jam that requires a sharp zig and a zag to get through, that I don't recall from the last time I went down. I didn't have the time to clean it up as it was getting dark
Nov 15th, 2017 | Eric G. from Wingra Creek | Link
Just did the section (again from VMP to Innovation Drive with a bike shuttle, The gauge was at about 32 fps and just above 1.7 ft. very nice trip, a lot of wildlife, many ducks, about a dozen muskrats, and 1/2 dozen deer, perhaps because it was almost dusk by the time I got off the river.This is about the exact same conditions I did this trip a few weeks ago, but the water seemed lower. I was scraping bottom quite a bit more, and had to get out at one place that I was able to navigate last trip. Still a great late fall trip for a short (1.75 hours) after work trip.
Jan 25th, 2018 | Eric Guderyon from Wingra | Link
The gauge height on this report should 1.7 ft, not 2.7 ft... sorry for the mistake
Jul 7th, 2024 | Joey from Salt Creek | Link
The rain held off and we paddled from Vets to Sunfish Pond right before the golf course on Saturday, 7/6. The Windsor river gauge was 98 ft3/sec when we launched, so elevated from historical readings due to all the recent rain but less than the ~130 ft3/sec back in July 2020 when we first paddled it. This time, it was obvious that the recent rain and storms have had an effect on the UY. There were 6-8 portages required and a number of 80-90% blockages along the way that we were able to scoot through with some effort. Some of the blockages were fairly major and will require some extensive cleanup. Thus, the UY wasn't quite as fun as we were hoping given all the portages (and the heavy mosquitoes!!). We've now made the trek to do this section three separate times and have had 3 wildly different experiences. However, we will continue to look for the right conditions where this river is super fun like it was in our inaugural trip. The mexican dinner we had afterwards was great, though. See you down the road, UY!!
Jul 7th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update. I'll warn readers about the downed trees.
May 3rd, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Paddled Veteran's Memorial Park to Windsor Road yesterday 02May18. Put in at 1:45 PM, 3.2 ft gauge, about 90 cfs. By the time I took out, gauge was about 2.9 and about 80 cfs. Likely about 2 or 3 portages as of 02May2018 unless you have a short boat (<10 ft.) and skills at sneaking through log jams. At this water level, picking the wrong line can push you into downed trees or overhanging vegetation. As always, assess your skills and be safe. Fortunately, the river is seldom more than waist deep if you need to exit your boat. Great wildlife: 20+ wood ducks, 8+ deer, Sandhills, cardinals and yellowthroats everywhere, big turtle (snapper?),little green and blue herons, mallards, etc. You can now get water alerts via USGS to help catch rivers/streams that crest and recede rapidly: For Windsor gauge:
May 3rd, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the update Jon. It's too bad to hear about those logjams, but that new alert system from the USGS is good news.
Sep 6th, 2023 | Joey from Salt Creek | Link
We are thinking about hitting the UY again over the last weekend of September. No comments in a few years...but we were wondering if there's been any developments here for UY either good or bad.
Jun 14th, 2017 | Jamie from Yahara River | Link
Thank you for your write up on this section of the Yahara. I've really enjoyed paddling this section quite a few times now since they started clearing away the blockages a few years ago. I'm surprised you enjoyed the trip at 1.3'. I always keep an eye on the Windsor Golf Course gage after a good rain and my minimum I will make the trip is 1.7'. I know that's only .4'higher but I've found it makes a huge difference. I've paddled this stretch under lots of different depths and found the sweet spot to be 2 feet to 2.75'. I'll paddle anything down to 1.75 but have found that there are too many shallow rocky spots you get hung up on if you go at the normal depth which is about 1.2-1.5'. If it goes much above 3' also I've found that it's a little too fast for my taste since you still need to navigate around boulders and other obstacles. It's a fun little river though. Hope you can get out when it's above 2'. Just keep your eye on the gage after a good rain and make sure to get out there before it recedes (usually within about 24 hours). By the way, I've also done the Lake Windsor Golf Course section. I found it to be a lot of fun. There are some branches to dodge in the early part but I never had to get out of my kayak. I would suggest getting out at Linden Dr. since I hear there is quite a bit of downed trees between the Interstate and Hwy. 19. Not sure if anyone will ever be able to clear those out but I don't think it's maintained at this point. I've heard the Hwy 19- Cherokee Marsh section isn't too bad. Thanks again for your review. I've really enjoyed this section of river but it's got to be done at the right level.
Sep 3rd, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Padddled from Veteran's Park to Innovation Dr. on 03Sept2018. Windsor gauge was at 2.5ft. when we put in, about 2.35ft. when we took out. Steel pontoon and filter sock we encountered on the last trip are gone, and we only exited once to pull over a log. We removed two kid-sized basketballs, a plastic bottle, and a 2'x2' piece of pink styrofoam board from the river (recent heavy rains must have washed them in). At this level there's more scraping in the riffly sections, and a few more rocks to bounce off. I much prefer 3ft or higher on the gauge. Would like to catch it at 5ft sometime to see if it's even more fun than the 4.5ft. level from our last trip.
May 27th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the suggestion. That's a good idea...but technically tricky. Will have to think on that...
Jun 25th, 2016 | Karl K | Link
June 2016 update: I have just gone through the trail with the volunteers from Capitol Water Trails and they have chainsawed down all the blockages and dragged the logs up on the bank. So it's a clear paddle!
Aug 18th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Good to hear the creek is still navigable...even at 4.6' which I would have thought would be high!
Aug 17th, 2018 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
Paddled from Veterans Park to Windsor Rd (aka Sunfish Pond) on 17Aug2018. Gauge at Windsor was 4.6 ft when we put in and about 4/0 when we took out out 1.75 hours later. About 15 minutes in, there's some sort of public works project in progress, maybe a sewer? We did an easy portage around a steel pontoon bridge (sturdy enough for the heavy equipment in use) and a filter sock. Other than that, only exited our boats once, where a previous duck under now required a climb over a log. This was a fun level, (with appropriate boats and skills) with one standing wave big enough to give a lap full of water in an open cockpit. A few obstructions to plow through, duck under, or ram over. Good wildlife - barred owls, great blue herons, orioles, ducks, cedar waxwings.
Sep 6th, 2023 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm fairly certain the Upper Yahara will be too shallow currently.
May 27th, 2024 | Jon from Starkweather Creek | Link
No trip report, but a suggestion for Aaron: Maybe merge Deforest 1 with Deforest 2 in the future to consolidate the comments? Otherwise getting the most recent intel requires visiting both pages. Thanks for all you do.
Apr 18th, 2017 | Diane from Token Creek | Link
Karl, thanks so much for your review! I frequently walk on the Yahara River corridor board walk (including just this morning), and every time I do, I look longingly at this pretty little stretch of the river and wonder how to catch it at just the right level for paddling. (I have read "after a heavy rain", but a little more specific info is always helpful.) Your review is the first time I've seen a minimum water level mentioned for this stretch, and I appreciate this website providing a direct link to the USGS gage. Thanks to all!
Jun 14th, 2017 | Jamie from Yahara River | Link
Sorry, I wrote my comment 2 times. For some reason I thought that it didn't accept the first one but I just noticed now that my comment yesterday is actually on here now. I took out at Linden Dr. (which is right as you've gone past the golf course). It's also right before the Interstate bridge. If you go past that take out I think you will run into a section that's choked with blockages. You could possibly take out at one of the roads by the clubhouse but to do the whole section the only takeout is Linden Dr. Feel free to delete one of my comments if you'd like.
Yahara River – Dunkirk
Nov 5th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Thanks for the tip...I didn't know about that access option. I've added it to of my Yahara Maps which should help future paddlers.
Nov 5th, 2022 | Jon from Starkweather | Link
Perhaps you would like to add this put-in/take-out to your map? Several of us put in here on Oct. 31 due to a large tree downstream from the Dunkirk dam. Put-in was a bit muddy and shallow, but should work at most flows. USGS gauge at Fulton was about 450 CFS, there's gravel parking off Hwy N. If Stebbinsville to Fulton is a too short a trip for you, this put-in adds 30 minutes or so.
Aug 10th, 2022 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Not that I know of...hopefully this get cleared up in the future.
Aug 10th, 2022 | Rick Jannah from 6 mile creek | Link
Has anyone approached the owner that’s blocking the put in/takeout at Stebbenville? Sounds like he’s upset about litter issues, which I can’t blame him. Such a nice spot. Perhaps he can be reasoned with. I’d be willing to go, as long as I have company. Want to keep it civil.
Yahara River – Hwy 19 to Cherokee Marsh
Sep 6th, 2023 | Joey from Salt Creek | Link
This echoes my experience on this section back in 2020 that I highlighted in a comment on the Upper Yahara page(s) on this website.
Yellow River – Hwy F
Jul 30th, 2022 | Daniel Akin from Marshfield | Link
That ghost bridge you mention looks like a railroad bridge. There is an active line from Necedah to Babcock and it might be that railway.
May 27th, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
The trip report helpfully mentioned river level at 2.5’. We did that same trip last week at 3.1’ and scraped through/over a few spots, with a 200’ portage about a mile above the take out. Beautiful remote woods, a little pushy current here and there. The put in is steep and awkward. At 4’ you may be able to cruise through it all.
Yellow River – Necedah
May 22nd, 2024 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Update for the Necedah to Castle Rock Lake stretch. It now appears to be much more open. One paddler was able to get through mostly ok. Said there was deadfall, but most was manageable. They only had to get out a few times.
Jul 9th, 2018 | Kay from Wisconsin | Link
We did our trip on July 6 2018----3 people in a 16 ft canoe. We left at 9am--The 1st 1/4 to 1/3 of the 7mile trip was nice and relaxing. After that it should post danger sign and give you a way out of the river. All blocked with trees for 1/2 of the river so my guess is 3 1/2 miles of climbing over trees and dragging the canoe over the banks. We saw 1 canoe someone just left and walk out somehow and a trashed boat and a dead bones on a deer leg in the trees. And No way to get out we had to keep going. When we hit the open water, we could see the Castle Rock Bridge. It was 5pm. So glad we got out before dark. We all cheered and said we would only tell someone to do this river if we wanted them to never come home. THE DNR need to clean this river before someone dont come home from this river for real.
Jul 9th, 2018 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
I'm sorry about your experience. When I did this three years ago, I didn't have these problems. This was likely the result of some major floods that hit the area. Hopefully others learn from your experience.
Jul 11th, 2016 | River Roving Rats from Lemonweir River | Link
The River Roving Rats are a group of annual guests that canoe and kayak the Yellow River and the Lemonweir River in Juneau County. This group enjoy the many sand bars that are on these two rivers and spend at least an 8 hour day enjoying the scenic beauty and picnic opportunities. The group do encounter fallen trees and at times have to portage. The trip is mostly scenic and very wilderness and wild like! This trip is usually best when the river flows are lower. We always stress whatever you take on the trip you return with. I supply garbage disposal upon their return. Several guests choose to pick up any litter or snagged fishing lines, lures etc... Contact: Country Cruisin' Kayaks & Canoes at or 608-548-4280 We have been in business over 20 years.
Yellow River – North Wood County Park
Sep 17th, 2020 | Daniel Akin from Little Eau Plaine River | Link
There are a number of places to put in on the Yellow River including Yellow River Road, Hwy 10, Lincoln Bridge, and Hwy 80 Bridge, each one lessoning the trip to County N Bridge. I highly recommend taking out under the County N Bridge because from County N Bridge to North Wood County Park is very treacherous with numerous Class 2+ and a Class 3+ Dells on the Right Side about 600 Yards below the County Bridge. If the road is closed at the Park, then the water is high enough for this stretch. But be careful. Prepare to empty out rec. kayaks a few times on this short stretch. Also, a couple of my friends put in way north of the race track on Eagle Road and they were shocked by the Class 3 and 4 Rapids just before County H, just north of Marshfield Speedway that totally took them surprised and they both lost their kayaks in an April voyage a couple years back. Also, there was a wire fence across the river up there too. This is a dangerous section and no mention of it at all in any literature that I’ve seen. My favorite run is the Yellow River Road to Hwy 10 Bridge (Country Pines Supper Club) past Ebee Park Bridge and Robyn Road Bridge. Put in on the right side of the road near the YRR Bridge and ask permission, if possible. This route starts out easy with some twists and turns during the first mile or so to Ebee Park. You might seem some ducks in the river on this stretch. There have been snags/debris through here in the past but it was all clear this year. A few riffles and some rocks, but good fun if the water is high enough. Once again, this river loses its water level fast in the summer so you have to go on a moments notice! I have to check the spelling of Ebbee. Once the East Branch and West Branch Merge at Ebbee Park (a snowmobile club private park), the river widens and gets a bit more fun. One note is that there is a ledge at Ebbe Park from the Western Fork and this is about two feet high. This is passable at higher water but should be scouted first. The west branch looks passable at high water levels and one could put in west on Eagle Rd or elsewhere. Not many log jams through this latter section because the river gets wider and takes on a new look. We have taken out here, but putting in could be an option as well. Don’t park in Ebbe Park as it is private, park on the County Road. After Ebbe Park, the river slows down for about a mile or so until after Robyn Road Bridge where there is a big rock after the bridge, stay left of the rock in the middle of the river. If you see a lot of exposed rock, the river is too low, if you can’t see the rock, the river is bit high. You can hear the hum the huge electric lines that pass over the river and this year there was a huge jam of logs at this bridge. This bridge is wide, at least 100 feet. I called the Lincoln township and they cleared this all out about a week after calling. Hang a sharp right after the bridge and some class ones await around the corner. This is a fun stretch of water. This stretch you can see the river going down hill for about 200 yards. The river quiets down and one more patch of Class Ones before the Riveredge Golf Course. After the golf course bridge, some riffles await and if the river is pushy, the current can be a little tricky after the clubhouse as it is windy and narrow and some debris on the sides. Only 1/2 mile until the Hwy 10 bridge and this is a pretty part with a Bald Eagle sighting, some small rapids, and a few curves. I love this last 1/2 mile after the clubhouse and am usually sad that when I see the Hwy 10 bridge. Ask permission to park at the supper club and take out under the bridge on the right side. Go inside for some apps. and a beer to help support the cause. The stretch from Hwy 10 Bridge to Lincoln Bridge and Hwy 80 Bridge are quite wooded, not many rapids, but fairly scenic. This can almost seem a little spooky with little sunlight penetrating this stretch of 3 miles. A number of people put in and take out at Lincoln Bridge and Hwy 80. After Hwy 80, it get desolate with little housing and no roads to speak of. This is about a five mile stretch heading South East. Be careful, the river can be tricky with some debris waiting around a corner and it can catch one off guard after a big rain. This stretch features a lot of turns and no rapids to speak off. A portage may occur without warning around a corner. Later on, with about a mile left, the river widens and a cabin is seen on the left. Then, some fun rapids await in the last stretch of 800 yards. Three sets of Class One+ with a particular fun section right before the takeout at the bridge. This is worth the wait in this section, my buddies love this stretch but it’s too long for me before getting to the fun stuff. This stretch from Lincoln Bridge to County N is a couple hours, if the current is too low, it’s longer. Now, the County N to North Wood County Park is spectacular, but dangerous. Be careful! I’ve only done this stretch once, and I had a blast, but others have not had much fun as they were not prepared for the rapids, the Dells about 1/2 mile in and the push of the river. We had to dump our rec. kayaks at least three different times. One of my friends lost his car keys, got his legs scraped up pretty good and was not a happy camper. I don’t recommend doing this stretch in the spring when the water is cold. There are about four lengthy sections of Class 2+ to 3 Rapids and the Dells. I’ve been told to stay to the right. This section needs to be scouted.
Yellow River – Pittsville
May 26th, 2019 | Aaron from Dell Creek | Link
Update from the Webmaster... The owner of the stairs by Little Bull Falls appears to have had issues with trespassers. The stairs are now blocked by a chain and multiple signs warn not to trespass. Get permission if you launch here as initially noted in the above review. For launching you can also use the upstream or downstream bridges (see write-up for more details).

click here

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