Big Rib River

While not as scenic as its neighbor (the Eau Claire), the Big Rib is a pleasant paddle popular with Wausau locals.

Trip Reports

Lemke Drive to Hwy 64

Date Paddled: May 28th, 2017
Distance: 5.0 Miles
Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Pleasant, but not exotic, this segment on the far upper Big Rib has a different character relative to its downstream siblings.


Amco Park to Hwy A

Date Paddled: May 13th, 2018
Distance: 4.3 Miles
Time: 2 hours 31 minutes

A nice paddle with clean water, good scenery, decent current, and no hazards.  This is an easy stretch well suited to beginners and locals wanting to experience the Big Rib for the first time.


Hwy A to Rib Falls County Park

Date Paddled: May 20th, 2023
Distance: 7.7 miles
Time: Expect 4 hours

This is one of best legs on the entire Big Rib River.  Highlights include attractive hemlocks, light rapids, boulders, and seven sets of gorgeous granite outcrops.  The trip ends with a bang with Rib Falls which is incredibly scenic.


Overview Map

Detailed Overview

Nearby Guages



Oct 25th, 2018 - Aaron from Dell Creek
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.
Oct 25th, 2018 - Danelle from Little Black River
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!!!??

How did your trip turn out? Questions or comments? Feel free to leave your feedback.

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