East Fork of the Black River
While not in the same class as the main branch, the East Fork is still a fun paddling river and features some of the best Class 2 rapids in the state.
October 23rd, 2016
2 hours 24 minutes
A pleasant but lazy stretch little resembling the main branch of the Black River. East Fork Falls and a unique wildlife experience kept things interesting though... Read More...
September 14th, 2014
3 hours 46 minutes
A pleasant central Wisconsin paddle with little signs of human civilization. Enjoy oxymoronic slow riffley current with the highlight of the trip being large granite protrusions and boulder beds. Put-in: Good but hidey access area by Pray Road. It will be on the northwest side of the bridge, with a solid pull-off area for the […] Read More...
September 1st, 2018
4 hours 48 minutes (2 hours would be more typical)
The last, best, and most popular stretch of the East Fork. A scenic wilderness trip with fun Class 1-2 rapids and attractive granite boulder gardens. Read More...
- River Road to Hwy 73: 1.8 miles. A small creek that might be runnable in high water. Jams shouldn’t be too bad.
- Hwy 73 to Hay Creek Road: 5.4 miles. Probably a feasible creek prospect.
- Hay Creek Road to Peterson Road: 4.3 miles. Probably doable as a creek prospect as it is more open, but there would still be some jams.
- Peterson Road to Hwy ZZ: 7.0 miles. Probably too many downed trees.
- Hwy ZZ to Knutes Road: 5.1 miles. Very narrow and wooded…downed trees are probably an issue. Best launch option probably SW of bridge.
- Knutes Road to Steponik Road: 5.8 miles. Probably a sandy slow section with no rapids and a handful of downed trees. You should be legal to launch by Knutes Road, but the local landowner doesn’t like outsiders. Supposedly there is an access option at Borek Road.
- Steponik Road to Pray Road: 4.6 miles. Ok section with several small Class 1’s, a Class 3, and a Class 4.
- Pray Road to Overguard Road: 7.4 miles. Good section with large granite boulders and one Class 1 rapid.
- Overguard Road to East Fork Campground: 4.5 miles. The last, best, and most popular segment on the East Fork.
- Overguard Road to East Fork Road: 2.3 miles. Scenic section of the river with four Class 1's and one Class 2.
- East Fork Road to East Fork Campround: 2.3 miles. Another good section of the river with two Class 1's and two Class 2's.
- East Fork Campground to Lake Arbutus: Simple flowage paddling. Lake Arbutus has about 9 landings to choose from.
Note, that the clip at 3:19 is not the East Fork of the Black River but rather the main branch of the Black. That particular shot shows the Canyon Rapids at 2100 CFS on the Neilsville Gauge.
How did your trip turn out? Questions or comments? Feel free to leave your feedback.