Eau Claire River – Marathon County
This is one of the best paddling rivers in Central Wisconsin. Highlights include fun rapids, outcrops, boulder gardens and incredibly clear water.
Bear Lake Road to Hwy 52
Date Paddled: August 17th, 2019
Distance: 3.6 miles
Time: 4 hours 12 minutes (for pictures)...90 minutes would be more typical)
One of central Wisconsin's best. Dense boulder gardens, fun rapids, and clear water make this a fantastic paddle.Read More...
Dells of the Eau Claire Park to Dells of the Eau Claire Park
Date Paddled: August 10th, 2013
Distance: 2.25 Miles
Time: 1 hour 46 minutes
The initial plan for this trip was to paddle the Eau Claire River either 7 miles above Eau Claire Dells County Park or 7 miles below. (Note: Wisconsin has two Eau Claire rivers and this is the Wausau one…not the Chippewa River one.) At this time of the year, the Eau Claire runs very low, […]Read More...
Dells of the Eau Claire Park to Eau Claire River Road
Date Paddled: May 30th, 2016
Distance: 6.58 Miles
Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
One of the best paddling prospects in the state. An amazing combination of intermediate rapids, dells and boulder gardens that ranks among my all time favorites.Read More...
Edwin's Park to Ross Ave Launch
Date Paddled: October 2nd, 2016
Distance: 7.7 miles
Time: 4 hours 17 minutes
A surprisingly nice paddle through suburban Wausau with some fun rapids and boulder gardens.Read More...
Clubhouse Road to Ross Road
Date Paddled: July 23rd, 2020
Distance: 7.7 miles
A guest review for the Eau Claire River by Wausau.Read More...
- Upstream of Ackley Road: I just don't know much about this section (it is technically the East Branch).
- Ackley/Spring Road to Hwy G: 10.0 miles. A good prospect with no major rapids.
- Hwy G to Bear Lake Road: 3.0 miles. A good prospect, but I don't believe there are rapids.
- Bear Lake Road to Hwy 52: 3.6 miles. A great five star section with many boulder gardens and rapids (a few Class 2's and one Class 3).
- Hwy 52 to Dells of the Eau Claire Park: 4.1 miles. Really neat section with rapids and fantastic rock walls. Rapids are less serious than the upstream leg, but do include a Class 2 I believe.
- Dells of the Eau Claire Park to Hwy Y: 0.2 miles. This section is called "The Ledges" and is typically Class 2, but is Class 3 in higher water. The dam should be portaged river right (there are downed trees in the water to contend with below the dam).
- Hwy Y to Hwy N: 6.6 miles.
- Hwy Y to Hwy Z: 2.0 miles. This starts with the famous Dells that should be portaged. There is a poor portage path (right/north) but it is steep. I recommend instead launching from either the south or north trails. After the Dells is a great section which includes very scenic rock walls and Class 2 rapids.
- Hwy Z to Hwy N: 4.6 miles. More flatwater, but still many rapids, including a Class 3 by Lower Dells Island. Badger Road is a steep but alternate access point.
- Hwy N to Clubhouse Road (aka Edwin's Park): 3.5 miles. Pleasant, but I suspect this lacks any serious rapids. Popular with locals and the liveries.
- Edwin's Park to Ross Ave: 7.8 miles.
- Edwin's Park to Hwy J: 4.1 miles. A nice section with a few rapids and boulder gardens. The Mountain-Bay State Trail pull-off is an alternate access option.
- Hwy J to Ross Ave: 3.7 miles. A great section with more rapids and boulder gardens.
- Ross Ave to Yellowbanks Park: 2.7 miles. I don't know much about this section...there are some rapids.
- Yellowbanks Park to Eau Claire River Conservancy: 2.7 miles. A narrow wooded section. Not sure if the Conservancy is accessible during low water.
- Eau Claire River Conservancy to the Brooks & Ross Dam (aka Drott Street): 1.5 miles. Probably boring flowage paddling. After the dam you are on the Wisconsin River (and another flowage).