Fever River (aka the Galena River)

This is a historic river the starts in Wisconsin and runs through Illinois.  Often it doesn’t have enough water to kayak, but when it does it’s a great paddle.

Trip Reports

Bean Street to Hwy W

Date Paddled: June 24th, 2017
Distance: 8.0 miles
Time: 5 hours 21 minutes (4 hours would be more typical)

If you are willing to duck under a few fences, this section will reward you with amazing limestone outcrops and fun rapids.


Hwy W Park to Ensch Road

Date Paddled: June 14th, 2014
Distance: 6.2 Miles
Time: 5 hours 25 minutes (not representative)

The name of the river is confusing, because while originally named the Fever River, the state of Illinois (shamed to have a river named after smallpox) renamed it to the Galena River.  This left mapmakers in Wisconsin confused…to this day.  On the flip side, some old Galena residents in Illinois still refer to it as […]


Hwy W to Council Hill Rd Bridge

Date Paddled: May 7th, 2023
Distance: 11.8 miles
Time: 4.5 hours

A guest review for the Fever River that starts in one state and ends in another.


W. Buckhill Road to Galena Boat Landing

Date Paddled: August 26th, 2022
Distance: 5.0 miles
Time: Expect 2-3 hours

This trip is a mediocre paddle, but it ends with a bang in historic and attractive Galena.


Overview Map

Detailed Overview

Nearby Guages


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Aug 22nd, 2022 - Bill Bloom from LeClaire Iowa
Why doesn't someone Steve the galena river to make it navigable for pleasure boats?
Jul 14th, 2020 - Aaron from Dell Creek
Thanks Lillian for the video! Yeah...cows are kind of common on the Fever.
Jul 13th, 2020 - Lillian Daniel from Dubuque
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. https://www.wisconsinrivertrips.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Fever-River.mov

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

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