La Crosse River

This is a mediocre river…not as good as neighboring Robinson Creek, the Black River, or the Kickapoo…but better than the Baraboo River or Lemonweir.

Trip Reports

Hwy BB to Memorial Park

Date Paddled: October 2nd, 2015
Distance: 7.1 Miles
Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

An obscure paddling prospect but pleasant, with no log jams, great water clarity, good current and a clean sandy substrate.


Fishermans Park to Hammer Road Bridge

Date Paddled: August 17th, 2014
Distance: 5.36 Miles
Time: 4 hours 47 minutes (atypical...expect 2-3 hours)

A pleasant five-mile paddle originating in the city of Sparta.  The La Crosse River has a great recipe for paddlers in swift clear water, fun ledges, and is nestled in an attractive setting.  Put-in: You will have a bevy of options for putting in, with almost contiguous green space access from Memorial Park to Fisherman’s […]


Public landing by Hwy 108 to Veterans Memorial Campground

Date Paddled: July 31st, 2016
Distance: 4.2 Miles
Time: 2 hours 58 minutes (2 hours is more typical)

A mediocre trip on the La Crosse.  A few fun rapids and a hidden sandstone coulee are the highlights.


Holiday Heights Landing to Riverside Park

Date Paddled: August 15th, 2015
Distance: 6.76 miles
Time: 3 hours 10 minutes (2.5 hours would be more typical)

A visit to train and bluff country on the last section of the La Crosse River and then a side adventure on the mighty Mississippi.


Overview Map

Detailed Overview

Nearby Guages


Checkout the video to see the put-in at the dam, all the ledges, the old mill, a nice water snake, the covered bridge, steep sand banks, the clear sandy water and more. At 6:00 you can really hear the Sand Mine.


Aug 14th, 2021 - Aaron from Dell Creek
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
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.
Jul 28th, 2021 - Aaron from Dell Creek
Thanks for the comment.
Jul 28th, 2021 - Katerpillar from Canadian River. Although, downtown OKC they rename it “Oklahoma River”.
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.
Nov 1st, 2016 - Timothy Bauer from
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

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

Be notified when future paddle reviews go live by subscribing!