Little Wolf – Guest Review
Guest Author: Corbin
Date Paddled: May 15th, 2013
Put-in: DNR Parking Area
Take-out: Big Falls Boat Landing
Distance: 7.5 Miles
Water Level: Little Wolf @ Royalton 420 CFS (good depth)
The Little Wolf is one of the nicer rivers I have kayaked. It has very nice scenery. The forest is healthy and filled with ferns, hemlocks, and wildflowers. Bird life is abundant. There are several boulder gardens with some very large boulders. Throughout the stretch, there were numerous riffles and a couple of rapids to provide excitement. The rapids were fun without being dangerous. All of us took on water at some point, but nobody capsized.
Toward the end of the stretch we did there was a very nice rock gorge (dells) that provided some cool scenery as well as some rapids. There are several small but nice bluffs afterwards as well. Although the water quality was good, the river itself didn’t seem to have much plant or animal life in it. There wasn’t much to complain about. There were several private homes along the stretch, and the river paralleled the highway for a little bit. Most of the stretch was civilization free though.
After passing the rock gorge, the river began to slow down and widen as it approached the dam in Big Falls. Where the river begins widening out, the water was barely deep enough to kayak. Overall, a very nice river. We scraped and bumped a lot of rocks, so I would not recommend bringing a nice kayak. During periods of low water, this river would be difficult to navigate due to the rocks. The put-in and take-out locations were easy to find and convenient.
Webmaster note: While I have done all the other reviews on this website, this one was done by my brother. I do end up running and reviewing this section a year later and I highly suggest reading the review here as it has updated information on the river.
Second webmaster note: New in 2017, “Big Falls Kayak Rentals” will now service the upper portions of the Little Wolf.
Little Wolf River Overview by Webmaster:
For a map overview of the Little Wolf, click here.
- Ness Road to Wolf River Road: (2.5 miles) Interesting prospect but probably has too many down trees.
- Wolf River Road: (3.7 miles) Scenic section with some strong class 2 whitewater. Good put-in. Reviewed here.
- Hwy J to Big Falls: (4.5 miles) Also scenic and with whitewater, with perhaps a class 3 by the Dells. Good launch by Hwy J. Reviewed here.
- Big Falls Dam to Big Falls South Landing: (345′) After the dam is Big Falls, a popular stretch for whitewater paddlers and can be class 4. Access below or above Big Falls is available from a landing on the east. Reviewed by AmericanWhitewater.org.
- Big Falls South Landing to Hwy C: (1.7 miles) Good prospect which includes “Little Falls” (class 1-2). Reviewed by AmericanWhitewater.org.
- Hwy C to Kretchner Road: (2.8 miles) A good prospect. Am not sure if C is an ok bridge access. Reviewed by AmericanWhitewater.org.
- Kretchner Road to Hwy 110: (4.2 miles) A very good prospect with many boulders visible from satellite. Might be a ledge to deal with. Reviewed by AmericanWhitewater.org.
- Hwy 110 to Hwy 22/Symco: (8.0 miles) Unimproved bridge put-in but should be ok. This section likely has some deadfall issues (not sure how much though).
- Hwy 22/Symco to Bridge Road: (2.0 miles) Good put-in at Symco.
- Bridge Road to Dam/Lindsay Park: (3.9 miles) Good put-in. Last mile is flowage paddling which can be somewhat avoided by disembarking at Waupaca Park.
- Lindsay Park to Hwy 110/22: (1.9 miles)
- Hwy 110/22 to Road BB: (2.1 miles) Good put-in.
- Road BB to Roytalton: (3.7 miles) Very good put-in. Nice clarity and boulders until the South Branch joins (almost doubling the river). Very nice boulder garden and rapids 2/3rds in. Reviewed here.
- Royalton to Ostrander: (2.8 miles) Public launch SW of bridge. Busy tubing section with some slow flatwater but several ok boulder gardens and rapids. Reviewed here.
- Ostrander Road to Hwy X: (1.4 miles) Busiest tubing section probably in the state. Very nice boulder gardens and rapids at end. Public landing NE of Ostrander Road. Reviewed here.
- Hwy X to the Mouth (Junction at Wolf River): (2.0 miles) Part of the Mukwa Bottomland Forest SNA
- Mouth to Dey Road/Shaw Road Boat Ramp: (0.8 miles) A short stretch on a now large Wolf River.
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