White River

This is a small tributary of the Fox River located in central Wisconsin.  Much of it is open and relatively marshy.  It’s highlight is its incredible water clarity, which gets better the further upstream you go.

Trip Reports

Cottonville Ave to Cottonville Lane

Date Paddled: April 30th, 2021
Distance: 4.8 miles
Time: Expect 2-3 hours

This is a popular central Wisconsin trout stream that is a nice paddle.  It's a very clean river with little mud and crystal clear water.


Wautoma Wetlands Park to Cottonville Lane

Date Paddled: May 15th, 2016
Distance: 3.89 Miles
Time: 3 hours 16 minutes (Chicago to Cottonville is only an hour though)

A return to the White River to check out its far upper stretches.  This is a great paddle with clear water, good current and fastastic groves of skunk cabbage...just be sure to pick the right section or you will face a lot of log jams.


Neshkoro Dam to 22nd Ave public launch

Date Paddled: May 16th, 2015
Distance: 3.43 miles
Time: 2 hours (70-90 minutes would be more typical)

A spontaneous trip due to extenuating circumstances.  This was a small pleasant river with terrific clear water, but kind of short at only 3.4 miles.


22nd Ave Bridge to Hwy D

Date Paddled: June 28th, 2014
Distance: 8.3 miles
Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

A river with two identities.  The first 90%, you get clear water, sandy substrates and open, grassy vistas.  The last 10% goes through woods and, unfortunately, has some deadfall to contend with.  To clarify further, there are actually three White Rivers in Wisconsin.  This is not the more famous one located by Lake Superior (a […]


Overview Map

Detailed Overview

Nearby Guages


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Jun 25th, 2021 - Aaron from Dell Creek
Thanks for the comment. The White River West Branch is a pretty underrated paddle IMO.
Jun 25th, 2021 - Mark Webber from Sugar River
Did the same trip you did this spring but took at the bridge on Cottonwood. Narrow and intimate paddle. One portage (walking bridge) and 2 pull-overs; the first is less of a pile now compared to your picture from the spring. Other challenges as well including one very low tree a little ways after Hwy 22. Water clarity was great. Thanks for your reports, very much appreciated!
Apr 11th, 2018 - Aaron from Dell Creek
Thanks Aneta for the feedback!
Apr 11th, 2018 - Aneta Rietveld from Menominee River
The large number of canoes you speak of near he Neshkoro Dam are owned by Renewable World Foundation. We use them for school trips down rivers where the students learn about water resources. Sorry, not a livery.
Apr 14th, 2016 - Adam Kiernicki from White River
Sorry to double post. you mentioned you wondered if maybe the white river upstream of the flowage was navigable? hell yes it is! i do a ton of trout fishing all over waushara, marquette, and adams counties. i know the white river well. the portion between wautoma and the flowage is your best and most interesting float! probably you want to put in at the chicago Rd DNR land downstream of the chicago rd bridge. you could try upstream too to run under the bridge but be careful. Chicago rd is the southernmost road of the wautoma city limits. from here you can float to multiple locations. there is plenty of water for a kayak no problem. float all the way past the white's junction with its famous West Branch and your first option to get out would be at the 2 swan flower pots you can't miss. this is all dnr land and until last year an abandoned lodge stood on the empty lot behind the 2 swans. your next option to get out is not much further at the cottonville Av bridge. this is all dnr land too. your third option is to float the river all the way to the flowage which is just a couple minutes past the cottonville bridge then go to the public boat launch on the eastern shore of the flowage. if you leave out the section of the white river between chicago road and the flowage pond you absolutely are missing out on the most exciting stretch of the White.
Apr 14th, 2016 - Adam Kiernicki from Fox River
Aaron keeps calling it Hwy 22. the road is actually called 22nd Av. Google Maps has a misprint which subsequently caused Aaron to think its Hwy 22. Google maps says "state road 22." this is NOT the road's actual name. again, he means 22nd Av even if he doesn't know it.
May 22nd, 2015 - admin
Hi Jean, That is actually the correct marker. It might help to turn satellite view on. What they did was to construct a very small unmarked road from Hwy 22 to the landing...it is so short that it doesn't get a name nor does it show up on google maps. You drive by the Hwy 22 bridge you'll see the drive.
May 22nd, 2015 - Jean Kurek from Wisconsin River (central)
Looking at the map, I don't see how the take-out can be on Hwy 22. What am I missing?

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