Canoe, Kayak, Tube
Here’s a wonderful thought: You could canoe or kayak a different stretch of our pristine waterways every summer for the rest of your life, and still experience only a fraction of the pleasures available! Here are some of our favorite waterways!
Best Paddling Rivers in Wisconsin Northwoods
Wisconsin’s Moving National Park. Free-flowing and unpolluted, the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers flow through some of the most scenic and least-developed country in the Upper Midwest. The upper St. Croix/Namekagon portion of the Riverway offers varied canoeing experiences on 200 miles of rivers. The Namekagon River begins at Namekagon Dam, on the west side of Lake Namakagon. It lies entirely in Wisconsin, flowing 98 miles south and west to join the St. Croix River above Danbury. The Namekagon begins as a narrow trout stream nestled in a forest and meanders through a wide valley for much of its length. It occasionally widens into marshy or swamp-like areas that are popular for waterfowl watching. For more information, please contact The National Park Service at www.nps.gov/sacn.
Two scenic segments of the Namekagon River are…
Namekagon Dam to Hayward
A canoeist or kayaker on this stretch can expect a two-day trip with a mixture of stream and lake environment, as well as several rapids. The river is intimate and narrow. The best canoeing is during May and June. To download a map, please CLICK HERE.
Hayward to Trego
This section is also a two-day trip. The river is relatively narrow, has a good gradient, and features some small rapids and generally a good water level. This section is characterized by more development. To download a map, please CLICK HERE.
With several waterways located near or along the Tuscobia State Trail, there are plenty of opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. The Birchwood area offers especially good trout fishing. The Chippewa River near the Ojibwa stretch of the Tuscobia is very popular for canoeing and kayaking. The Brunet River, located east of Winter, offers trout and musky fishing. The numerous low rapids are attractive to many kayakers. For additional information, please contact the Tuscobia State Trail at www.tuscobiatrail.com.
Paddle the Flambeau River
The Flambeau River is one of the best paddles in Northern Wisconsin. As the Flambeau passes through Sawyer, Price, and Rusk counties, the river shows an amazing array of moods, from whitewater to slow, gentle curves and pools. There is a stretch for every paddler, young and old, beginner or expert. For more information on the Flambeau River including up-to-date water conditions, please visit www.paddleflambeau.com or watch the Discover Wisconsin episode “Fun on the Flambeau” .
Rich in history and scenic beauty, the Chippewa is navigable for most of its length—from its dual origins in Bayfield and Iron Counties, to its mouth on the Mississippi. Water levels will fluctuate and can be checked locally. Access is available at road crossings. Note: Some long portages may be necessary.