first time tripper/Wisconsin

I am looking for a good place within 5 hours of green bay wisconsin to take a 8-9 day trip.It doesnt have to be all river but i would like to do at least half river and maybe half lake paddling.If you know of any good places where i can go without a crowd I would love to hear about it. Thanks in advance

Manitowish- Flambeau
This is what you are looking for. The Manitowish starts out as a series of lakes with campsites along the way. There are portages in a few places, but they aren’t that bad. It is about 140-150 miles from High Lake to Ladysmith. Once you get on the Flambeau you will get into some Class II rapids. There are places to explore on the upper reaches of the Manitowish.

Agree with above

– Last Updated: Mar-25-09 4:53 PM EST –

but if you want more lake paddling I suggest spending a few days in the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. The flowage has several island campsites (free) and the campsites along the river are free also. You can make your trip as long as you wish (just about) depending how much lake paddling you desire. Of course, you can exit the Flowage and continue on the Flambeau River.

thank you for the suggestion it sounds just about perfect.

Which one for Scouts?
Which trip would be good for Boy Scouts? I’m thinking that we would work and practice and prepare thru this summer and take the trip next summer. Manitowish? or Turtle-Flambeau Flowage? I’d love some feedback. Our point of origination will be Aurora, IL.



Namekagon/St croix (5-9 days)

– Last Updated: Mar-30-09 5:32 PM EST –

Two years ago I took a group of Venture scouts on the Namekagon we put in Hayward and pulled out on the St Croix River it was a nice five day trip. We did the trip mid June and only encountered one other group. There are great camp sites along the river with almost no houses to be seen. There is one portage around a dam if you chose to paddle Trego Lake one could very easy do another three to four days on the St Croix. This trip is a bit advanced for young inexperienced paddlers but depending on the skills of the troop it can also be lots of fun and a good learning experience in river tripping. There are a few CL I rapids, nothing particularly difficult but would be the greathest dificulties you would encounter.
I would not recommend doing the Flambeau River (after Turtle Flambeau Flowage) unless your troop has at least a minimum of WW experienced. There are several good CLII rapids from the Turtle Flambeau flowage dam to Park Falls and two solid CL II on the lowers stretch (Cedar and Beaver Dam rapids). This is one of my favorite rivers and I run both sections at least ones a year, I would be reluctant to take novice down this strech of river.
You might also look at: Sylvania Wilderness
The park is a miniature BWCA, I have not done it but it a really nice place.

Good luck

Turtle -Flambeau
The Manitowish River becomes the Flambeau when it joins the Bear River just up river from the flowage. The Turtle River enters the flowage from the north. If you are going with a scout troop you might find the river the better choice. You won’t have to contend with boats and wind. The flowage is big and wind alone can make paddling a canoe miserable.

The Manitowish River starts from a boat landing on High Lake just off Cty Hwy B northeast of Boulder Jct, WI. There are about 7 campsites on this lake for paddlers. Paddling west brings you into Fishtrap Lake. The entry is through a large culvert pipe under a road. There are 4 campsites on Fishtrap.

At the southwest end of Fishtrap the river flows southeast to Johnson Creek. The river meanders here. You will see a lot of ducks, eagles, and other wild life. When you see a campsite on a point to your left you have to turn west. The campsite is nice, but don’t pass it. You will be heading east up Johnson Creek. As you head west you will come across 4 more campsites. Campsite 13 is on the left right where Nixon Creek enters Johnson Creek. This is a nice campsite, but there are cottages across the river here. Nixon Creek is a neat paddle if you want to see wild rice beds.

At the end of Johnson Creek you will have 3 campsites on the right and a boat landing at the end of Dam Road. There is a dam that must be portaged, but it isn’t long and has a nice path. At this point you have come about 11 miles.

At the portage the river changes. You will enter cattails and tall grass which makes the river hard to figure out where the channel is. This flows to Boulder Lake. You can get out on Cty Hwy B at the bridge. There is a nice bar/ restaurant with a deck on the north side or if you take a short hike south on “B” you will find the Ice Shanty and…Ice Cream!

There are 3 campsites on the south west end of Boulder Lake. The end one has a dock and a sandy bottom which is great for swimming. Not far south you have to make your next portage. There is trout habitat here and a boat landing to get out at. You walk about 100 yds south and cross Cty Hwy K. There is a well worn trail to the water. The river is shallow here and you may have some walking in spots.

The river flows into Island Lake. There are 6 campsites on Island Lake. You will now paddle across a few more lakes on your way west to Manitowish on Cty Hwy W. There is a dam to portage. There is a park to the left of the dam. At this point you have paddled about 33 miles.

Below the dam you will be on mostly meandering river for the next 25 miles to the flowage. There is a take out on Hwy 51 as you cross under the bridge, one at the wayside on 51, and the last one before the flowage at the 51/47 intersection.

Lots of choices and opportunities to have fun!

sylvania wilderness is …
a great place to paddle.This is a great place to set up a base camp and do some day trips. There will be some portages to get around but they are well marked and not too difficult. There are special fishing regulations though so make sure you check it out first.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I’ll do my best to put them to good use!

See ya on the water or the trail!