Turtle River, N. WI info?

Hi -

One of our paddling partners wants to paddle the Turtle River in late July. He is suggesting starting at Winchester, WI, between South and North Turtle Lakes, southwest to Cedar Lake, northward through Catherine and Fisher Lakes, then back southwest through Spider and Oxbow and Echo Lakes, ending near Mercer someplace.

Anybody have any knowledge of this route? We are looking for paddling time, camping options, water conditions, etc. Any links to further info would also be appreciated.

He also wants to do the Manitowish River, up in the same part of WI, but I don’t have any details on that yet.

Our group is all experienced canoe trippers, teens, young adults and older adults.

Thanks a lot, Jim

I can’t speak for the…
Turtle River, but have done the entire Manitowish which becomes the Flambeau. There is a canoe route guide- Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. Go to the State DNR website- www.dnr.state.wi.us The Manitowish starts on the upper end of High Lake and ends in the Turtle- Flambeau Flowage. There are several campsites along the route which are maintained and are free. You can stay there one night and then move on. There are a couple of portages along the way, but aren’t too difficult. The water is mostly flat with several lake crossings. There is also a book called River Life by John Bates that is excellant on this river. The Flambeau continues on west and south and is also a great paddle.

Turtle River, N. WI info?
We do intend to do the Manitowish River also, but we’ve been able to find info about it. Not so much on the Turtle, though. The Bates book is a good lead, it’s only taking our library a week to get Svob’s book shipped in, maybe they can get this one too.

Thanks for the info. Jim

Turtle River
You are correct the Turtle starts near Winchester. There are also some other feeders that flow into N. Turtle Lake. There is a boat landing just off from Highway “W” and across from the start of the river. It flows southwest to Cedar Lake and then north to Fisher Lake. At the north end of Fisher Lake the river flows southwest again. Shay Dam appears and has to be portaged. The Turtle then flows into Spider Lake, then north again to the Oxbow lakes. From there it flows south to Echo Lake. About halway across Echo Lake the river flows west to Rice Lake and then on to Pike Lake. It continues westerly to Lake of the Falls. At the soputh end of Lake of the Falls the river flows east and south into the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. The falls will have to be portaged.

This is what the route looks like on my topo map.