Wisconsin River and Wyalusing State Park

We start out at Boscobel and paddle 30 miles to Wyalusing State Park. Right before the mighty Mississippi river, there are the train tracks. On the left side before the train tracks, there appears to be an entry point to the back door channel to Wyalusing State Park. Has anyone ever tried this route? I expect it not to be maintained and littered with fallen trees so that’s why I did not try it. I know of the other back door channel when you get on the Mississippi and then go into the marked pathway to Wyalusing State Park. Thanks.

Dead end?
We were just there around the first of the month and looked at that as a possibility but did not paddle it. If you go down to the boat launch area you cross the tracks but there is no water before (east) you cross. I think that finger of water dead ends somewhere below the park. It seems the RR track embankment most likely caused that. If anything, you might be able to find a spot to portage over the tracks and luckily find a passage but-good luck on that.

BTW, fall colors were just starting when we were there.


Haven’t tried it, but it’s there.

– Last Updated: Oct-12-09 12:40 PM EST –

I know there's at least one "back door". When you enter the backwaters from the Mississippi you are paddling upstream on water that clearly comes from the Wisconsin River (note the water color and the algae). I've seen one such entryway, with a pronounced current leaving the Wisconsin River and flowing into the backwater area, but I can't recall if it was just upstream from the RR bridge or a little ways downstream. Air photos show that both options are possible, and clearly the current flows OUT of the Wisconsin River just upstream of that bridge, but I'm not sure of the current direction at the next opening downstream (from the looks of it, that one may have current re-entering the Wisconsin River). Anyway, that "back door" you speak leads to a channel that goes under the railroad bridge about 100 yards behind the riverbank. There's at least one more connection between the Wisconsin River and the backwaters, father downstream than the two I already mentioned, but it may only be "there" during high water. For what it's worth, the route you speak of looks navigable based on the air photos.

If you find it
Let us know if you do find it. I don’t have much experience paddling that type of backwater/slough combination but the same thought crossed my mind while at the park. “Off the beaten path” always piqued my interest. We started camping at Wyalusing recently after a long (too long) time away and vow to make it out there to camp & paddle much more often. It’s such a beautiful place!


The back door
There is a “back door”, although it doesn’t really save much time or effort. It ends up at the canoe access in the park. It’s really only paddleable in pretty high water but it saves you from going out on the Mississippi, if that’s important to you. Given the current water levels it’ll be a portage through the mud.

It’s great country regardless!


Tough Navigating
I found that even the advertised channel from the Mississippi snakes through mud, logs and shallow water. It’s beautiful, but tough paddling. You will have to drag or portage at least once.

I couldn’t find the one that connects to the Wisconsin by the railroad trestle.

But the Mississippi is fine to paddle on. Plenty of room for all to use.