wisconsin river

i have from this saturday to next to paddle the wisconsin river. i’m an experienced solo paddler. any suggestions on routes, livery etc…?

thank you in advance

Nice route …
From Spring Green to the Mississippi is a nice trip, the water is falling, shallow spots near Blue River, likely ok, bt if you can pole, even better may be hard oin a dedicated solo canoe! God fishing and scenary along the way.


Shuttle, etc.

– Last Updated: Apr-29-10 12:28 PM EST –

You asked about an outfitter. I assume that's to help you with a shuttle? Check this out:


These guys are good. They are not stuck in the "give 'em cheap boats and get 'em down the river" mentality at all, so I'd reward them with my business before I would the average canoe-rental place.

One week is an awkward time frame. I think if I had a whole week to burn, I MIGHT consider starting below the dam at the Dells and go all the way to the Mississippi. Two problems would be the long flatwater stretch at Lake Wisconsin above the dam at Prairie du Sac, and the fact that the shuttle would take half the day. Maybe you could find a ride around Lake Wisconsin with some research. There should be some fishing-boat rental places downstream from Portage that might be looking to make an extra buck.

Regarding the comment about shallows, yes, the water is pretty low right now, about the same as in most recent summers. I don't know if you are familiar with the river, but there is never any need to worry about shallow water impeding your progress. Those that are bothered by the shallows haven't learned how to read the river when looking out ahead of them. Follow the crooked path of the deeper water when necessary, and it's unlikely you will ever scrape bottom.

I know two guys who tentatively are planning a two-day trip starting at Muscoda this weekend. MAYBE you can get them to help you out with a shuttle. One of those guys may be posting here soon.

In a week
you should have no trouble doing the whole length of the “Lower 100” (actually 92mi)from the Sauk dam to Wyalusing State Park on the Mississippi. If you want to shorten that a bit and avoid in-town paddling altogether, try starting at the Mazomanie boat landing on Co. Hwy Y (look for the Blackhawk Rentals sign) or the landing at Arena. There’s supposed to be some stormy weather coming up this weekend, so perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to allow a little extra time to “hole up” if the mood strikes you.

If you don’t have a Wi State park sticker there will be a charge ($5.00/day, I think) to park your car at the Wyalusing landing. To get into the landing, turn left at the Mississippi, left into the first big slough (about 1 mi), and look for a channel to the right - it should be marked with a small sign with a canoe on it on a large cottonwood, if it hasn’t fallen off over the winter. Follow the signs through the channels in the slough to the landing. You’ll avoid barges and cabin cruisers that way. If you want to avoid the Mississippi altogether, there’s a good landing under the bridge at Bridgeport and it only shortens your trip by about 9miles.

Lately we’ve used Wisconsin River Outings for shuttle when we’ve needed it and they’ve worked out pretty well, though there are many outfitters who could help with shuttle if you need them. (Blackhawk and River View leap to mind.) I don’t really want to advertise for anyone, they can all do the job.

Perhaps we’ll meet on the water. A couple friends and I are considering doing a weekend paddle, probably Muscoda to Woodman, though nothing’s for sure yet.

We all live pretty close, so we can afford to wait for a weekend outing with better weather if it looks too sloppy. If you see a group with a yellow kayak, a red Prospector canoe, and two dogs, say “hi” and you’re welcome to join us in camp if you’re so inclined - though I know the solitude is a great part of the reason for such paddles.

Upper Wisconsin
Not sure how far up you want to start, but we used Rohr’s up near the headwaters and it was really a nice float. You don’t want too long of a boat though. It gets pretty “turny.” They’ll arrange any kind of shuttle you like.

Better Late than Never

– Last Updated: Nov-08-10 12:17 AM EST –

I know it's a little late for this year but I can personally vouch for livery services through the Wisconsin Canoe Company. http://thebestcanoecompanyever.com

If you have a problem, I'll be more than happy to take care of it. Thanks!