your paddlesports destination

Apple River in Wisconsin

Trip Overview

The Apple River is known for summertime tubing. Paddle there during Spring or Fall to avoid the crowds.

Three of us put in just east of Somerset along County Rd C below the dam and paddled through the tubing section (litter on the banks but at least it was quiet and fresh smelling this early in spring). There are a couple fun rapids before a big "Take Out Here" sign - for tubers.

We continued down the river to "Apple Falls Flowage", a beautiful bluff lined area topped with pine trees. Soon you approach the County Rd I dam with a takeout on river left. When we were there this takeout was tricky because of a river surface barrier blocking the way to the takeout. We walked along the steep bank carefully and made it but if the river level was higher we would have had a problem to solve. From there it is a HALF MILE PORTAGE to continue. We use straps to pull our kayaks behind us through the grass, lifting them over the road. Leave your boats to hike/scout the trail and have lunch by the waterfall.

The hiking/hauling was worth it to us so we could paddle through "Apple River Canyon", steep walled on both sides with great scenery and fast water with some rapids for over a mile. By now you are close to the St Croix River. We paddled up stream about 2 miles to our takeout helped by a strong south wind. Wind from the north we would have gone 6 miles to a downstream takeout.

Our trip length was 13 miles, about 5 hrs. The shuttle drive was about 10 miles. A very fun trip that I will do again. Because of the long portage, a few class I & II rapids, and no parking near the County Rd I dam that would shorten the trip length, this trip is rated moderate/difficult, but is a reward for the mild adventurer when done during the OFF season of tubing!


Apple River Put In:

about a mile E of Somerset along County Rd C, parked on shoulder.

St Croix River Take out:
about 8 miles NW of Somerset on Rice Lake Rd, dirt parking area.


Google Earth is always good for previewing rivers.

St Croix County Map

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip