I put in on the west bank at 6:15am, on the upstream side of the County Road N bridge. I minor trek down through weeds and tall grass, though manageable. I paddled upstream, past the Badger Road bridge, for nearly 3 miles. It took 2.5 hours and I almost reached the rapids immediately south of County Road Z. I turned around and it took about one hour to return to the launch point.
The river was gorgeous. I saw deer, eagles, and numerous other animals. It was peaceful and quite a ride. I think it was everything I could have hoped for in a quick kayak trip....
Except for the rocks!
It had rained hard a few days before I put in, so I was thinking the water should be fine. The current was no problem to paddle against except in a few narrows where I had to dig in. The issue is that the water level may have been a foot down (based on the weeds on the banks). I hit too many rocks, had more than a few areas where I knuckle-walked the kayak, and had to get out a few times and walk. There were too many large rocks that didn't create any surface disturbance to track.
So, it's a great river to paddle, but I would be wary of a low water level if the rocks in the middle of the river near the County Road N bridge or Badger Road bridge aren't nearly completely covered.
Townline Road (County Road N) east out of Wausau until just past River Road. Next bridge past River Road crosses Eau Claire river. The South Eau Claire River intersects with County Road N (also labeled as Q) on the west bank of the river and serves as the launch point.
Paddling Northern Wisconsin by Mike Svob
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)