your paddlesports destination

Grant River in Wisconsin

Trip Overview

The Grant River has two good paddling sections, the first an 11 mile, winding twisting rock strewn stream that is a delight to paddle when there is enough water. Quite remote, the first section has beautiful rock out-croppings, and many little short riffly sections where the water really gets moving. Cool shady forest overhangs add to the quiet isolated feeling in this stretch. Check the water conditions before you go: if it's low, don't take a boat that draws too much water. This upper section is more appropriate for rec kayaks than it is for canoes in low water condtions, but well worth it. Put in at Porter-Hill Rd, a short .25 mile down from Hwy 81 about 3 miles east of Beetown. Take out at County U Bridge.

The 9 mile second section starts out much like the first section ended: quiet with rock out-croppings and overhanging forest. This quickly turns into the what I would call the 'worst' that the Grant has to offer: Corn and soybean fields, and cow pastures for about 4 miles. But wait, the best is yet to come in the last few miles. At the bridge at Udelhoven a great sandbar along a rock out-cropping, right at the end of a little riffly section. A great place to stop for lunch. Just after is a magnificent rock out-cropping that has a stream or artsian well running over the top. The continual water flow has caused multi colored moss to sprout long beards down its face, which drip the cascading water from the stream. Put in at County U, take out at Chaffee Hollow Rd.

Shuttles for both sections run on the week-end from the County U bridge, for a $16 fee. If you do what I do, and shuttle with a bike, the first section is about a 6 mile ride, and the second only 4.1 miles.


Nelson Dewey State Park in Cassville: Awesome little State Park with beautiful views of the Mississippi, and wonderful short hiking trails. Camping facilities are first rate with showers.


Daily camping permit 10-12 dollars plus state park fee of $7 per day (or $25 for year pass to all state parks) required at Nelson Dewey, nothing required for river access.
Grant River Canoe Rental in Beetown, 608-794-2342 for water levels, shuttles or boat rentals.


40 miles west of Platteville, WI, take Hwy 81 through Lancaster then on to Cassville for Camping and Nelson Dewey State Park; for Grant river access, turn south on Porter Hill Rd (upper section), or continue on and turn south on County U (lower section).


Mike Svob's "Paddling Southern Wisconsin"
Grant River Canoe Rental in Beetown, 608-794-2342 for water levels, shuttles or boat rentals.

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

Locations on this Trip