Oconto River, North Fork
This is a nice stretch when the water is high enough. Early spring and summer with good rains is best. However, last year, I was able to paddle this section of the North Fork of the Oconto throughout the year.
Route starts at Kingston Rd access south of Bagley Rapids and ends at Logan Road--a 2-3 hour paddle.
Put in at Kingston Road (FR 2017) off of Hwy 32 a few miles south of Mountain. There is a bridge/landing area for unloading. Keep to the right or the channel (avoiding submerged stumps), paddling south toward Chute Pond. Hug the left shore of Chute Pond and round the point, past the county park picnic and swimming beach area. 30-45 minute paddle from the put-in. Restrooms are available. And there is a landing/parking lot. This area/lake can be VERY busy on the weekends, but quiet on weekdays. A dam is immediately obvious adjacent to the landing. The portage around the dam is to the RIGHT (not the road.) Paddle around a small point, where it is easier (less steep) to take out your kayak or canoe. Follow a short trail through the mown grass and river right of the dam to put back in at the base of the dam. From here you to Logan Road, you are on a river that meanders along the campground, past seasonal cottages, under bridges and through woodlands. Riffles and class 1 rapids makes things interesting. You have to pick your way through boulder fields when the water is low. I've paddled both my kevlar canoe on this stretch, which got banged into submerged rocks, and my kayak which is the better craft for this size river.
From the dam you paddle under the county park foot bridge and pass "Slippery Rock" and encounter a few riffles before the first small boulder field where the Little Waupee river enters from the left. A short fun run of Class 1 water appears under the Hwy 32 bridge. There are several more stretches of small rapids from here to Logan Road, one small ledge (Class 2 in spring) just past two log cabins a few miles from the Hwy 32 bridge (about 1 hour of paddling from the dam). After that, the water is flatter. There are some trees down, but no sweepers that span the width of the water as of this writing. The take out at Logan Rd. is just past the bridge on river right. Please respect the private property that you cross to get to the road.
You can also start higher up on this river on Tar Dam Road off Hwy 32. However, from Tar Dam to Hwy 32, the river is narrow, boulder-strewn and when shallow, difficult to paddle. Bagley Rapids offers Class 2-3 rapids. Tar Dam to Logan Road is a full (long) day trip.
Bagley Rapids National Forest Campground and Chute Pond County Park offer camping.
A Best Western is located about 10 miles north in Lakewood, WI.
Restaurants and taverns abound around the Chute Pond/Anderson Lake area.
Fees only for camping. None for paddling.
Hwy 32 north toward Mountain. Turn left on Kingston Road (FR 2017) off of Hwy 32.
Bridge/put in is 1-2 miles on Kingston Rd.
Bridge at Logan Road off of Hwy 32. Logan Rd. is between the town of Breed and Anderson Lake. Head east on Logan to locate bridge, about 1-2 miles off of Hwy. 32.
Whitewater, Quietwater and Paddling Northern Wisconsin describes the Tar Dam to Bagley Rapids section of the Oconto only.