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Red Cedar River in Wisconsin

Trip Overview

I finally, after two years, had a friend agree to try kayaking. She thinks I'm crazy for kayaking the small streams and creeks I do. She had one stipulation, it had to be easy. I chose the Red Cedar, near Chetek, Wisconsin.

We put in at STH 8 West of Cameron (45-23-37N 91-47-08W as per Google Earth). Exit was at CTH I South West of Chetek (45-17-22N 91-42-23W).

The river varies from 50 to 100 feet wide, and one to 3 feet in depth for most of this trip. This early in the summer Rice Lake, upstream at the city of Rice Lake, has not become green with algae, so we could see the bottom easily. There was very little traffic on the river.

The trip took 4 hours with easy paddling.

We had some luck fishing for Small Mouth Bass, catching 4 nice ones, catch and release. Lots of ducks and songbirds, and more Eagles that I expected.

Downstream from CTH D, near Chetek, were some nice sandstone cliffs on the west bank. Dragonflies were emerging all along the banks. There were no mosquitoes or flies.

It was an enjoyable trip, though I prefer smaller waters that people do not frequent. Now I just need to talk her into the going down the Thornapple River for an over night trip.


None used




From the State Highway 53 exit at State Highway 8, go west 1.3 miles. Parking is just north of Hwy 8 on County Highway O on the gravel shoulder. Put in South West of the bridge. It's a bit steep, but the rocks under the bridge make entrance easy.

The exit at CTH I is a boat landing to the South West of the bridge. The bridge is found by exiting State Highway 53 at the CTH I exit near the South end of Chetek and traveling West for 2.7 miles.


Google Earth, the kayak's best friend for planning trips.

Use the Ruler Tool set to Path to find the true length of the river.

  • 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