your paddlesports destination

Sugar River in Wisconsin

Trip Overview

My wife and I live near the Sugar River and have wanted to paddle and fish it since moving here over a year ago. We finally made it, part of it anyway, on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

We chose Attica to Albany because of the length (about 7-8 miles estimated) and the belief that we would be upriver from "the tubers" who seem to dominate the river below Albany Dam.

The river is a good paddle as long as you are not looking for excitement. There are plenty of deadfalls to maneuver around but nothing really difficult. I paddle a Jackson Coosa and hung up one time on a small log.

The most memorable part of the trip is a stretch about halfway down which includes a hard right turn through an abandoned railroad bridge (I think it is now part of the Sugar River Trail). I chose the second opening between the pilings and the current swept me up onto the pilings... I came close to dumping but managed to stay dry. When you reach that bridge shoot for one of the farther openings, the current is slower over there.

Fishing was, well, underwhelming to say the least. We saw a few bluegills in the shallows but didn't have a single nibble on the entire trip.

Wildlife was scarce, too, a surprise. We heard one deer snorting at us behind some cover and saw a couple of birds here and there. As we entered the upper end of Albany Lake we were delighted to finally see two Snowy Egrets perched in a tree.

When you get into Albany Lake follow the current and then hug the left bank when you start to see houses. The take out above the dam is on the left at a little park with a fishing pier. There is also a portage landing on the right side above the dam, we haven't used that so can't report on it except to say it looks fine from a distance.


Attica put in has room for several trailers and cars, the "ramp" is a dirt ditch with room for 2 kayaks at a time to launch if you are really good friends. Albany is a single lane concrete boat ramp next to a fishing pier.




Attica WI can be found on an iPhone map, the put in is near a bridge on Brooklyn Albany Road. Albany is also easy to find by GPS, WI-59 runs through it and the take out is near WI-59 and County E.


Read a book about Paddling Southern Wisconsin by Svob that was helpful for planning. Since we live in the area maps were not needed.

  • 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