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Wisconsin River in Wisconsin

Trip Overview

The Wisconsin River just south of the Sauk City Dam is a free flowing river all the way to the Mississippi River. Well known for canoe rentals, the Wisconsin River is a very busy paddling destination.

We took a group of 13 from just south of Sauk City (Blackhawk Canoe Rental Landing) to Spring Green Wisconsin (Pecks Landing). This is a 19.5-mile trip taking you by scenic bluffs, and many sandbars. There are many views to be had. One in particular that I would pass up though is the Maizomanie Nude Beach about 30-45 minutes south of the Blackhawk Canoe Rental Landing, where we started. You have an option of going to the left, or right of an island near the beach (which can not be missed). I would suggest going to the right. You really don't miss anything.

Camping overnight is something that is a popular event on the river. You cannot camp on the shores of the river because it is private/state park land, so you are forced to camp on sandbars, which is a great thing! There are a lot of sandbars on this stretch of river to give you a good pick. I would suggest that you start early in the day, i.e. 8-10 am in order to get a camping spot. This is a heavily used river, and camping spots can be hard to find if you procrastinate. Also, camping during a high river is much harder, due to the fact the sandbars go under the river.

Overall, I would say that this is an enjoyable river to paddle and great for a group outing.

Directions:

Sauk City, Wisconsin north of Madison by 30 miles. HWY 12 takes you into Sauk City. Take HWY 12 to the West side of the river. Take HWY 78 south about 1 mile to the south and then take HWY Y to the right (west/South for about 1-2 miles to the Blackhawk Canoe River Rentals). Parking lot is to the left, and the Rentals are to the right.

Resources:

Paddling Southern Wisconsin : 82 Great Trips By Canoe & Kayak

  • Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip