Best Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing in Wisconsin

This list represents the most popular whitewater kayaking & canoeing in Wisconsin. Use this list to plan your next Wisconsin whitewater kayaking & canoeing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. St. Croix River: Gordon Dam to Wisconsin Highway 35


Lively, clear, and full of fish, the infant St. Croix races through the sand hills of northern Wisconsin. Yes, Wisconsin! It's such a beautiful stretch we include it in a Minnesota guide. Coppermin…
From the guidebook "Paddling Minnesota"
Gordon, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 22 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Wisconsin River—Boscobel to Woodman


This section of the Wisconsin, like the others below the final dam, is wide and steady. In medium to low flows, sandbars are abundant for stopping or even camping. But unlike areas upriver, this secti…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Boscobel, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 9.2 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Grant River


This very scenic paddle starts on a winding path through agricultural fields offering an abundance of riffles and heading deeper into the typical bluffs of Wisconsin’s glacially unaffected “Driftless…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Lancaster, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 8.9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Pecatonica River


An idyllic pastoral stream, the Pecatonica winds its way through farmland nearly always sheltered by trees or high banks to give the illusion that you are nowhere near a cornfield. The meandering cour…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Darlington, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 8 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Sugar River


A local favorite with paddlers, the Sugar flows through abundant mixed forest but with low banks and offering an abundance of backwaters along the route. Expect a lot of turns and twists and, with ris…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Albany, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 8.7 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Badfish Creek


Known mostly by avid local paddlers, the narrow Badfish Creek is quite an alternative to the much wider and flatter rivers in the Madison area. It winds, it twists, and it might require some serious d…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Edgerton, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 9.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Yahara River


Take a paddle down the river that connects the chain of five lakes starting up in Madison. Freed from a former dam at Stebbinsville, this section of the Yahara—several miles south of Stoughton—makes i…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Edgerton, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 9.2 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Bark River


Another tributary to the Rock River, this stretch of the narrow and intimate Bark River runs amid farmland but remains well tucked into thick forest. Part of the Glacier Heritage Area’s Water Trails,…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Fort Atkinson, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 6.3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Root River


Just a short drive south of Milwaukee, the Root River Parkway is a natural space preserved amid suburban development. The river starts narrow and snakes its way south toward the edge of the city of Ra…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Racine, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 7.7 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Milwaukee River—Urban Paddle


This urban paddle starts in one of Milwaukee’s many excellent city parks and follows an unlikely green corridor all the way into downtown. From your viewpoint of the river, there is little other than…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Milwaukee, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 4.9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#11. Milwaukee River—Newburg to Fredonia


This rural stretch of the Milwaukee actually runs north before it turns south to its urban destination. Thanks in part to the Riveredge Nature Center, this section is wooded and wild. A challenge of r…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Saukville, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 10.6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#12. Horicon Marsh Canoe Trail


Starting in a narrow segment of the Rock River, this trip begins in a wooded marsh. Then the canoe trail emerges into vast open wetlands, following channels through cattails and grasses. A haven for…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Horicon, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 7.2 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Mecan River


A long and winding paddle, the Mecan passes through banks that are high and then low, grassy and then wooded, narrow and then wide. The tight windy stretches through thick forest at the center of this…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Montello, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 10.7 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Wisconsin River—Lower Dells to Pine Island


Beginning at the very end of the sandstone formations, this segment of the Wisconsin comes out of a mile of sculpted outcrops and then follows a wide path full of shifting sandbars and occasional side…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Lake Delton, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 13.7 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#15. Baraboo River


Beavers, eagles, herons, deer—you might see anything here, and it will be close when you surprise it coming around a bend. The river is narrow as it winds from the edge of a golf course and into patch…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Wonewoc, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 6.3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#16. Kickapoo River


Commonly referred to as “the Most Crooked River in the World”—certainly a contender anyway—the Kickapoo is a serpentine delight for paddlers, passing before and behind numerous exposed sandstone bluff…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
La Farge, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 12 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#17. La Crosse River


Beginning in a city park just below the dam in Sparta, this intimate little river immediately disappears into a corridor of trees, keeping it sheltered and shaded all the way out of town. Thereafter,…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Sparta, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 10.2 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#18. Mississippi River—Long Lake Canoe Trail


The Mississippi is mighty and wide, but its smaller channels, backwaters, and marshland make for marvelous paddling. This canoe trail starts in a small lake, skirts along the edge of the larger river,…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Trempealeau, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 4.5 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#19. Black River


The paddle begins at the edge of town—well below the dam in Black River Falls— and follows a wide river, mostly through forest and often showing sandbars throughout. It is a slow, relaxing paddle with…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Black River Falls, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 12.7 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#20. Crystal River


Short and sweet, this section of the Crystal River is a quick paddle with a lot of maneuvering and a historic mill and covered bridge to see along the way. The paddle winds among wooded banks, gradual…
From the guidebook "Paddling Wisconsin"
Waupaca, WI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 4.3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides