The state of Wisconsin boasts over 15,000 lakes, 43,000 miles of rivers, and 659 miles of shoreline on the Great Lakes. Combined, this makes Wisconsin the perfect destination for paddling this summer. No matter your age or skill level, getting out on the water during Wisconsin's warm summer months is an ideal way to spend at least part of your vacation.
When thinking of canoeing or kayaking in Wisconsin, the state's big rivers and lakes immediately come to mind; places like The Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, or the Apostle Islands Lakeshore on Lake Superior. However, what's nice about Wisconsin are the many smaller rivers and streams found all over the state.
Best yet, many of these top paddling destinations are near one or more of our Member Bed and Breakfasts, which just so happen to be ranked the best places to stay in Wisconsin. We make it easy to relax and enjoy your vacation. Find an Inn, and book your room today!
Wisconsin's Best Places for Canoeing & Kayaking
Wisconsin's regions are unique, as are the lakes and rivers on which to paddle. Whether you choose to vacation in the north, south, or central parts of Wisconsin, there are plenty of paddling opportunities to enjoy. Here are 10 of our favorites to consider this summer:
- The Namekegon River in the northern part of Wisconsin is stunningly beautiful. It's part of the National Wild and Scenic River System and flows into the St. Croix River. Here, you can enjoy over 90 miles and multiple days of paddling.
- The Kickapoo River, located in Wisconsin's scenic Drifltess Area, is one of the most popular rivers for canoeing and kayaking. This river winds its way through a deep valley, with towering limestone cliffs rising above you. The most scenic stretch of the river is the 22 miles between Ontario and La Farge. The river winds its way through both Wildcat Mountain State Park and the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and is particularly beautiful during the colorful fall months.
- If you're looking for a "big river" experience, head to the Lower Wisconsin River, where you'll find a wide, flat river to enjoy. There aren't any rapids or dams to contend with on the portion between Prairie Du Sac and Sauk City. Along the way, you'll enjoy tall bluffs rising beneath canopies of dense forests, and plenty of scenery and wildlife to keep you company.
- If adrenaline-pumping rapids are more your speed, then head to the Wisconsin River near Wausau. Wausau's Whitewater Park attracts top boaters from around the country and hosts a variety of regional and national whitewater competitions. Another popular choice is the Eau Claire River.
- The Bois Brule River is also a delightful place for canoeing or kayaking. The river includes 16 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail, and it's one of the best-known rivers east of the Mississippi.
- If leisurely lake paddling is more your speed, explore all or part of the Lake Superior Water Trail or the Lake Michigan State Water Trail.
Unwind at the Best Places to Stay in Wisconsin
Nothing beats relaxing at a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast after enjoying a long and scenic day on one of the state's rivers or lakes. Many of our Inns boast easy access to Wisconsin's top rivers and lakes. Not only that, but they boast exceptional hospitality and are ranked as some of the best places to stay in Wisconsin. Start planning your paddling adventure today, and book your vacation at one of Wisconsin's top lodging properties.