I have just returned from a week in the great northwoods of Wisconsin camping, canoeing, hiking, and a few beers along the way. I would argue that Wisconsin has one of the best systems of canoe streams in the country and possibly the best. If you like canoeing, look for cheap airline tickets and I guarantee you won’t regret a visit to the state.
Wisconsin has a great variety of rivers from the large majestic rivers like the Wisconsin and the Mississippi, meandering streams like the Kickapoo, and great clear northwood rivers with rapids like the Peshtigo and the Brule.
The trip started with my favorite river: the Wisconsin River. The Lower Wisconsin River Valley is one of the most amazing camping and canoeing areas around. I paddled three days on the Wisconsin camping on sandbars and having a few beers while checking out the beautiful scenery and bald eagles.
From there I headed just a stretch north into the Driftless Region along the Lower Kickapoo River Valley. It was the first time I had been in this area in many years, and I was pleasantly surprised how beautiful it was. The Driftless Area is so called because this area was never covered by ice during the Ice Age as has most of Wisconsin.
I canoed for two days along the beautiful meandering Kickapoo River. Thanks goes out to Wisconsin River Outings for transportation and a canoe. Unfortunately, my solo paddle camping trip was spoiled by some pretty harsh thunderstorms.
After paddling to Wauzeka and meeting the Wisconsin River and my car, I headed back into the Driftless Area and camped and hiked beautiful Wildcat Mountain State Park. At the park overlook I was treated to a spectacular sunset.
I then headed north again and reunited with Leinenkugel’s Brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Leinie’s Brewery came down and visited me in Chicago and sponsored the Friendly Float to promote the need to clean the Chicago River. Now it was time for me to return the favor and visit them. I did not have such philanthropic goals: I just wanted to see how they made their beer and then drink it.
My last stop was the Brule River in beautiful Douglas County, Wisconsin. I spent two wonderful days kayaking the beautiful Brule River known as the river of Presidents and camped and hiked in the Brule River State Forest. Thanks to my hosts, the Brule River Canoe Rental.
I love stats as do many people. I have compiled a list of interesting and useless stats from the Wisconsin River canoe and road trip for your entertainment.
Total miles paddled: 74 miles
Breakdown of canoe miles:
Wisconsin River: 30 miles
Kickapoo River: 19 miles
Brule River: 25 miles
Hiking miles: 8
Breakdown of hiking miles:
4 miles on the North Country Scenic Trail in the Brule River State Forest
4 miles in Wildcat Mountain State Park
Nights in a tent: 6
Storms taken: 2
Breakdown of camping sites: 3 nights camping on the Wisconsin River – 1 night on the Kickapoo River – 1 night in Wildcat Mountain State Park – 1 night in Brule River State Forest
Nights in a hotel: 2
Breakdown of hotel stays: 1 night at Boscobel at the Riverway Inn and 1 night at the Antlers Inn in Eau Claire
Beers drank: Approximately 50
Pancakes eaten: 26 (although two were enormous)
Hot dogs eaten: 8
Steaks eaten: 1
Hamburgers eaten: 1
smores eaten: 3
Miles driven: 1,400
Deer seen: around 10
Bald eagles seen: 10
Fox seen: 1
Social Media stats:
Pictures taken: 510
Videos taken: 30
Photos uploaded on Instagram: 25
Tweets sent: 41
Facebook photos uploaded: 12
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Nice trip! Love the kayaking photos and videos. Man, you drove many miles and ate a lot of food but it looks you had fun.
Jeremy Branham recently posted..What the Irish people and craic taught me about life
The miles were not too bad as I only drove a few hours at a time except when I drove home. That was only 7.5 hours, so it was not too horrendous.
Great pics Ted and a wonderful adventure!
Robb714 recently posted..Handling the Holidays
It was a wonderful adventure: even the rainstorm.
It looks like you had a great time and took lots of awesome pictures. I love the one of the eagle!
Erika recently posted..Returning to Riviera Maya
Thanks Erika. We saw a bunch of them this time. Much more than in July. It was probably too hot for them to be active back then.
Liked the 2:1 beer to pancake consumption ratio. Great photos and descriptions…
Good point Charles, which I did not even consider. This is the beauty of numbers: so many different ways to interpret. I think the 2:1 beer to pancake ratio is a formula for a happy successful life.
What a great trip. The food, the scenery, the beers! Beautiful pictures. Keep ’em coming!
Thanks Kris, I appreciate your continued support.
That first sunset photo is brilliant. But who are you trying to kid…50 beers? I’m no fool.
Leah Travels recently posted..Friends & Foolishness at Fenway (with Video!)
That is all I could remember at least.
I hope you didn’t drink and… canoe. 😉 I just drove through Wisconsin this past weekend and kept on saying how beautiful the rivers and lakes are. I have yet to canoe there though. Your video makes it look easy and I hope it really is. 🙂
Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo(s) of the Week: Baker Beach in San Francisco
I did drink and canoe, but I kept it to a minimum. Wisconsin has a great systems of lakes and rivers with a wide variety of levels. You can choose the rivers that match your experience level.
Sounds like an action packed trip with delicious food to boot. Question – what’s a smore?
Fiona recently posted..The Italy Edit: In Praise of Street Artists
A smore is a truly Americana tradition. It is two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate (traditionally Hershey’s) with a roasted marshmallow in the middle.
Love all the stats – pretty funny. What you have described in these posts all sounds like an appealing trip for me but I don’t know the first thing about canoeing trips; well, I guess I have learned about checking the weather forecast to hopefully avoid serious storms!
Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..Photo of the Week – Poetry in Motion in Romania
Yea, that was the only callenging part that I could have done without.
I like the look of the Wisconsin River! This sounds like a wonderful trip and good to know that you’re a philanthropist at heart.
Leigh recently posted..An Easy Hike Around the Exceptionally Beautiful Emerald Lake
The Wisconsin River is amazing. There is nothing quite like it anywhere. Beautiful shorelines and sand bars, great camping, wonderful swimming, and I could go on and on.