Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Wisconsin welcome sign

Wisconsin welcomes visitors on I-90 at the Illinois border

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 River sunset

Sunset on the Wisconsin River highlights a Wisconsin canoe road trip

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.

Wisconsin River bald eagle

A majestic bald eagle sitting on a tree over the Wisconsin River

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.

Kickapoo River

Paddling the Kickapoo River

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.

Wildcat Mountain State Park sunset

Wildcat Mountain Sunset from the observatory

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.

Leinenkugel's Brewery

Leinenkugel’s Brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

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)

Wisconsin pancakes

Pancakes from Vicki’s Cozy Cafe in Muscoda, Wisconsin

The fallen flapjack

One pancake not consumed. Say a prayer for the fallen flapjack

Hot dogs eaten: 8

Steaks eaten: 1

Hamburgers eaten: 1

smores eaten: 3

Smores around the campfire

You have to love smores around the campfire

Miles driven: 1,400

Wildlife sightings:

Deer seen: around 10

Wisconsin deer

A deer seen while hiking at Wildcat Mountain State Park

Bald eagles seen: 10

Fox seen: 1

Social Media stats:

Pictures taken: 510

Videos taken: 30

Photos uploaded on Instagram: 25

Tweets sent: 41

Brule River State Forest

Sunset at the Brule River State Forest – photo on Instagram

Facebook photos uploaded: 12

Stay tuned,


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