Kayak the Wisconsin River in the Dells

Rate this Adventure Wisconsin Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells

Added by Sonja Saxe

Just minutes away from the busy downtown Wisconsin Dells you can explore the idyllic Wisconsin River by water on this scenic 7.5 mile paddle. You will be treated to the beautiful sandstone cliffs of the Wisconsin River, lush green narrows, caves, and beaches along the way.

Just minutes away from the hullabaloo of downtown Wisconsin Dells is the perfect spot to launch a kayak and paddle the Wisconsin River. Finding a place to launch a kayak on the Wisconsin River can be tricky but we found the perfect spot. To get there drive through downtown Wisconsin Dells and take a left on River Road then another left on Illinois Avenue. There is parking along Illinois Avenue and room to launch a kayak.

From the launch site head up river until you get to Blackhawk Island and the river splits, here head left and paddle along the north bank around the island. You will continue to follow the river north to what is known as the Witches Gulch. Here you can turn around and paddle straight south, back to your launch site. Along the 7.5 mile trip you will see beautiful sandstone cliffs, caves and inlets, secluded beaches (watch out for "Private Property" postings, though), and wildlife.

One important thing to note is that there are many boat tours on the Wisconsin River which can make kayaking along this route more dangerous. It is important to hug closer to the shoreline and steer clear of the center of the river where many motor boats cruise through. I would recommend going earlier or later in the season to avoid the summer peak crowds.

Pack List

  • Kayak (local rentals are available here: http://www.dellswatersports.com/watersportsrentals.htm#kayaks)
  • Water and snacks
  • GoPro or waterproof phone case
  • Sunscreen
Read More

Share

Activities:

Kayaking, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Features:

Easy Parking
Food Nearby
River
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Sonja Saxe

Madison, WI based, adventuring everywhere. I'm on an endless journey to explore and photograph the national parks and other scenic landscapes!

More Adventures Nearby

Hike Bay View Trail, Big Bay State Park

Wisconsin / Big Bay SP Parking

Starting at the parking lot, you will walk into an open field with a couple picnic tables. On the right side of the field, the trail enters into a forest and walks along Lake Superior.

Alex Harrison
1 Saves

Camp on Madeline Island

Wisconsin / Big Bay Town Park

The largest of Wisconsin's Apostle Islands, Madeline Island is about the size of Manhattan, but extremely sparsely populated and a great place to explore a north woods ecosystem.

Joe Whitson
29 Saves

Camp at Big Bay State Park

Wisconsin / Big Bay Campsite

Make a reservation (fees here) to secure a campsite. Find your campsite by entering GPS coordinates 46° 47' 18" N, 90° 40' 25" W or by using this map.