Kayak the Wisconsin River in the Dells

Wisconsin Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells

  • Activities:

    Kayaking, Swimming

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Easy Parking
Food Nearby
River
Scenic

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
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Reviews

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This is a must do for 2017 for me. I might even jump the gun and attempt this in the winter. I bet it'd be beautiful.

9 months ago
9 months ago

Sonja SaxeExplorer

Seattle, WA based, adventuring everywhere. I'm on an endless journey to explore and photograph the national parks' scenic backcountry!

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