Flambeau River – Wisconsin

The Flambeau River North Fork is a fitting destination for paddlers of all skill levels. The South Fork has a larger number of more difficult rapids and is better suited for more experienced paddlers.Most of the North Fork and the lower portion of the South Fork are surrounded by the Flambeau River State Forest. First established in 1930, the State Forest has grown to more than 90,000 acres creating mile after mile of remote and wild, scenic beauty. This is one of the largest, most undeveloped public-use areas in Wisconsin.

Hwy. W Bridge - Camp 41 Landing - Section NF3
Beginner

This is a peaceful and scenic stretch of river with several pitches of class 1 and 2 rapids. The rapids tend to be short, and shouldn’t pose much of a problem for less-experienced paddlers. A great segment to develop confidence and paddling skills.

The river has a remote feel as you paddle into the interior of the Flambeau River State Forest. A few cottages here and there are the only signs of development, but they do little to mar the experience. A dense northern forest of mixed pines, softwoods and hardwoods surrounds the flowing river. There are numerous grassy islands and wildlife is abundant.

Camp 41 - Beaver Dam Landing - Section NF 4
Beginner / Intermediate

This is a wonderfully scenic trip that features a large number of rapids and boulder gardens which are suitable for whitewater-experienced, novice and intermediate level canoeists and kayakers. Three pitches occur in the first three miles, two of which rate class 2, followed by intermittent shallow riffles.

The South Fork joins the North Fork adding additional flow. The challenging first pitch of Cedar Rapids occurs downstream of the confluence. This solid class 2-3 features a series of tricky ledges around a small island.

More rapids occur as you continue downstream including Beaver Dam Rapids, a strong class 2 which will rate class 3 in higher flows. Beaver Dam Rapids feature a river-wide ledge with a three to four foot drop.

Hwy W Bridge - Skinners Creek - Section SF3
Intermediate / Advanced

The most challenging whitewater of both forks of the Flambeau is found in this segment. The rapids begin in earnest within a half-mile from the put-in where a short set of boulder gardens lead into a right bend and the river constricts between scenic rock formations and rumbles into Slough Gundy Rapids. This frothy class 2-3 can develop pushy waves in high water!

A short stretch of boulders follow, then the river forks around a small wooded island where the main flow goes down the right fork and roars into Little Falls. The falls rate a strong class 3 in medium flows and grows into a class 4 in high water.

Downstream from the falls, the river runs through a long series of class 2 rapids and boulder gardens named Scratch Rapids and Gunners Rapids.

Dates:

  • Weekends: April – October
  • Weekdays: June – August

Time:

  • 8:00am. As most of our paddlers camp at Lake of the Pines Campground, our meeting point is at the boat launch at Lake of the Pines. Together we shuttle our boats gear to the put-in and trailer to the take-out.
    9:00am. Dry land lessons.
    9:30am. Launch boats, river lessons, and drills. [Plan on getting wet at some point of the day].
    12:00-12:30pm Lunch. Lunch is on the water.  Participants are to provide their own lunch.
    12:30pm continue down river with more river lessons and drills.
    3:00pm. at take out.
    3:30- 4:00pm’ish load boats, wrap-up.

Average Group Size:

  • 2-4 paddlers [Max 6]

Cost:

  • $200 / paddler / 2 days

            *12-18 years old / University Students / Military: $160/paddler 
**[$65 surcharge for classes of ONE & private lessons]

Accommodations:

Gear:
RiverSport Adventures brings on the river:

  • Full medical first aid, rescue kit.

You bring on the river: 

  • Canoe/kayak, PFD, helmet, paddle, dry bag* With prior notice, we can bring these items at no additional charge. However, if you have these items we encourage participants to gain experience on gear they will be using after class ends. Our Canoes and Kayaks
  • River clothing [synthetic – no cotton], wet suit [recommended], swim suit, water shoes, 2L water, sun glasses with strap.
  • In dry bag: Lunch, snacks, rain jacket, fleece jacket, winter hat, sunscreen, non-DEET bug spray, personal first aid kit, medications, car keys.
  • Suggested camping and paddling clothing list

Maps:

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