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Paddling the Flambeau River

Flambeau River State Forest

The Flambeau River offers paddling opportunities for all skill levels. Use the information below to help plan your adventure. More information can be found at Paddle the Flambeau River [exit DNR].

North and South forks

The short 15-mile section of the South Fork of the Flambeau River within the state forest boundary is known for its challenging rapids with wild whitewater paddling class I-V. The river’s seasonal peak flow occurs from early spring to mid-June. Landings included are Highway W to Hervas Camp Landing.

There are about 77 miles of the North Fork within the forest. This portion offers a more relaxing trip with its slower class I-III rapids, allowing paddlers to enjoy the excellent fishing along the way.

Because of the length of the North Fork of the Flambeau River, we advise you to make the trip in sections. Take your time and enjoy the adventure. You'll average 3 to 4 miles per hour with steady paddling and some assistance from the current. If fishing will be part of your trip plan on at least doubling your time to cover the same distance.

River landings

There are six established landings along the North Fork of the river and one on the South Fork. There is no charge to use of these landings so you can leave your car overnight if you're camping on the river.

For drinking water and toilet access at the canoe camp areas, please see the camping page.

Landing Location Access Drinking water/toilets ADA accessible Parking capacity
Nine Mile Highway 70 motorized, boat, canoe Y/Y Y 7
Dix Dox ramp North of Highway 70, Oxbo Drive motorized, boat, canoe Y/Y Y 26
Highway W Highway W at North Fork canoe Y/Y N 10
Camp 41 Camp 41 Road, west of river canoe Y/Y Y 12
Hervas ramp End of River Road, east of river motorized, boat, canoe Y/Y Y 6
Holtz Upper N Fork below Turtle Falls Flowage motorized, boat, canoe N/N N 5
Beaver Dam End of Beaver Dam Road off West Lane canoe N/Y N 15
Fisherman's Highway M south of Bear Creek Road canoe Y/Y N 10

Rapids

The Flambeau River offers excellent paddling for all skill levels, from beginner to expert.

North Fork Rapids Class
  • Barnaby Rapids
  • Porcupine Rapids
  • Little Cedar Rip/Pine Island Rapids
I
  • Wannigan Rapids
  • Flambeau Falls
  • Cedar Rapids/Camp 4 rapids (second pitch)
  • Cedar Rapids (third and fourth pitches)
I-II
  • Cedar Rapids (first pitch)
  • Beaver Dam Rapids
II
South Fork Rapids Class
  • Gunner Rapids
  • Otter Slide Rapids
I
  • Prison Camp Rapids
I-II
  • Cornsheller Rapids
  • Price Creek Rapids
II
  • Bull Rapids
  • Slough Gundy Rapids
  • Scratch Rapids
II-III
  • Little Falls Rapids
V

Guidelines

Glass bottles
Glass bottles are not allowed within watercraft launched or removed from designated launching sites on the Flambeau River. Be sure to keep empty or unopened beverage containers secure in a larger container.
Lifesaving devices
Every watercraft must carry a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable lifesaving device for each person aboard. Passengers should wear a life jacket at all times. Do not overload your watercraft.
Swimming
Swim safely; do not swim alone, at night or in unfamiliar places. Use caution when wading as water depths may change abruptly. Watch small children closely near the water.
Campfires
Use caution and confine fires to a fire ring. Put fires out if wind changes cause concern. Watch children closely near fires. Once you have put a match to a fire, don't use charcoal starter or any other flammable material. Make sure the fire is completely out and the grill or fire ring is cool before you leave the area.
Drinking water
Boil or filter all water or use approved tablets before drinking.
Plants
Never eat berries or plant materials unless you are certain of their identity and safety.