A Wisconsin Canoeing Adventure: Brave the Bois Brule

By Sam Kislia
Special to TravelWisconsin.com

Canoeing in the Northwoods is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Wisconsin’s natural beauty, and it’s even better when your friends are along for the ride! Hidden among the spruce and cedars of the Brule River State Forest lays the Bois Brule River, which offers some of the best canoeing in the Midwest. Thanks to the river’s consistent flow and variety of runs, this river is an excellent choice for a group of friends at any skill level. And don’t get us started on how gorgeous the scenery is!


If you’re looking for that classic “under the stars” camping experience, you can choose from two different campgrounds located deep within the Brule River State Forest. It’s the perfect opportunity to really unplug and enjoy some quality time together.

Bois Brule Campground and Copper Range Campground offer riverside campsites with developed canoe landings, which are highly convenient if you plan on bringing your own equipment or renting overnight.

If rustic camping isn’t your cup of tea, the Brule River Motel & Campground has motel units and campsites with showers for those who would rather not go without.


With more than 50 years of experience under their belts, nobody knows the river quite like the folks over at Brule River Canoe Rental. Whether your friends are novice paddlers or seasoned pros, BRCR can suggest the best self-guided trip to suit your group’s needs, and provides a hassle-free shuttle service to transport your group back to your starting point.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll encounter swimming holes and picturesque stopping points, so be sure to pack a picnic with plenty of snacks and refreshments to keep your group energized.

• The most popular day trip stretches nearly 12 miles from Stones Bridge to Winneboujou and takes around four hours to complete. The relaxed current makes this trip a perfect option for groups who are new to paddling or prefer a more leisurely float.

• If you want to add a bit more excitement on your trip, you can extend your float by about four miles past Winneboujou, where you’ll find a few Class I & II rapids and a brisk current to really get things moving.

• A gentle trip down the river is always enjoyable, but a more challenging adventure awaits those who seek thrills. The more advanced trip runs from the Pine Tree landing down to Highway 13 for ten miles and features some of the most magnificent whitewater on the river. From there, plentiful Class I, II, and III rapids will propel you through rollers, eddies, and ledges that will keep your adrenaline pumping until the very end.


After a long day of paddling your group will most definitely work up an appetite. Hop in the car and head down to the charming village of Solon Springs, tucked away just off Highway 53. KD’s Family Restaurant is a local favorite known for their delicious burgers and top-notch service. Paul’s Pour House Bar & Grill is another local haunt where you can indulge on cheese curds, chicken wings, and much more.

If you’re in town on a weekend evening, be sure to check out the schedule at Lucius Woods County Park. The unique, rustic stage is set among the tall pines and features movie nights and concerts throughout the summer season. It’s the perfect way to end an action-packed day of adventure!

For more even more paddling adventure ideas, check out these Wisconsin Rivers Best for Canoeing, or browse our Canoeing & Kayaking directory.

This entry was posted in Canoeing, Kayaking & SUP