Paddlesports: Wisconsin's Top Canoeing, Kayaking and Rafting

Whether you prefer the thrill of whitewater or relaxing on serene surfaces, Wisconsin has the river for you.

Northern Wisconsin

Rolling along more than 250 miles of Wisconsin's northwestern border, the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway has become one of the state's most popular canoeing areas. This protected riverway is a natural haven of majestic cliffs and a variety of wildlife.

Want a challenge? Grab a paddle, hop in the raft and hang on as the Upper Wolf River in northeastern Wisconsin takes you on a thunderous ride through 20 miles of powerful Class I to Class 5 rapids. The Lower Wolf River offers a family-friendly counterpart with bountiful fishing options.

The Peshtigo River is another northeastern destination for those seeking heart-pounding thrills. With Class 2 to Class 5 rapids, the Peshtigo lives up to its billing as "the best whitewater in the Midwest."

Southern Wisconsin

Translated locally as "crooked river," the Kickapoo River twists and turns through more than 125 miles of scenic southwestern Wisconsin landscape. Visitors can enjoy views of sandstone bluffs, farmlands and wildflowers as they paddle along this slow-flowing river.

The southern 92 miles of the Lower Wisconsin River below Prairie du Sac are perfect for family outings with no dams to portage, plus access and canoe rentals available at many towns along the way.

Traversing Sauk County, the Baraboo River provides a relaxing canoe outing with no rapids or falls and plenty of opportunities to catch nature in action as it flows through two wildlife areas.

Ready to make a splash? Check out more water activities across Wisconsin in our directory!