Day Trip on the Wisconsin River
If you're just interested in coming out on the river for a full day to get on the sandbars and have a little fun, we can help!
Arena to Spring Green
- 10 river miles, ~3.5 hours of nonstop paddling
- Typically done as a full day (4+ hours on the river)
- Highest concentration of sandbars
Arena to Spring Green is our regular day trip section and there's good reason for it. This 10 mile stretch of river has one of the highest concentration of sandbars on the riverway and only a few houses to detract from the natural beauty of the area. Even on the busiest weekends, there is plenty of distance between you and anyone else on the water. Combined with the easy finish at Spring Green where your car is waiting for you, it's easily the most recommended day trip option.
Average paddlers (and Wisconsin Canoe staff) typically travel 3-4 mph when paddling at a steady pace. This gives a rough estimate of 3 to 4 hours of paddle time. This estimate can be stretched the length of the day by floating along with the river watching for turtles, bald eagles, and other animals or stretching your legs on sandbars, playing games, grilling out, etc. Our only requirement is that you're off the water by 6pm (though if you're having an extremely good time, we won't hold it against you if you stay out a little bit longer.
Just a fair warning: Don't plan on taking any less than 4 hours out on the water. While it is not difficult to finish this trip in 3 hours, it is not meant to be done so quickly and it won't be all that pleasant if you're paddling nonstop to stay on schedule. If you're just looking for a taste of the river and only want to be out for an hour or two, we encourage you to check out WI Riverside Resort in Spring Green. They offer a shorter, hour long day trip that may be more to your liking.
This trip is also commonly done as a very social overnight option (read: more party, less paddle).
One last helpful hint: It's not uncommon for a strong head wind to pick up later in the afternoon so do most of your paddling early on if you can so you're not fighting more wind than you have to at the end of the day.
If this day trip sounds like what you're looking for, here's what you should do:
If you still have more quesitons, check our Frequently Asked Questions page.