Welcome to the Wisconsin Canoe Company

Smaller sandbars for a few days

Saturday afternoon update: Storms held off today, that was nice! Water levels up north have peaked and should start receding down here on Monday evening into Tuesday. If the current forecast holds, we should have plenty of sandbars for this coming weekend.

Previous update:

Thursday’s rainfall was substantial and statewide. Water levels have come up quite a bit over the past 24 hours and will level off near the upper end of our overnight trip limit for sandbar availability. All overnight trips ending by Sunday shouldn’t have much trouble though sandbars will be quite a bit smaller than usual and the larger ones should expect to have multiple groups camped on them (but still better than camping in a state park campground).

Beyond Sunday into the first few days of the week, it’s likely we’ll rise above our normal limit for overnight trips. That said, while there will be substantially fewer campable sandbars, there are even fewer paddlers. For reference, we’ve got 7 total canoes going out overnight between Sunday and Thursday compared to 116 canoes between Friday and Sunday. All of this is to say that while water will be cresting ~6″ above our limits, there will be places to camp during the week. We should be back below those limits by Thursday.

If you’re a larger group going out this weekend, the following satellite images were taken at similar water levels earlier this season. Good, campable sandbars have been highlighted. Any of these should hold 10-20 people *based on current river forecasts*. Mazomanie to Arena | Arena to Spring Green

Saturday afternoon will be worth watching for weather. Looks like a line of storms could rise north out of Illinois for a few hours in the afternoon. If that happens, be prepared for wind – if you’ve got a cheaper tent with fiberglass poles and no guylines, keep your tent down until the initial gusts of wind pass through (you should be able to get the tent back up before it starts to rain). Use paddles as deadman tent anchors buried in the sand. Tie your tent to a canoe or at least keep an eye on your canoes in case one tries to launch itself into the river. Wind is the biggest cause of problems on the water but it’s easy to mitigate if you’re ready for it. Even just parking your boat under a tarp along a tree lined piece of sand will let you ride out just about anything.

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Why We’re The Best Canoe Company Ever

The Best Equipment

Our entire fleet of 150 Discovery canoes, Manitou kayaks, and Riviera kayaks are less than 4 years old. These boats are made of a heavy duty polyethylene composite that is very quiet, doesn’t heat up in the sun like the standard aluminum boats, and are essentially indestructible. We also provide everyone with comfortable, ski-style life jackets and outfitter grade paddles.


The Best Shuttle System

We transport you upriver at the beginning of your trip where you then paddle back to your car. This way, there’s no need to fast paddle back to a shuttle only to be packed into a bus full of sweaty, sandy people for a long ride back to your car. Instead, when you go with us, you’re free to canoe the river at your own pace, and because your car is already at the end when you finish, there’s no need to wait around. You just pack up and go.


The Best Communication

Your entire reservation can be completed online, we’ll send you reminder emails, give you waterproof maps to take on the river, and if something goes wrong, we have staff on the emergency line 24 hours a day. In the meantime, we are always available via phone, email, text message, and facebook – even twitter if that’s your thing (but really, please don’t use twitter). You can also check our current (literally up to the second) availability when planning your trip and get a guarantee that we’ll have every single one of your boats ready and waiting for you on the shuttle you’ve chosen for the days you’ve reserved.


The Best Atmosphere

Wisconsin Canoe is a bunch of kids living the dream and avoiding the real world. We’re out on the water having fun, same as our customers, which means we tend to be very laid back and approachable. If you have a question or you’re unsure of something, we’ll help and probably won’t even judge you.



What Our Customers Say

Everything about our trip was excellent, and Wisconsin Canoe Company lived up to their website’s claim. The canoes were in excellent condition, all of the equipment was well-maintained, the shuttle was exactly on time and we were on the river within ten minutes of being dropped off. I’ve canoed with my own equipment on the James and Roanoke rivers in Virginia, and honestly I would rather enjoy the convenience of such a well-run rental and shuttle. They even welcomed our yellow lab on the canoe and shuttle, and she had a wonderful day out on the river. These are great folks that love their job!

Keith Brick

What a great experience with Wisconsin Canoe Company. I have rented from a lot of other day trip places on the Wisconsin River and this place is by far the best. The online reservation system was so nice, the canoes were great, the bus was clean and the staff was friendly. Can’t say enough great things. Won’t even think about researching another place in the future; will go right to this place.

Sara Ward-Cassidy

Excellent service, friendly staff, easy to use online site and simple instructions. My friends and I took an overnight during the weekend of the 4th and absolutely loved it! The entire experience was hassle-free and totally relaxing. Definitely a repeat on my bucket list! Thanks WCC! Long live Big Burrito

Lesly Boey

Behind the Scenes

Ryan Schmudlach

Given his degree in Economics from UW-Madison, it was inevitable that Ryan would be put to use on the business side of the canoe operation. Doing fancy things with spreadsheets is a secret passion for someone that is more often found miles from civilization.

    Amy Schmudlach

    Baking extraordinaire, cancer survivor, and the nicest person you will ever meet. In between collecting life jackets and greeting customers, Amy finished her degree in Rehabilitation Psychology at UW-Madison. More importantly, she has the uncanny ability to put up with Ryan for years on end.

      Norah Schmudlach

      Norah is our first solution to the annual staffing shortage. She is uniquely talented at issuing commands in a way only toddlers can manage.

        Finn Schmudlach

        Finn is the continuation of our long term staffing strategy. While he’s got a steep learning curve ahead of him, he’s already shown progress grabbing canoe paddles and assisting Amy with check-in at the landing.

          Inga Schmudlach

          Inga is the final member of our long term staffing plan. For the moment, she’s on customer service duty as about all she can do is smile and few people can resist the charms of a smiling baby.