Update: May 23, 2017 5:31pm
Water levels are currently peaking just above 4x our usual cutoff. As things stand we’re still on track to have waters recede enough to possibly run overnight trips on Sunday to Monday though I don’t have much confidence in that prediction yet. While we’re strongly leaning towards an outright cancellation I’m toying with the idea of allowing experienced groups to give it a go. Camping is only legal on the islands and there are a very small handful that should be above the water line. Tiny and less than ideal but they are technically campable if you can avoid the poison ivy and keep the mosquitoes at bay. It’s annoyingly still too early to know where the water levels will be but as soon as it becomes more clear, there’ll be an update.
Previous Update: May 22, 2017 9:39pm
We’re sitting right on the edge. The most recent river prediction puts us underwater on Friday and Saturday night but okay for Sunday night into Monday. This prediction also includes the rain forecasted for the next 24 hours so depending on how that goes we may see a shift in that timeline one way or another. It’s still possible the dam at Castle Rock cuts back sooner than anticipated given the reasonable weather outlook for the next 10 days but again, too soon to know. They’re about 36 hours upstream of us so Thursday morning’s readings will be pretty important.
Previous Update: May 21, 2017 7:13am
Another wet week. The graph below should be in the white (or very near it) to have any sandbars on the river and as you can tell right now, we’re not even close. The entire state has been getting rain and there’s more in the forecast which does not bode well for Memorial Day Weekend. At this point, it’s very likely we’ll have to cancel trips so if you don’t have a reservation already, I’d suggest alternative plans or dates. The river forecast below typically updates in the morning and the evening every day. If we’re lucky, one or two of the dams upstream will cut back a day early and this will be reflected in the forecast IF it happens. At this point, it could just as easily go the other way. More updates to come as the week progresses. At least kayaking on the Baraboo should be fun! (hint)
This is why people come here. The sandbars are big, the river is wide, and you’re free to set up camp anywhere that looks good. The river has been protected from development so long that it looks much the same now as it did a hundred years ago. This is legit backcountry camping – no site numbers, no permits, no picnic tables, no nothing. Whether you’re planning the first trip or the fiftieth, our canoe camping page has all of the information you’ll need.
Just want to come out and paddle a canoe or kayak for the day? We can do that. Bring your friends or family out for a leisurely day of sandbar hopping while maintaining the option to sleep in a real bed afterwards. Arena to Spring Green is our regular day trip section and for good reason – it has the highest concentration of sandbars on the river. Even on the busiest weekends, there is plenty of distance between you and anyone else on the water.
All of us at Wisconsin Canoe have dumped our collective river knowledge onto the pages of our trip planning section. If you have a question about what to do in a storm, the best way to set up the kitchen, how to find the ideal sandbar, or any of a million other things, the answer can be found here. Probably. You’ll be able to get hourly river condition updates, forecasts, packing lists, food lists, tips, tricks, and everything else you might want to know.
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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.
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Behind the Scenes
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.
Norah is our first solution to the annual staffing shortage. While she’s got a steep learning curve ahead of her, she’s already shown progress grabbing canoe paddles and will soon be assisting Amy with check-in at the landing.
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.