Day Trip on the Wisconsin River

If you’re interested in coming out on the river for a kayak trip or a canoe trip, we can help! You’ve got 10 miles of sandbars to choose from and the river is often several hundred yards wide or more.  And if true solitude is your thing, take a day off of work in the middle of the week.  Whether it’s just two of you, twenty friends, or two hundred boy scouts, there’s room for you and we’d be happy to get you on the water.

Arena to Spring Green is our regular day trip section for both canoes and kayaks and there’s good reason for it.  This 10 mile stretch of river has 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.

WI River kayak day trip

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’re a few minutes late).

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 with 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.

Arena canoe and kayak landing on the Wisconsin River

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