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Canoeing and Kayaking Water Trails in Wisconsin

With more than 15,000 lakes, 43,000 miles of rivers and 659 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, there is no shortage of paddling opportunities in Wisconsin. Water trails provide a network of access points, resting places and attractions for users of water craft on lakes and rivers. In Wisconsin, some trails are interpretive routes, some take paddlers to campsites, some connect communities, but all allow visitors to experience the natural beauty of our state by this original mode of transportation.

State Water Trails

Water trails in state parks and forests

Brule River
Canoeing on the Brule River.
DNR Photo

The following parks and forests have specific mapped or marked water trail routes.

A specially adapted kayak is available for use by people with disabilities at Buckhorn, Devil's Lake, Mirror Lake and Perrot state parks.

Flowages and other DNR properties

Wild and Scenic Rivers

Wisconsin's Wild and Scenic Rivers are great places to paddle.

Other water trails in Wisconsin

Canoe near rock overhang
Canoeing on the Kickapoo River near Wildcat Mountain State Park.
Photo © WI Department of Tourism

Are you working on a water trail project? We'd love to hear about it. Contact the state trails coordinator.

Biking and paddling trails

Several of Wisconsin's state trails are ideal for bike and paddle trips. Sections of these former rail corridors parallel rivers and streams. You can paddle downstream and then bike back to your starting point or vice versa. Most of these trails require a state trail pass for bikers age 16 and older.

More information

Last revised: Friday October 17 2014