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Pike River
Marinette County.
Pine-Popple River
Florence and Forest Counties.
Totagatic River
Bayfield, Burnett, Sawyer and Washburn Counties.
Public lands
parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries, natural areas, trails, wild rivers and flowages.
Contact information
For information on the Pike Wild River, contact:
Wildlife Biologist
Department of Natural Resources

Wild RiversPike Wild River

The Pike River watershed is made up of approximately 310 square miles, including over 300 miles of streams and numerous lakes. Streams range from small spring seeps to the main branch of the Pike River, which is over 100 feet wide. The largest lake in the watershed is Coleman Lake, 246 acres. Smaller lakes range in size down to spring ponds of one acre or less. The Pike River flows into the Menominee River northeast of the Village of Wausaukee which then empties into Lake Michigan.

walk-in access

Walk-in access at the trail-head southeast of the Pike River crossing at County Highway K.

On DNR land, there is walk-in access only, no motorized vehicles, no stream alterations, no maintained trails, few developed parking lots or canoe put-ins, and no camping. These rules are intended to preserve the wild and scenic qualities of the river.

The Pike Wild River landscape is characterized by rock outcrop and forests of all types found in Marinette County. From aspen stands and northern hardwood to swamp conifer and wetlands; nearly the full spectrums of habitat types are represented. A no cut buffer implemented within 150 feet of the river provides for older growth forest habitat. Numerous rapids and waterfalls are found throughout the length of the river. Rock bluffs provide scenic views of the river in many places.

Opportunities for recreational users are numerous. The property gets a fair amount of use by hunters, hikers, wildlife watchers, and berry pickers but possibly the biggest user group is spring canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts. Protected wildlife species such as the red-shouldered hawk and wood turtle are but a few of the natural resources preserved within this scenic, natural area.

The upper reaches of the river are difficult to canoe but provide excellent trout fishing opportunities. River users are urged to use caution while traversing the river as waterfalls and rapids make some stretches challenging and dangerous, particularly during high flow periods. A unique fish species that is observed but can't be fished are lake sturgeon (40-60 inch adults). They don't live year round nor spawn in the Pike River, but migrate into it from the Menominee into the lower Pike River, downstream from US 141.


Pike River locator mapThe Pike River Wild River runs from its mouth (T 34N, R 21E, section 3) upstream to the headwater branches; one branch beginning at the outlet of Coleman Lake (T 36N, R18E, section 17), and the other branch beginning at the outlet of North Pond (T 37N, R 18E, section 20).

The Pike River can be accessed through public lands owned by the DNR or Marinette County. Road side parking within a short hike to the river is the most common means of access. Minimally maintained, signed pull-offs and small parking areas are also available on State lands along the course of the river. Three developed parking lots exist to facilitate canoe/ kayak access for the most popular run; they are found at the US Hwy 141 bridge, County Hwy K bridge, and the Pike River Road/Barker Road bridge.


Recreational Opportunities

  • Hunting - deer, turkey, ruffed grouse, woodcock, & small game
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Snowmobiling Trail (marked trails only)
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Fishing - trout, small mouth bass
  • Bird Watching
  • Berry Picking
  • Canoeing/Kayaking

Fires and Firewood

Firewood can harbor pests such as gypsy moths, emerald ash borer, and oak wilt that threaten the local forest. New regulations regarding the transport of firewood are aimed at stopping the threat. It is now illegal to bring firewood to this or any other state property from more than 10 miles away. It is also illegal to bring firewood from out of state. The following map link shows the range from which firewood may be transported to the Pike River Wild River.

Please be aware of the posted DNR fire danger rating.


The Pike River Wild River is managed to preserve and protect the Pike River in a free-flowing, natural state by preventing development adjacent to the river and by restoring sections of the river to an undeveloped condition, to protect and manage the natural resources associated with the Pike River, and to provide compatible outdoor recreation opportunities.

Pike Wild Rivers Master Plan [PDF]
May 1989


We've compiled pictures of the Pike Wild River.

thumbnail: Bull Falls thumbnail: Bull Falls thumbnail: Bull Falls thumbnail: Bull Falls thumbnail: Pike River thumbnail: Pike River thumbnail: great fishing spot thumbnail: waterfalls on an unnamed tributary thumbnail: fall scenery thumbnail: walk-in access at the trail-head southeast of the Pike River crossing at County Highway K thumbnail: winter scene thumbnail: kiosk at Barker Road parking area

Submit Your Pictures for our Gallery

Submit your pictures of the Pike Wild River by contacting:

Property Manager
Dept of Natural Resources
1025 Highway C
P O Box 199
Wausaukee WI 54177

Last revised: Monday October 07 2019