Spring has been slow in coming this year and the Wolf River is still flowing with a lot of water. Water that flows over it’s banks and creates new places to explore when flood season is here. We have finally had a series of really nice weather days for paddling and the river was calling.
New London fishing area – heading toward flooded waters
reflections in the marsh
paddling toward a wood duck house in the flooded marsh
leaves are popping on the river
The Wolf River typically floods in the spring around the New London fishing area. This is a nice spot to explore if you want to float beyond the banks of the normal river channel. The New London fishing area is not a regular boat landing spot. Launching from the shore line can be muddy and rocky.
Paddling from our camping spot at Big Eau Pleine Cty Park
Big Eau Pleine reservoir has a lot of old tree roots along its banks
sunset on Big Eau Pleine reservoir
A little after dinner paddle on Big Eau Pleine
West boat landing at the campgrounds – Big Eau Pleine Cty Park
Calm winds on Big Eau Pleine Flowage
Paddling away from the campgrounds
South boat landing / campgrounds at Big Eau Pleine Cty Park
There are over 6000 acres of water to explore and lots of large fingers of water that create the reservoir
clouds reflecting on the still waters
Great camping right on the water makes for an easy spot to launch a kayak.
Big Eau Pleine Reservoir is a 6300 reservoir in north central Wisconsin with lots of paddling opportunities along its wooded shores. There are 11 boat landings on the reservoir where you can get on and explore this stretched out reservoir.
Big Eau Pleine County Park is a 1400 acre park with trails, camping and a couple of boat landings. The park is on a peninsula in the north central side of the reservoir making this location a good base location for your paddle explorations. There are a number of campsites that are close to the water and would make great bases for a multi day paddle exploration of this large reservoir.
Enjoy these photos of paddling and camping around Big Eau Pleine County Park.
Did you know there are over 500 public islands in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin, with its 84,000 miles of rivers and 15,000 lakes, is full of places to paddle, float, fish, or just watch and listen.
The BLM has a share in all this beauty, since we manage about 500 islands in Wisconsin’s rivers and lakes. These are the islands that were omitted from the original land survey back in the 1830s and 1840s. We don’t manage all the islands. Many of our islands are close to other state-owned islands or private islands, and it is critical that you determine whether an island is public land before you use it.
Have you visited any of our BLM public islands?
For more information and detailed locations with maps of these island visit the Public Lands of Wisconsin website.
Do you love paddling in Wisconsin? Would you like to connect with other paddlers and talk about kayaking and canoeing in Wisconsin?
We just created a new Google+ community for Wisconsin Paddlers. Check it out here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114999439401959644246?cfem=1
By Ken Braband
Here is some information about kayaking Port Washington on Lake Michigan.
South Beach Kayak Surfing Video
The area where the video was shot is a public kayak/canoe launch called South Beach. It’s also becoming increasingly popular for sunbathers and swimmers.
Parking can sometimes be crowded on summer weekend afternoons. A port-a-potty is available during summer months and a public restroom is available a short distance away along the Interurban Trail. Parking can sometimes be crowded on summer weekend afternoons. The beach is immediately south of the power plant on Port Washington’s lakeshore. Longitude: -87.86968 Latitude: 43.38299
Peter O’Malley riding the waves at Port Washington.
There are about 20 free parking spots in the paved lot. It’s a short carry from the parking to the water, and the shallow sandy beach is good for launching. When winds are from the east, you get a nice area to play in the surf. Surfing waves are usually best in the spring and fall. Be aware that kayaking Lake Michigan requires proper clothing — often a wet suit or dry suit — and proper equipment: a sea worthy kayak with bulkheads and a spray skirt (or float bags and spray skirt if you have a whitewater boat). Recreational boats may be used provided the water is flat and warm and you don’t venture far from shore.
Ken Braband is a freelance writer. His website is www.RocketInk.com . Ken has been kayaking for about eight years. He canoed for about 25 years prior to that. Ken is an ACA-certified coastal kayaking instructor. He teaches private lessons as well as classes, including at the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium.
Check out this video of paddling the Lake Superior Sea Caves of Wisconsin. Gear Junkie takes viewers to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, where their crew paddle a mile-long stretch of sandstone caves to go spelunking in a kayak.
see more about Gear Junkie’s Off the Map Series
Reflections on Black Otter Lakeweedy channel Northeast side of lake
Black Otter Lake is a small weedy lake located in Hortonville, WI. The lake is 70+ acres and has an small island and an upstream shallow area beyond the railroad bridge that can be paddled before it gets too weedy in the summer or after the weeds die back in the fall.
Weed overgrowth is a challenge on the lake during the warm summer months. It’s a fun little lake to paddle if you don’t mind lots of weeds or go early in the spring or late in the fall. The people that live around and manage Black Otter Lake have been trying to do a number of things to control weeds in the lake. This summer they are planning to draw down the water level by 2 1/2 feet in an attempt to get the weeds to die off in the shallows.
Here’s what the lake looks like in April with the normal water level.
weedy channel Northeast side of lake
nearing the railroad bridge - southeast end of lake
shallows west of the railroad bridge
west of the railroad bridge shallow area
Entering Lake Orlando on the Waupaca Chain O' Lakes
The Spring of 2012 has been kind to early season paddlers in Wisconsin. The warmer weather and sunny conditions have pushed me to go paddling more often than usual this early in the season. One of my favorite nearby places to paddle is the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes.
The lakes are crystal clear and pretty protected on windy days. For paddlers I recommend starting on the Upper Chain at the Knight Rd. landing. The Upper Chain is for small boats and weekends in the summer it’s common to see many paddlers out enjoying these clear waters.
Early in the season you may be the only one out paddling.
The larger part of the chain can be accessed by the very shallow Beasley Creek. Weekends during the summer expect very busy boat and water ski traffic on the larger part of the chain. I recommend paddling the big chain on weekdays or early or very late in the Wisconsin paddling season.
Read more and see more photos of the Waupaca Chain
The Lower Wolf River is a great and under utilized destination for paddlers. This section between Hwy S near Stephensville and Hwy M near Hortonville is about 5 miles making it one of the shorter sections between landings.
This section of the Wolf is tree lined and a number of fishing shacks line the river where there are access roads. This time lapse video shows the river at a late summer medium to lower water level.
I like to make this paddle a round trip starting at the landing on hwy M, paddle to the bridge and landing at hwy S and back. If you do this round trip I recommend doing the upstream section first.
Enjoy the video.
Want to see more videos and trip guides for the Lower Wolf River? Visit our Lower Wolf page.
North East Wisconsin Paddlers, Inc. 2012 Annual Meeting and Door Cty Paddling Presentation
Jan 28 2012 – 3:30 PM
McGinnis Irish Pub
201 S. Walnut St.
Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers 2012 Annual Meeting. Open to the public.
NEWP will take care of some club business, elect their slate of officers for 2012, and discuss plans for classes, events and other activities in 2012. The pub is located at 201 S. Walnut Street in Appleton, just a few blocks from the YMCA. After the business meeting is concluded, stay tuned for the feature presentation and a great opportunity to network with your fellow paddlers.
- 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.: Annual Meeting
- 5 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: Dinner ($10/ Limited menu/ open bar)
- 5:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Feature Presentation
- 6:30 p.m. – ?: Social Time
Feature Presentation “Paddling Door County’s Lighthouses and Coastlines”
With over 315 miles of coastline (and 13 lighthouses, more than any other county in the U.S.), Door County is truly a kayaker’s paradise.
Join Tim Pflieger on a visual journey highlighting Door County’s lighthouses and unique coastlines. Discover some of his favorite off the beaten path paddling spots, and learn of the natural history of the area and some of the best waterside eateries in Door County.
Tim is well known in Wisconsin paddle circles as an outfitter, instructor, coach, EMT, motivational speaker and all around great guy! His presentation will includes great pictures and insightful information on great places to paddle in and around Door County.