April 2, 2012

Paddle to the Past

These Two Northwoods Rivers Will Take You to Another Time

Heed the call of Wisconsin’s Tomahawk and Manitowish rivers
KayakingSpringtime brings some of the best canoeing and kayaking of the year to Wisconsin. You need to have a paddling trip planned this spring. Optimal water levels, few bugs and comfortable temperatures make spring paddling a dream. Best of all, on many Wisconsin rivers, you’ll have the waterway to yourself.

If you’re looking for some idea about where to canoe or kayak, look no further. These two rivers in the Northwoods of Wisconsin are paddling classics. As you paddle the Tomahawk and Manitowish rivers, you’ll have a chance to experience what northern Wisconsin looked like before European settlement.

The Gentle Tomahawk
One of the Wisconsin’s most underappreciated paddling opportunities is the Tomahawk River in Oneida County. From the Minocqua Chain of Lakes to the Willow Flowage, the river’s slow current and gorgeous scenery make the Tomahawk ideal for canoeing and kayaking.

Wildlife thrives along the Tomahawk River. Deer often come to the water’s edge to drink. Bald eagles are frequently seen as the river passes through forests of huge white pines. Musky and smallmouth bass can be caught in some parts of the river, particularly in deep holes and along the edges of weedbeds. Start planning your Tomahawk River adventure today. Information on the most popular paddling trips along the Tomahawk River can be found in the Oneida County Trail Guide.

The Mighty Manitowish
Spring on Manitowish RiverFrom High Lake near Boulder Junction, the cool waters of the Manitowish River slips through the dense pine forests of Vilas County for 44 miles. Along the way, the river widens to become the Manitowish Waters Chain. The river terminates in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Along the way, paddlers are treated to one of the most scenic stretches of riverway in the entire state.

Much of the Manitowish River is protected by the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which manages the state forest, has paddling information for six different stretches of the river. The Manitowish is slow-moving and appropriate for paddlers of all skill levels. The slow speed of the river also makes it a great places for fishing and birdwatching. Be sure to bring your fishing rod and your binoculars.

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