Whitewater Rafting & Camping in the Midwest


Whitewater Rafting & Camping in the Midwest

Most people think of whitewater rafting in the Unites States as an activity that only takes place on rivers located near the Eastern or Western mountain ranges. In fact the Midwest offers some fun and challenging Class III and Class IV Rivers. They may not be day or week long trips that most folks are familiar with, but hey are close and convenient.

Located only about five hours from Chicago or Minneapolis, these rivers offer challenge and thrill for the avid whitewater enthusiast while also accommodating the first time paddlers. There are three main class III and Class IV rivers located in Wisconsin, the Menominee River, the Peshtigo River and the Wolf River. Each of these rivers has something different to offer.

Spring Peshtigo River Whitewater Rafting

Peshtigo River Whitewater Rafting Spring

Peshtigo Spring Run-Off Trips Class III – IV whitewater rafting trips run from early April to mid-May, when the water is chilly but very fast and exciting. Spring whitewater rafting trips include Farmer John style wetsuits and booties along with helmets, life jackets and paddles, and are run in four, six and eight place rafts. On spring trips it is very important to advise everyone in your group to bring an unlined windbreaker, wool or synthetic pullover sweater and wool socks. Also, a polypropylene long underwear top is an excellent addition to your cold weather gear. Check in time is one hour before scheduled whitewater rafting trip time. Spring trips are very popular because the die-hard rafters like to go when the water is the highest. Snow melt coupled with spring thaws usually makes April and May the best for big water whitewater rafting in Wisconsin. It may be chilly, but you will keep warm with the provided wetsuit and the excitement.

PESHTIGO RIVER SPRING TRIPSPeshtigo River Whitewater Rafting Spring
Summer Peshtigo River Whitewater Rafting

Peshtigo River Whitewater Rafting Summer

Peshtigo Summer Trips Class III Starting mid-May and running through September, for beginners and intermediates, whitewater rafting trips are run in one, two, three and four place rafts. Water conditions change daily and the actual size of the boat will be determined on the day of the your whitewater rafting trip. The trip covers about five miles of the most exciting white water in the entire Midwest. We provide helmets, life jackets, paddles, and transportation to the put-in point on the river. We are located right on the river, so all trips end at Rapid Rafts headquarters, where rafters can change clothes and relax. Check in time is 30 minutes before scheduled whitewater rafting trip time. Ask about our special group discounts offered for qualified scout, youth and church groups. Summer trips are for the entire family. This whitewater rafting trip is the same stretch of river that our spring trip covers but the weather is much warmer and so is the water. The river level may be lower but the thrill is always there.

PESHTIGO RIVER SUMMER TRIPSPeshtigo River Whitewater Rafting Summer
Funyaking on the Peshtigo River

Funyaking on the Peshtigo River

Funyaks are the most popular way to experience whitewater rafting on the Peshtigo River. A Funyak is a one-person inflatable raft. You paddle the Funyak with a two bladed kayak paddle and they are self-bailing so you’ll never need to empty out the water. Funyaks are perfect for any skill level including beginners. In fact they are easier to learn how to paddle than a raft. These are a thrill in higher water and great for lower water levels, with greater maneuverability. Because you are alone in the raft you have more control, you don’t have to try to coordinate your paddling skills with others in the raft. Being alone also means there is less weight in the raft, which makes it easier to move around or off obstacles if you should encounter some. Just keep in mind that even though you are alone in the raft you are never alone on the river, we always have staff on hand with every whitewater rafting trip happy to assist you. For more enjoyment in low water or a bigger thrill in high water try a “Funyak” the next time you raft with Kosir’s Rapid Rafts.

FUNYAKING PESHTIGO RIVERFunyaking the Peshtigo River
Menominee River Whitewater Rafting

Menominee River Whitewater Rafting

Guided Menominee River Whitewater Rafting Trips Class IV from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. We offer guided Menominee River trips for the hearty whitewater rafting enthusiast. These whitewater rafting trips are run in our four to twelve place rafts under the supervision of Kosir’s professional guides and include helmets, life jackets and paddles as well as transportation from our Menominee River Outpost to river and back again. The mighty Menominee River is a large volume river which has one of the greatest flows in the Midwest, with rapids and hydraulics similar to those of great western rivers. Bordered by the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan, our trip starts out quietly in the scenic surroundings of Niagara, Wisconsin careening past 200-foot high cliffs. Then increasing its intensity through Sand Portage Rapid, it culminates with a 10-foot waterfall in the legendary Piers Gorge. Menominee River Whitewater Rafting trips are run at 10 am and 3 pm on Saturdays and 10 am on Sundays and Holidays. Special weekday trips are available. Check-in time at our Menominee River Outpost is one full hour before scheduled whitewater rafting trip time. The Menominee River is a unique experience for the more adventurous whitewater rafters who want more! Kosir’s Rapid Rafts only offers this whitewater rafting trip with the supervision of our guides. We offer all Menominee River Whitewater Rafting trips in our self-bailing rafts. Reservations are required, so please call ahead to make arrangements. (Sorry, no Funyaks allowed on the Menominee River Rafting Trips)

MENOMINEE RIVER RAFTING TRIPSMenominee River Whitewater Rafting
Tubing on the Peshtigo River

Tubing on the Peshtigo River

For those warm weather, low water Peshtigo days, Kosir’s Rapid Rafts offers tubing on the Peshtigo River below the whitewater stretch. The trip starts at our normal takeout at the Bridge and goes for about 45 minutes down the river to the first boat landing.

PESHTIGO RIVER TUBINGPeshtigo River Wisconsin
Kayaking on the Peshtigo River

Kayaking on the Peshtigo River

Kosir’s Rapid Rafts now have sit-on-top, flat water kayaks available for rent. We start at boat landing where the tubing trips take out and paddle two miles down the Peshtigo River and onto Caldron Falls Flowage to the next boat landing and back.


The Wolf River is know for the longer stretches of calm water between its major rapids, making it perfect for younger rafters and those who wish to experience whitewater a little at a time.

The Peshtigo River is best known for its “Roaring Rapids” section, a four and a half mile stretch with over 75% whitewater, making it one of the longest continuous stretches of whitewater in the Midwest. This river is perfect for those who are looking for something a little more aggressive, but still perfect for beginners.

The Menominee River is a large volume river which is dam controlling, so the flow is good all summer long. Trips on the Menominee are always run in larger 6 to 12 place rafts. Best known for the “Pier Gorge” section of the river, these Class IV rapids are so close together that it feels like one long, continuous rapid.

Who would have thought of whitewater excitement like this located in the midwest?Kosir’s Rapid Rafts offers Midwest whitewater rafting trips on the Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers. For more about these rivers, please browse through our website.

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