Whitewater Rafting Wisconsin


Whitewater Rafting on Wisconsin Rivers

Whitewater rafting is one of the fastest growing adventure sports. Just about anyone can do it, and it offers instant rewards for the beginner as well as plenty of new challenges and techniques to keep the accomplished rafter challenged. Whitewater rafting is the perfect group activity. Scout, church and youth groups love the outdoors, the challenges, the way the river builds strength of character, and lifelong friendships. Companies and businesses use whitewater rafting trips to promote team building and fitness, as well as a general camaraderie among co-workers. Adrenaline junkies know that the river is a good place to get their fix. Between the adventure of the rapids, the beautiful forest land and wildlife along the way, and the company of good friends, it just can’t be beaten.

Northern Wisconsin is home to some of the best whitewater rivers in the Midwest. 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.

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.

Guided Whitewater Rafting Trips

Kosir’s Rapid Rafts offers guided whitewater rafting adventures on the Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers in Marinette County.

The Peshtigo River is well known for its splashy rock gardens, ledges, and drops with big waves and huge holes. It is clean, cool, and free flowing, and it changes considerably with even minor water level changes. That makes it new and exciting every time you run it. Its rock gardens have endless play spots for the technical boater, and a fun splashy ride for the weekend or vacationing rafter.

In both spring and summer, the whitewater stretch of the Peshtigo is rated at class II-III. At higher flows, it easily rates a solid class IV in most of the main rapids. Trips can range from mild at lower levels to really wild at higher levels. In the summer, a lot of scout groups, church groups and other organizations take to the river, along with a lot of families and young adults. It is without question some of the best whitewater rafting in the state of Wisconsin.

The Menominee River is a great rafting trip for those that want big water like you might find on some of the well known western or eastern rivers. The Menominee is dam-controlled and has flows that range from around 1,500-15,000 cfs. In the driest times, it usually still has a flow of at least 900cfs. Compare this to the Peshtigo with flows from 200cfs up to 3,600 at flood stage.

The Menominee trip starts on calm water as you paddle past huge cliffs and some serious scenery. Expect to see eagles and other wildlife here. The river begins to pick up tempo at the first rapid, a relatively small class II-III. There are some rock gardens between there and the gorge that can keep it interesting before the main event. Piers Gorge holds some absolutely huge rapids sandwiched between high cliffs and mountainous terrain. Mishicot Falls is the entrance of Piers Gorge, with a drop that measures between 8 and 15 feet depending on water levels. After that, you are in for a wild ride with huge waves and holes, and some pretty big rapids.

Most people have no idea that we have whitewater rafting like this in Wisconsin. I would like to encourage you to learn more about paddling whitewater and I hope you will join us soon at Kosir’s Rapid Rafts for a trip down the Peshtigo River or Menominee River in northern Marinette County.