Wolf River Northern Wisconsin
Wolf River Northern Wisconsin
The Wolf River has its origins in northern Wisconsin’s Forest County, where it flows out of the south end of Pine Lake located in the 655,000-acre Nicolet National Forest. The Wolf River flows southward for about 230 miles until it joins the Upper Fox River at the north end of Lake Poygan,
The Wolf River is one of the two National Scenic Rivers in the State of Wisconsin, the other being the St. Croix River. The Wolf River basin covers much of northern and central Wisconsin and drains 3,690 square miles of land. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources owns and manages more than 50,000 acres of public conservation and recreation lands in the basin. These state-owned properties have been designated as the “Upper Wolf River State Fishery Area” and include natural areas, state parks, fisheries access areas and wildlife management areas.
Varied landscape can be found along the river including marshes, dense thickets and grassy lowlands, as well beautiful mixed forests of pine and hardwood that shade the rocky shorelines along the whitewater section of the Wolf River. Wildlife sightings in the area around the Wolf River often include eagle, kingfisher, heron, duck, deer, mink, otter, fox and raccoon. On occasion you might even catch sight of a black bear, coyote or wolf.
The Wolf River is home to quite a few species of fish including panfish, trout, bass, walleye, northern pike and the occasional musky. The Wolf River is also noted for its Sturgeon population. The fish spawn in the shallows of the Wolf River each spring as they swim upstream. This species, which has existed since the time of the dinosaurs (100 million years ago), has a viable, naturally reproducing population, which are highly prized for the taste of their flesh, and also for their eggs.
The Wolf River is fed by a large number of springs and small tributaries which help to maintain a consistent, navigable flow throughout spring, summer and fall. For that reason, the Wolf River is popular with paddle sport enthusiasts, and there is a section on the Wolf River known as one of the premier whitewater runs in Wisconsin.
This six-mile stretch from Otter Slide Landing to Big Smokey Falls includes Class II-IV rapids and can be compared favorably to the Roaring Rapids Section of the Peshtigo River and the Piers Gorge section on the Menominee River. This stretch is extremely popular for whitewater canoeing, kayaking and rafting.
The south end of the whitewater section takes you onto the Menominee Indian Reservation and the 24 mile stretch of river that has been designated
a National Wild and Scenic River since 1968. The State of Wisconsin also designated the river an Outstanding Resource Water in 1988.
As the Wolf River continues its southerly flow, it is joined by the Red River and the Embarrass River. In its most southern reaches, the Wolf River is joined by the Little Wolf River and the Waupaca River before joining Upper Fox River System through Lake Poygan,