Wisconsin River Canoe Trip, 2012

A cold and dry Columbus Day weekend

This year the daytime high temperature was only in the 50’s. Although it was pretty cold at night, our water bottles did not freeze like they did on a Columbus Day Weekend trip several years ago. Fall colors were great this year. During the day we saw eagles, and during the night we heard a screech owl in the distance. Unlike past years, we did not see any other canoes or kayaks on the river. This was our third canoe trip this year leading a group from the Chicago Outings Group of the Sierra Club.

Our group met Friday night at the Victora Park Campground in Muscoda which is on the Wisconsin River. Saturday morning we drove our cars to the Boscobel where we rented two canoes and parked our cars at the boat ramp. Our outfitter brought the drivers and our rental canoes to our campground in Muscoda. Two people brought their own canoes, so we ended up with seven people in four canoes. We canoed almost three hours on Saturday going into a steady wind. We did not stop for a lunch break at Port Andrew because of the cool breeze, the low water level around the boat ramp, and it was only another half–hour our to our sandbar. Sunday morning we canoed about two hours to the take out at Boscobel. This is about 225 miles from Chicago, but in many ways it seems much further into the wilderness.

Wisconsin River canoe trip links

Our outfitter:  Wisconsin River Outings

River information:   Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board

Wisconsin River canoe trip pictures

  • Our camping gear in the park at Muscoda
  • Our outfitter delivering one of the two rental canoes
  • Loading our canoes Saturday morning at the boat ramp in Muscoda
  • John, George, Todd, Andy, Reina, and Helen
  • Todd and Reina
  • John paddling solo in an 18 foot canoe
  • Andy and Helen
  • Arriving at our sandbar early Saturday afternoon
  • Shortly after landing on our sandbar, George started heating water for tea and hot chocolate.
  • Reina sawing wood for our campfire
  • Cooking dinner
  • We enjoyed a big campfire on the sandbar Saturday night.
  • Sunday morning at our campsite
  • George and Yvonne’s tent and canoe
  • George and Yvonne cooked French toast Sunday morning.
  • Helen and Yvonne cooking breakfast Sunday morning.
  • Loading our canoes Sunday morning
  • Todd and Reina pulling away from the sandbar
  • Yvonne and Geerge with a lot of gear in their 18 foot canoe
  • John paddling solo beside Todd and Reina
  • Bright fall colors along the river
  • Andy and Helen
  • Andy and Helen near Boscobel
  • Arrival at the boat ramp in Boscobel early Sunday afternoon