NEW! Paddler Pick Up – A new initiative to clean up the Kickapoo River
The river is a textbook example of an entrenched dendretic river system. It is the longest river completely within the driftless portion of the upper Midwest and has been suggested by some geologists to be the oldest river system in the world outside of
The river is fed by a number of smaller streams and tributaries, many of which offer excellent trout fishing opportunities. Springs and free-flowing wells contribute to keeping the river cool year round.
Log jams are a natural occurrence along the Kickapoo. Be careful when swimming or portaging. The cool water temperature, deep pools with surprisingly strong currents, and hidden logs can be hazardous.
WHAT YOU'LL SEE:
The river will take you through both
A bird survey conducted in 1997 along the upper Kickapoo found that there are over 100 species of breeding birds that call the area home. Among them are several species considered either threatened or endangered such as the Kentucky Warbler and the Louisiana Waterthrush.
Other forms of wildlife often seen along the river include muskrats, beaver, white-tailed deer, raccoons, woodchucks, mink, and otters. The best opportunities for viewing wildlife are often early in the morning and on weekdays when traffic on the river is lightest.
The native flora is as diverse as the fauna here in the valley. Short grass prairie remnants and Pleistocene era relicts are a few of the unique features found only in this special part of the driftless region. The imposing sandstone cliffs that line the river along your route are home to a number of rare and endangered species that are holdovers from the time of the last great ice age. Towering old growth pines and hemlocks shade you as you travel down the river where you’ll also see numerous species of ferns and mosses clinging to the weeping sandstone cliffs. Over 300 species of plants provide a constant display of color from early spring through late fall along the river.
Over the years, the canoe rental businesses and individual paddlers have established a simplified timetable for canoe trips. Obviously, times are estimates and may vary with water levels, skill, and number of rest stops along the way:
If you plan an overnight trip, there are a number of lodging options available. Campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, motels, and cabins can be found through our additional links page. The Kickapoo Valley Reserve offers primitive, low impact camping at designated sites along the river. Campsites are listed in the visitor guide. Steep river banks can make accessing river campsites difficult. Easier access can often be found slightly upstream or downstream of the campsite. Camping fees are required; camping permits may be purchased at the
Safety is a primary concern when planning a canoe trip. Always carry a personal flotation device for every member of your party - it’s the law. Bring proper provisions along including a change of clothing, plenty of drinking water, insect repellent, sunscreen, plastic bags for removal of trash, and a first aid kit.
Kickapoo Valley Reserve
S3661 State Highway 131
La Farge, Wisconsin 54639
Phone: 608-625-2960 FAX: 608-625-2962
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