Peshtigo River Northern Wisconsin - Kosir's Whitewater Rafting (2022)

The Peshtigo River in Northern Wisconsin

The Roaring Rapids section of the Peshtigo River has brought a lot of fun to a lot of people over the years. The whitewater there is just exceptional. The river is free flowing at this point, and with all of the rock gardens, it changes quite a bit with even minor changes in water levels.

The Peshtigo River watershed starts almost 50 miles northwest of the Roaring Rapids section that is famous for it’s whitewater. It has its origins in the head waters region in northern Forest and northern Marinette Counties bordering the Wolf, Oconto, and Pike/Pine River watersheds. The majority of the watershed is in the Nicolet National Forest, though some of the land is privately owned or in the Marinette County Forest. The water originates from the many small spring creeks and spring fed trout streams that are so common up this way. The water is clear and cold coming from these creeks, and most of the water is class 1 or 2 trout stream. That would suggest right away that it is a very clean river, and it is.

The river does pick up a tannin staining at higher levels that gives it a reddish or tea look. This is from the fallen leaves in the forest making the same kind of staining that a fallen leaf does on a patio. The staining varies with the water level. When it is at higher levels, the river tends to be very colored from the run off water picking up tannin from the leaves on the forest floor. When the river is at its lowest levels, it is crystal clear, and very cold from the high percentage of pure spring water that feeds the river all of the time.

(Video) Whitewater Rafting Kosir's Rapid Rafts Peshtigo River ECO 2016

In any river, there is a base flow, the water that flows all of the time. In this case it is the springs that feed the small creeks and rivers that are tributaries. The surface water from rain and snow makes up the balance of the river’s flow. When the river is low and just running with the spring water, it gets cold and clear. As the rain water warms from the land and joins the river, it adds both temperature and the staining.

The base flow of the Peshtigo varies between about 145 and 250 cfs. Ideal rafting starts about 300cfs and it is best at about 1,000-1,500cfs. That would suggest that the river definitely needs rain to keep levels up. It is so, with the Peshtigo getting, by my guess, about 60-70% or its total annual volume of water from rain and snowfalls. This makes us very rain dependent for water levels. The Peshtigo is free flowing and devoid of dams upstream of the Roaring Rapids section, so there is no shock absorber effect to smooth out flows. As a result, spring rafting usually brings the highest levels of the season with the snow melt offering a considerably increased flow. If it rains while it is melting, the river gets huge. Later in summer, the levels usually fall, but not always. If it rains, we can have great water anytime in the season.

Something of interest is how much the river comes up when it rains, how long it takes to peak, and how fast it falls. There are so many variables involved here, it is tough to call. Generally, the best rises in levels come from watershed wide rains. With the elongated watershed, it can take 1 1/2 to 3 days to peak, sometimes longer if there are supplemental rains. If the rain was more local to the Roaring Rapids section, it will rise and fall much faster and seldom achieves huge volume. The river could rise, peak and fall in 3 or 4 days. If the rain was heavier in the northwest areas of the watershed, it may peak in 3-4 days and fall to previous levels in 3-4 more. That all varies with how dry it is, what time of year, and many other things.

(Video) Wildman Adventures - Menominee and Peshtigo River Trip

About 125 years ago, northern Wisconsin was being aggressively logged to build the big cities to the south. The first wave of logging came for the big pines that grew here, and because the pine floated so well, the rivers were the way to get the logs from the forests to the mills and to market. The Peshtigo was ideal for this with its high spring flows and the fact that it stretched from a Lake Michigan port city (Peshtigo) deep into the forests. This area is rich in history from that era, and many old logging camps still exist in some form.

The many ledges and big rocks in the northern rivers presented obstacles to the rush of logs and spring water, and would cause major log jams. As a result almost all of the major rivers were dynamited in the late 1800s to make passage easier. There is some debate if the Peshtigo was altered, but I will suggest that it looks like First Drop, Horserace and maybe the Third Drop/Joey’s Hole series of rapids were cleared.

The very first rapid on the river, Farm Dam, almost certainly was blasted. Local legend says that the loggers would pile rocks up in this narrowing to dam the river. When it froze in winter, they would skid the huge logs onto the ice. When the spring floods came, they would dynamite the dam and send a huge torrent of logs, water and ice downstream at once. There were no trucks back then, and the alternative was the horse drawn wagon. The rivers presented a great way to get the logs to market. The logs went to the town of Peshtigo, where there were many mills and cabinet shops and all sorts of industries with wood products. It was also right on Lake Michigan, making shipping convenient via the Great lakes. Much of this lumber built the cities of Milwaukee and Chicago.

(Video) Rafting in Wisconsin - High water Peshtigo River white water rafting.

This practice slowed eventually as the big pines were cut. When the loggers came back for the remaining hardwood trees, they brought the railroads with them to transport the logs. Hardwood doesn’t float as well as pine. Along in the same era, there was some prospecting for silver and gold in the area. There are low concentrations present in the area and they can often be seen in the bedrock of the river. Don’t forget that there is some iron pyrite (fool’s gold) too.

The Peshtigo River is world famous for its five miles of continuous class II, III and IV whitewater. The exciting Roaring Rapids section of the Peshtigo River includes three rock garden stretches and six main rapids, including ledges, waterfalls, and the legendary First Drop and Horserace Rapids. According to the river guidebook “Whitewater/Quietwater”, the Peshtigo averages 40 feet per mile of gradient in this section. The ledges and falls of the Peshtigo are a wild ride. As the water levels rise, huge waves and holes form.

The Roaring Rapids section of the river, even at low levels, has big enough rapids and waves that one will want either a decked boat (whitewater kayak), an inflatable one person raft (funyak, ducky), or float bags in a canoe to run it. Open canoes do not fare well on this stretch at all. They almost always swamp, fill with water, and then end up wrapped around a rock like a twist tie.

(Video) The Kosir's Rafting Icebreaker Trip on The Peshtigo River Sat 4/13/2013-full video

The rock that forms the river channel is a granite composite, more specifically a Precambrian crystalline dolomite, and as a result, there is very little water erosion and undercutting. That makes this river a lot safer than some with softer bedrock. At lower water, the rapids in this stretch rate Class II- III. At levels over about 800 cfs, they rate mostly III or IV. Again, you do not want to take a canoe down this stretch without float bags. If in doubt, raft it with Kosir’s Rapid Rafts first, and see what you are getting into.

(Video) Whitewater Rafting on the Peshtigo River, Wisconsin, April 2022

FAQs

Is the Peshtigo River clean? ›

The water is clear and cold coming from these creeks, and most of the water is class 1 or 2 trout stream. That would suggest right away that it is a very clean river, and it is.

Where does the Peshtigo River start? ›

The Peshtigo River originates north of Crandon, near the source of the Wolf River. The river flows through Forest and Marinette counties before emptying into Green Bay, 7 miles southeast of the city of Peshtigo.

Can you white water raft in Indiana? ›

Choose Your Class Session. EXPERIENCE THE THRILL OF WHITE WATER RAFTING as you and your friends raft Indiana's only whitewater river, the St. Joseph.

Are there trout in the Peshtigo River? ›

Peshtigo River fly fishing

After the Johnson Falls Dam, the river narrows as it enters the beautiful Peshtigo River fly-fishing stretch. This is a Category 5 Regulated Trout Water, meaning special regulations apply to all species of fish. Please consult the current trout fishing regulations.

What kind of fish are in the Peshtigo River? ›

Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings. Fish include Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye.

Are there rapids on the Wisconsin River? ›

The Wisconsin River originates in the forests of the North Woods Lake District of northern Wisconsin, in Lac Vieux Desert near the border of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It flows south across the glacial plain of central Wisconsin, passing through Wausau, Stevens Point, and Wisconsin Rapids.

What is a class 4 rapid? ›

Class IV: WILD

For strong paddlers only, Class IV (or Class 4 Rapid) is for intermediate and experienced rafters looking for a thrill. Rapids are long and unpredictable with large waves and narrow passages.

What is Class 3 whitewater? ›

Class 3: Whitewater, in that the water does appear white due to all the bubbles, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no considerable danger. This class may require significant maneuvering in the raft. Experienced and strong paddling skills are needed at this level.

What does the word Peshtigo mean? ›

Peshtigo took its name from the nearby Peshtigo River. The etymology of Peshtigo is uncertain. Explanations include an Ojibwe word meaning 'river of the wild goose', a Menominee word for 'snapping turtle', a word meaning 'passing through a marsh', or a reference to a local Menominee band known as Pesh-tiko.

How many dams are on the Peshtigo River? ›

The swimming area is now deeper after the draw down.

The Peshtigo River flows through the center of the City and drains into Green Bay approximately five miles southeast of Peshtigo. The BPM dam, the last of six dams on the river, is located in Peshtigo.

What river is Marinette Wisconsin on? ›

About the Lower Menominee River AOC

The AOC boundary includes portions of Marinette County in Wisconsin and Menominee County in Michigan and is within the city of Marinette, Wisconsin, and the city of Menominee, Michigan.

How deep is the East Race Waterway? ›

The East Race runs at a Class 2 rafting and is 1,900 feet.

Can you go white water rafting in Ohio? ›

While our southeastern neighbor reigns king of whitewater, Ohio has a surprising number of rivers offering exceptional kayaking and rafting opportunities.

What is the East race South Bend? ›

Located in the heart of downtown South Bend, the East Race Waterway is a one-of-a-kind recreational facility. As the first artificial white water course in North America, its rapids rival those of the Colorado River and can generate waves up to six feet or higher.

Are there catfish in the Peshtigo River? ›

About Peshtigo Harbor

Peshtigo Harbor is near Marinette. The most popular species caught here are Walleye, Northern pike, and Channel catfish.

Where are the fish biting on the bay of Green Bay? ›

Walleye and perch fishing are very good on Green Bay, with good catches of both taken in and around Geanos Reef, Vokes Reef, Oconto Shoal, Larson's Reef, and the west shoreline mud out in 24-30'. Trolling crankbaits or crawler harnesses is taking the most fish, and casting Ripper minnows or hair jigs has been good too.

What is the deepest part of the Wisconsin River? ›

Is there BLM land in Wisconsin? ›

The BLM has a share in all this beauty, as we manage almost 500 islands in Wisconsin's rivers and lakes. Many islands in this region were omitted from the original land surveys conducted in the 1830s and 1840s, and we don t manage all of them.

Is the Wisconsin River clean? ›

The Wisconsin River drains approximately 20% of the State of Wisconsin to the Upper Mississippi River system, and has experienced a long history of poor water quality conditions due to excessive nutrients, especially phosphorus.

Can a beginner do Class 4 rapids? ›

What's the Most Advanced Class of Rapids I Can Do as a Beginner? If you're physically fit, at least 14-18 years of age (water level changes minimum age recommendations), and ready for some adrenaline-pumping excitement, you can join in on trips with Class I-III rapids interspersed with Class IV rapids.

Are there class 7 rapids? ›

Class VII and VIII Rapids

There are plenty of narrow passages, long and quite difficult rapids, and very turbulent water in a Classes 7-8. This for the advanced rafting enthusiast as it requires precision maneuvering.

Can beginners do class 5 rapids? ›

Class 5 (Advanced/Most Difficult):

Requires previous Class 4 experience with very strong swimming ability (may require swim tests – absolutely NO NON-SWIMMERS).

Are there Class 6 rapids? ›

A Class 6 rapids, like Niagara's, involves “the difficulties of Class 5 carried to the extreme. Nearly impossible and very dangerous.” There are only six classes of rapids. Note: The White Water Walk is an attraction operated by the Niagara Parks Commission and an admission fee is charged.

Are there any Class 6 rapids in the US? ›

Celestial Falls—White River, Oregon

Popular with daredevil paddlers back in the day, these Class VI rapids (described as extreme and exploratory) are now legally off-limits to kayakers.

Are Class 2 rapids rough? ›

Class II Rapids »

Class II rapids are easy to navigate, generally broad sections of water moving fast enough to create 1 - 3 foot whitecaps. These are waves that are readily seen amidst broad channels that can be spotted without scouting the route from the shoreline.

Did the Peshtigo fire jump the bay? ›

It scorched 1.2 to 1.5 million acres, although it skipped over the waters of Green Bay to burn parts of Door and Kewaunee counties. The damage estimate was at $169 million, about the same as for the Chicago Fire. The fire also burned 16 other towns, but the damage in Peshtigo was the worst.

Was the Peshtigo fire bigger than the Chicago Fire? ›

Historically, the Peshtigo Fire has been somewhat overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire, though the Peshtigo Fire covered a much greater area and had many more fatalities. The Peshtigo Fire burned 1,875 square miles and destroyed twelve communities, killing between 1,200 and 2,500 people.

Why does no one know about the Peshtigo fire? ›

Because so many people died, there were not enough survivors to identify the victims, and many bodies remain unidentified to this day.

What is the zip code for Peshtigo Wisconsin? ›

What is Marinette Wisconsin known for? ›

As you may know, Marinette County is also known for its unique waterfalls; there are around 14 in and around the Marinette region. Located in the town of Amberg, Dave's Fall is one of the most visited waterfalls in Marinette County. If you're someone who loves waterfalls, this place is a must-visit.

How deep is the Menominee River? ›

Max Discharge: 3,420 cfs • Deepest Point: 16.37ft

This is also the deepest point on the Menominee River, with a gauge stage of 16.37 ft. This river is monitored from 8 different streamgauging stations along the Menominee River, the highest being perched at an elevation of 1,118 ft, the Menominee River Near Florence.

Is the Menomonee River Clean? ›

MADISON, Wis. - After 30 years of pollution cleanup and restoration efforts, the Lower Menominee River Area of Concern has been removed from an international list of the 43 most polluted places on the Great Lakes. This AOC is Wisconsin's first of five to be delisted.

How old is South Bend Indiana? ›

The city is located just south of Indiana's border with Michigan. The area was settled in the early 19th century by fur traders and was established as a city in 1865.

When was the East Race in South Bend in built? ›

The East Race was constructed in 1843 to provide hydro-power to multiple factories. The construction was done by the South Bend Manufacturing Company, incorporated in 1842 for this very purpose.

What class Rapids is Ohiopyle? ›

The Middle Yough begins at the Ramcat Put-in near Confluence and ends near the town of Ohiopyle. This section contains class I and II rapids and is ideal for beginning whitewater kayakers or experienced canoeists. Families often raft this section because it provides thrilling rapids at normal river levels.

What class is Ohiopyle? ›

Lower Yough Class III/IV Rapids.

How many dams are on the Peshtigo River? ›

The swimming area is now deeper after the draw down.

The Peshtigo River flows through the center of the City and drains into Green Bay approximately five miles southeast of Peshtigo. The BPM dam, the last of six dams on the river, is located in Peshtigo.

What does the word Peshtigo mean? ›

Peshtigo took its name from the nearby Peshtigo River. The etymology of Peshtigo is uncertain. Explanations include an Ojibwe word meaning 'river of the wild goose', a Menominee word for 'snapping turtle', a word meaning 'passing through a marsh', or a reference to a local Menominee band known as Pesh-tiko.

What is the zip code for Peshtigo Wisconsin? ›

Did the Peshtigo fire jump the bay? ›

It scorched 1.2 to 1.5 million acres, although it skipped over the waters of Green Bay to burn parts of Door and Kewaunee counties. The damage estimate was at $169 million, about the same as for the Chicago Fire. The fire also burned 16 other towns, but the damage in Peshtigo was the worst.

Was the Peshtigo fire bigger than the Chicago Fire? ›

Historically, the Peshtigo Fire has been somewhat overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire, though the Peshtigo Fire covered a much greater area and had many more fatalities. The Peshtigo Fire burned 1,875 square miles and destroyed twelve communities, killing between 1,200 and 2,500 people.

Why does no one know about the Peshtigo fire? ›

Because so many people died, there were not enough survivors to identify the victims, and many bodies remain unidentified to this day.

What is the zip code for Marinette Wisconsin? ›

A whitewater canoeing, kayaking and rafting guide to the Peshtigo River in Wisconsin, Farm Dam Landing to WPS Landing #12.

When river levels are flowing within a certain range, the "Roaring Rapids" segment of the Peshtigo River provides a fantastic whitewater experience, almost 5 miles of continuous class II to class IV rapids with many fun waves, holes, eddies and chutes.. First Drop is followed by Second Drop Rapids, a class III that is less technical.. Watch for a small rocky island in the middle of the river; Third Drop Rapids - a class III - is just downstream and should be scouted!. Five Foot Falls, a short, powerful, class III+ drop is right after Third Drop Rapids.. After Five Foot Falls the river flows wide and slow through more rocky whitewater as it approaches Horserace Rapids.. River Camping for Advanced Whitewater Enthusiasts If you're comfortable paddling class III-IV rapids, then the Peshtigo River is the only river in Wisconsin that offers the opportunity for whitewater camping trips for intermediate and advanced level paddlers.. So, here's Day One (P3): put-in at Burnt Bridge Landing and spend the day running the following rapids: Michigan Rapids (class III), Upper Dells Rapids (class II), the Dells Rapids (class III), several pitches of fun class I and II rapids, a stretch of scenic flatwater, Taylor Falls (class III), and Strong Falls (class IV).. The next 5.1 miles offers some of the best class III to class IV whitewater in the entire midwest.. Named features include: First Drop (class III-IV), Second Drop (class III), Third Drop/Joey's Hole (class III), Five Foot Falls (class III), Horserace Rapids (class III-IV), and finally, S-Curve Rapids (class III).. First Drop & Horserace Rapids are approaching class IV at high end of this range.6.0 feetto7.0 feet (24 to 36) High runnable flows.

A canoer, kayaker and whitewater rafter's guide to the Peshtigo River in Wisconsin, Big Joe Landing to WPS Landing #12.

This twelve mile reach features: Upper Dells Rapids (class II), Michigan Rapids (class III), Dells Rapids (class III), Taylor Falls (class III) and Strong Falls, a technical class IV.. Marinette County Parks Campgrounds The Marinette County Park System has two beautiful, shady family campgrounds on the Peshtigo River at Goodman Park (P3 and P4) and McClintock Park (P4) .. Wisconsin State Forest/Park Campgrounds Governor Thompson State Park and the Peshtigo River State Forest are both less than a 25 minute drive from Segment P5, “Roaring Rapids”.. The Peshtigo River State Forest is Wisconsin’s newest state forest and features over 12,000 acres of beautiful forests and scenic waters.. These changing water levels alter the river's character as well; during the summer and fall, what one day may be a scratchy class II boulder garden can become a roaring class III rapids, especially above the Rat River confluence near the end of Segment P4.

Booking the perfect vacation rental is quick and easy, no matter your destination. Find millions of offers from thousands of partners all at the best prices.

Whether it’s a trip with the family or a group of friends, whitewater rafting in Wisconsin is an amazing way to spend your summer.. For over 28 years, Thornton’s has been offering whitewater rafting trips for all experience levels.. From the leisurely scenic paddle to ripping down Class V rapids with drops and violent currents, the Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers offer an adventure for everyone.. North of Green Bay, WI, Wildman Adventure Resort offers rafting trips on both the Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers.. Furthermore, they have everything from single person boats for those shallower mid-summer rides to larger boats for the spring and early summer, deep water rafting rides.. For over 40 years, Kosir’s has offered an extensive array of rafting trips for all levels of experience.. The Peshtigo River trips occur both during spring and summer, whereas, the Menominee River trip is offered from Memorial Day through Labor Day.. You can either take a short 2-3 hour trip or a longer 5-6 hour trip.. Described as “the ultimate whitewater rafting in Northern Wisconsin,” Shotgun Eddy Raft Rental is located on the Wolf River in Menominee County.

White water rafting in the midwest takes place on the Menomenee and Peshtigo Rivers in Wisconsin. Wildman Resort is the place to be on vacation in the Midwest!

Visit one of the premiere outdoor adventure resorts and whitewater rafting centers in the Midwest.. The exciting Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers in Wisconsin offer exciting white water and daily trips for all ages.. Experience some of the biggest rapids in the Midwest.. Spring rafting on the Peshtigo at high water is the best whitewater rafting experience in a five state area.. Kick back, relax and enjoy the beauty of the Northwoods from the seat of a kayak.. Cabins at the Wildman Adventure Resort ranges from rustic to modern.

Videos

1. Whitewater Rafting Kosir's Rapid Rafts Funyaking Peshtigo River
(Kosir's Rapid Rafts)
2. Whitewater Rafting Kosir's Rapid Rafts Peshtigo River 2012
(Kosir's Rapid Rafts)
3. White water rafting part 2- Wildman Adventures-Peshtigo River
(Adventure Bear)
4. Whitewater Rafting Kosir's Rapid Rafts Peshtigo River Promo
(Kosir's Rapid Rafts)
5. Rafting on the Peshtigo - Part 1 of 3
(Jeff Spencer)
6. Kosir's Rapid Rafts
(WLUK-TV FOX 11)

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