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Recreation

Ride. Cast. Hike. Glide.

Rusk County paddling guide

Travel to Rusk County this spring to experience some of the best canoeing and kayaking in the Midwest. Rusk County's wild rivers and glacial lakes offer an eclectic mix of paddling options, from challenging rapids to serene excursions amid scenic wilderness. Here are a few things to know before planning your paddling trip to Rusk County.

When should I go?

Any time of year--other than winter, obviously--is a good time to explore Rusk County's waters, but each season offers its own advantages. Spring is ideal for action seekers, as snowmelt means rivers are running high and fast. Summer offers the most temperate weather and encourages daylong explorations of the area's rivers and lakes. In autumn, paddlers can enjoy their trip with a side of awe-inspiring fall color.

Where should I go?

Canoers and kayakers shouldn't miss Rusk County's four wild rivers--the Jump, the Thornapple, the Chippewa and the Flambeau. The Chippewa and Flambeau paddlers some exceptional routes, including the Chippewa from Bruce to the Flambeau River and the Flambeau from Ladysmith to the Thornapple Dam. Rusk County also has several other public-access lakes that paddlers can explore, including the Holcombe Flowage and Lake Flambeau/Dairyland Flowage.

What kind of gear do I need?

If you have your own canoe or kayak, great--just load it up and you're all set. But if you're looking for rentals, head to Flambeau Adventures in Ladysmith, which offers canoe and kayak rentals as well as waterfront lodging on the Flambeau River north of Big Falls Dam.