The Black River and East Fork of the Black River offer many excellent canoeing opportunities, all within close proximity to the Black River State Forest.
East Fork of the Black River
The East Fork of the Black River is very scenic with some mild rapids. Because the river is quite rocky, canoeing is not recommended during low water times, usually in mid-summer. It is best to call ahead to check on water levels. The East Fork offers good to excellent fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye.
The following is a list of popular trips on the East Fork of the Black River:
- City Point to East Fork Campground Landing: 2 days/requires overnight camping
- Stepanik Road to East Fork Campground Landing: 18 miles/10 hours
- Pray Road to East Fork Campground Landing: 10 miles/5 hours
- Waterbury Road to East Fork Campground Landing: 3.5 miles/2.5 hours
- East Fork Road to East Fork Campground Landing: 2 miles/1 hour
The Black River, from the powerhouse below Lake Arbutus to North Bend on Highway 54, is an excellent canoeing river from late spring through fall. A quiet river with only two small rapids, the Black River offers a scenic trip through sparsely populated areas. It also provides good to excellent fishing for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, muskie and catfish. Overnight campers can make use of the many sandbars along the way, and a canoe campsite is located on state forest property just below Mason’s landing on the east side of the river.
The following is a useful rule of thumb when considering a canoe trip on the Black River:
- No gates open at Black River Falls dam: SAFE
- Two gates open: AVERAGE or BETTER SKILLS RECOMMENDED
- Three or more gates open: CANOEING NOT RECOMMENDED
The following is a list of popular trips on the Black River. All times are approximate. Extra time should be added if you plan to fish.
- Powerhouse below Lake Arbutus to Halls Creek Landing: 4.5 miles/3 hours
- Halls Creek to Black River Falls Dam: 10 miles/5 hours
- Black River Falls, South 1st Street to Perry Creek Park: 2 miles/1 hour
- Black River Falls, South 1st Street to Mason’s Landing: 3.5 miles/2.5 hours
- Black River Falls, South 1st Street to State Forest Canoe Campsite: 4.5 miles/3 hours
- Mason’s landing to Irving Bridge: 8 miles/4.5 hours
- Irving Bridge to Melrose Highway 108 Bridge : 12 miles/6 hours
- Highway 108 Bridge to North Bend: 12 miles/6 hours
*Hatfield Hydro Flow Update (1-888-493-7694)
*Kayak Release takes place every 3rd Saturday, April through September
~Information provided by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources