-- Last Updated: Apr-07-12 11:08 AM EST --
You might also want to get in touch with the MadCity Paddlers. We're pretty much based in the Madison area in south central Wisconsin, but we have a number of members who have either migrated north from here and maintained membership or who have joined MCP though they aren't really in our central area. Durangoski (Tom who lives in Merrill) is one but there are others. The club does quite a lot of trips, most of which are to points North.
Membership is quite reasonable - $12/year for family, $10 for individual, if my memory is serving me correctly. There's an Email newsletter that announces trips, some of which will probably be within easy driving distance from you.
You are aware there's a world class artificial whitewater course in Wausau, right? If not, you might want to check that out ASAP... I've never been there myself, but I'm sure they have scheduled dam releases that allow for practice at various flow rates, etc. It would also be an excellent place to meet other (probably very good) paddlers from the area.
Another way to meet other paddlers in the area is to enter the Callie Rohr race held on the very uppermost stretch of the Wisconsin River near Conover WI. (June 9 & 10th this year) The race starts at the Rohr's campground, so its a camping/paddling weekend. Great place to meet other paddlers. Even if (like me) you're not really a racer, its a good time, a chance to meet other area paddlers, a very pleasant place to paddle, and the proceeds go to a good cause.
You're much closer to many very nice near wilderness paddling rivers than we are down here. (Though we have some pretty good ones, too.) For starters, try the Flambeau (North Fork) from below the Turtle-Flambeau flowage to Agenda landing. (Note: Hug the left bank at Pine Tree rapids just below Holt's landing - there's a barely-submerged smooth boulder at the bottom that isn't immediately apparent and snags quite a few folks. I hit it the first time...) The Manitowish is a beautiful, peaceful river. The Namekagon is another very nice paddling river. The Wolf is a good choice if you like whitewater. Not too bad from "irrigation hole" upstream from Langlade down to "Gilmore's mistake" where Bear Paw outfitters is located. Scout Boy Scout rapids from the foot bridge though - might choose to carry that one. Below Gilmore's on the Wolf one better be a pretty good canoe paddler running it with other pretty good paddlers. At some water levels there are some honest Class III & IVs down there.
Now that you're a resident, you might want to locate a copy of "Paddling Northern Wisconsin" by Mike Svob. Its as good a guide as any to the paddling opportunities you're now in the midst of.
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