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Willow River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: New Richmond, WI
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: Jake Wisse

Description:

This is a great little river to make a day trip on. In the spring during the run-off it is downright wild, with parts approaching a Class 3 towards the end. Trees are down all over the place, and it is easy to get hung up. However, the water moves fast so there is plenty of action. In the summer and fall it is quite mild for the most part.

We put in off of HWY 64 in New Richmond, and it is secluded for the first 2-3 hours, without many houses or roads anywhere near. The width of this river is about 50-100 feet across-though during the spring run-off the banks overflow and can get as wide as 200 yards across. There are many places to stop and rest along the way. It is common to have to portage 4-5 times in the summer/fall seasons. There are 4 good spots to take out, depending on how long of a trip you want. 100th (off of Cty A), 140th (off Cty A), County Road A itself, or County Rd E. These would be about 2.5, 3, 4, and 5 hours respectively.

In the spring, wear a wet or dry suit, because the water is cold! There are 3-foot waves in the last section of the river in the spring also.

There are two waterfalls downriver of County Road E, and one of them is a 40 footer, so be careful.

Accommodations:

There are none. If you get stranded along the way in 45 degree weather in the spring and you have dumped twice and are dying of hypothermia, you can walk 200 yards across some fields and some nice farmer will drive you to your car.

Directions:

From Minneapolis, take Hwy 36 through Stillwater, then turn right on 64 into Wisconsin, through Somerset and to New Richmond. You will drive right over the bridge where you put in, and there is a little park on your right. This is the junction of 64 and County A.

Launches:

Put in: Hwy 64 and County A
Take out 1: 100th: no good place to park except near the bridge. Rural countryside, so no problem.
Take out 2: 140th: Nice little dirt road to park on to take out.
Take out 3: Under County A: Park down the road 100 feet on the east side.
Take out 4: County E. Park anywhere.


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