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Canoeing the Kickapoo River Wisconsin

Two Canoes - Kickapoo River

The tradition lives on

Every Memorial weekend for the past ten years, I have spent the same way, canoeing the Kickapoo River. This tradition started because my best friend Denise’s birthday is May 29th and what better way to celebrate than getting outdoors.

If you read my post exploring the Cave of the Mounds, then you have already been introduced to Denise. She is a wonderful person whom I have had the pleasure of being friends with for over 30 years.

Nice full sandstone bluff from canoe

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Canoe Rentals

The only place we have seen in Ontario, Wisconsin that has backrests on their canoes is Kickapoo Wild Adventures. The cost to rent a canoe is $40 and includes pickup at six different locations of your choosing.

Colorful sandstone bluff

Wild Adventures has always been accommodating. When paying for the rentals, they give out their cell phone number to call. Once we have decided we have had enough of the river, we call them and let them know where we are, and they come to pick us up, usually arriving within 15 minutes.


The last two years canoeing the Kickapoo River have been radically different than previous. Instead of packing our coolers full of beer and grabbing mixers to start the day off, we now pack food. We used to leave our daughters at home, knowing that it wouldn’t be appropriate for them to hang with a bunch of drunks.

Now we pack a picnic lunch and bring our children. I have always enjoyed this opening summer tradition, but now I get to experience it with my daughters as well. Instead of being a loud, obnoxious group, we are the families trying to enjoy a beautiful day.

Canoeing the Kickapoo River Wisconsin

Our group used to stop at sandbars to exchange drinks and find a place to pee. Now we stop to enjoy a picnic. I can enjoy the beauty of the sandstone bluffs and not concentrate on how many beers we have left and will they last the rest of the trip.

Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed our canoe trips with drinks and friends. But now I can truly appreciate what the Kickapoo River has to offer.

Girls canoeing the Kickapoo River Wisconsin

Years to come

My daughters are growing up so fast. Having days like today spent together and building memories are so important. We are an outdoors family, but it is getting harder and harder to find the time to be together in nature.

Selfie canoeing Kickapoo River Wisconsin

Today is a good day, fresh air, sunshine, and time spent with the family. I highly recommend canoeing the Kickapoo River and making it a new tradition.

External Links:

Kickapoo Wild Adventures

When spending time outdoors always be respectful of nature, use common sense and please follow any posted rules.

Take nothing more than pictures and leave nothing but footprints. 

Thank you for reading!  Have a great day!!

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