Baraboo River 2010
worked for more than a decade in Baraboo, WI and cross the Baraboo
River eights times a day. I have always wanted to
canoe the Baraboo, but I never hear of, or see anyone do it. I
was hard pressed to find anyone who had canoed any part
of it at all. So finally in August of 2010, Zoe and I picked a
beautiful Saturday and dropped my powered canoe in at the
Circus World Museum in an attempt to canoe the 50 or so miles down to
our house on Lake Wisconsin. The Baraboo River
flows into the
Wisconsin River just south of Portage. From there it is about 10
miles or so down to our house.
In town was a mix of gravel and
rocks on the river bottom and very shallow. We had to be careful
as there were some good
sized rocks just below the surface. Once we got out of town it was much deeper but
with frequent underwater branches boiling
the surface. The first five
miles or so was beautiful and alternated between open farmlands and tunnels of
Then we hit our first deadfall.
was a monster. Way too high and gnarly to lift and drag the canoe over the
top. We had to portage around it.
(Going to be a long day if we have many more of these.)
Lifting a 17' canoe over
deadfall on muddy, slippery river banks made the portage tough.
This is more like what we encountered on a regular basis. We
could pull up to the fall. Get out and pull the canoe up and over.
Get back in on the other side and keep going. Took a bit of
effort but was much easier and quicker than portaging.
But, after 8-9 of these lift and carry manuevers it got to be a long
We saw a few abandoned structures along the way. Seems like
there was a bridge here at one time.
I have no idea where this is on the map. I've tried to locate
from land with no luck.
A picture while underway. We never went very fast as we
didn't want a wake to disturb things.
But we did try to keep moving right along as we never knew how many
more deadfalls to cross and it was a 50+ mile trip.
It ended up taking about 10 hours.
It was a beautiful trip (except for the deadfalls). We saw all
kinds of wildlife including herons, eagles and a pair of white
Here is a map of the trip.
Hope to do it again before too long.
Here is a
quick video bite of us underway.
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