Wisconsin Whitewater Rafting in Marinette County


It is easy to say that there is something for everyone here, from the family on inner tubes all of the way up to the hardcore world class kayakers. Check it out!
Marinette County has to be one of the best kept whitewater secrets of the upper Midwest.The Peshtigo River is well known for its splashy rock gardens, ledges, and drops with big waves and huge holes.
The Menominee River offers big water flows from 1,500-15,000 cfs, much like you would find on the great eastern or western rivers.
For private boaters, there are many hundreds of miles of rivers and streams to explore that have gradient falls and rapids almost all secluded in the County, State or National Forests.

Whitewater rafting is one of the fastest growing adventure sports. Just about anyone can do it, and it offers instant rewards for the beginner as well as plenty of new challenges and techniques to keep the accomplished rafter challenged. In a dozen years on the river, I have never had a boring trip.

Whitewater rafting is the perfect outing for many groups of people. Scout , church and youth groups love the outdoors, the challenges, the way the river builds strength of character, and lifelong friendships. I think everyone likes it for those reasons. Young couples and groups of friends often camp together and share the adventure, friends around the campfire, and the stories of the day. That is the recipe for memories if I've ever heard it. Companies and businesses use whitewater rafting trips to promote team building and fitness, as well as a general comradery among co-workers. Adrenaline junkies know that the river is a good place to get their fix. In my personal travels, I rate it #2 behind skydiving for thrill and challenge, but not by much when the river is high.

Someone once asked me for a one line quote about rafting up here. That was an easy one."Memories of a lifetime are made here every day." Powerful stuff, and it is absolutely true. I know I sure have a lot of fond memories. Between the adventure of the rapids, the beautiful forest land and wildlife along the way, and the company of good friends, it just can't be beaten. Trips don't cost much either, ranging from $25 to $45. You can't buy this much adventure anywhere else for under $50.

The Peshtigo is clearly my favorite whitewater rafting river. It is clean, cool, and free flowing, and it changes considerably with even minor water level changes. That makes it new and exciting every time you run it. Its rock gardens have endless play spots for the technical boater, and a fun splashy ride for the weekend or vacationing rafter. The ledges get huge waves and a few nice surfing and ender spots at higher levels, and some of the main rapids have huge holes and big falls.

The Peshtigo offers a long stretch of rapids and rock gardens, and some claim it is one of the longest continuous stretches of whitewater in the region at 5 miles. It is without question some of the best whitewater rafting in the state of Wisconsin. 

In the spring and summer, the whitewater stretch of the Peshtigo is rated at class II-III. At higher flows, it easily rates a solid class IV in most of the main rapids. Rafting trips on the Peshtigo range from about $25 in the summer to $45 in the spring meltwater season. Trips can range from mild at lower levels to really wild at higher levels. In the summer, a lot of scout groups, church groups and other organizations take to the river, along with a lot of families and young adults. The minimum age at Kosir's, is 12 on the Peshtigo and 16 on the Menominee, and we had a gentleman in his 80's run a few years ago. 

Click here to learn more about Wisconsin whitewater rafting on the Peshtigo River.

The Menominee River is a great rafting trip for those that want big water like you might find on some of the well known western or eastern rivers. The Menominee is dam-controlled and has flows that range from around 1,500-15,000 cfs. In the driest times, it usually still has a flow of at least 900cfs. Compare this to the Peshtigo with flows from 200cfs up to 3,600 at flood stage. Most people have no idea that we have whitewater rafting like this in Wisconsin.

The Menominee trip starts on calm water as you paddle past huge cliffs and some serious scenery. Expect to see eagles and other wildlife here. The river begins to pick up tempo at the first rapid, a relatively small class II-III. There are some rock gardens between there and the gorge that can keep it interesting before the main event. 

The Gorge, or more accurately Piers Gorge Scenic Area, holds some absolutely huge rapids sandwiched between high cliffs and mountainous terrain. Mishicot Falls is the entrance of the gorge, a drop that measures between 8 and 15 feet depending on water levels. After that, you are in for a wild ride with huge waves and holes, and some pretty big rapids.

The cool part of the Menominee trip with Kosir's is that you get to run the Gorge twice. When you start out on the flat water section, you are running with 4-5 people in a raft. Right before the gorge, you stop and go up on the cliffs and see what you will be running. When you return to the river, you will run the gorge with 8-10 people in the boat, and run it twice without carrying rafts back up. Once you have run the gorge twice, you return to being 4-5 in a raft and run through Terminal Surfer, a huge, uniform, back-rolling wave, before going to the landing. Trips on both rivers take about 3 hours, depending on water levels.

I would like to encourage you to look through these sections and links, learn more about paddling whitewater in Marinette County, WI, and visit for a trip. See you on the river! 

Rafting Page 1.....Rafting Page 2.....Rafting Page 3.....Rafting Page 4, First Drop

Rafting Related Pages and Links

White Water Rafting Wisconsin

Peshtigo River Rafting

Menominee River Rafting

Kosir's Rapid Rafts
Whitewater Rafting and Campground

Wisconsin Whitewater Rafting Blog

USGS Gauge on the Peshtigo River

USGS Gauge on the Menominee River

USGS Gauge on the Wolf River

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