Rafting in Marinette County
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.
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.
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.