Canoeing the Manitowish River, Wisconsin

Expert paddler Mike Svob has been canoeing and kayaking the rivers of the Midwest for 30 years. He paddled more than a thousand miles to complete these books. Below are brief descriptions of the canoe trips that Mike goes into detail with in his books with maps. The maps are very useful, showing rapids, take in and take out points and other things of interest.

Manitowish 1-Hwy 51 to Hwy 47. 7.5 miles. The Manitowish is the perfect river for the quietwater canoeists who like to combine lake and river paddling. Originating at High Lake a few miles east of Boulder Junction, it flows through one lake after another toward the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. Forty-four miles from its source it joins with the Bear River to form the Flambeau. There are seven campsites along this stretch of river. Put in at the Hwy. 51 bridge downstream left or right. There is room for several cars. The river is quite scenic here. After the river widens you enter Benson Lake. Bear to the right, toward the outlet. After the lake, woods again close in on both sides. After you pass Circle Lilly Creek you will see the first of several canoe access campsitesAfter that you will pass the Hwy 51 wayside landing at about 4 miles. Hwy 51 is close by for awhile. The river begins to get very marshy. Once you see woods and road traffic you are nearing the Hwy 47 bridge.Take out downstream right from the Hwy. 47 bridge, near a restaurant.

Manitowish River map 1




Manitowish 2-- Hwy 47 to Murrays Landing. 12.5 miles. this is a more isolated section of the river that ends wiyh a couple miles of paddling on the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. If you liked the remoteness and seclusion of the previous section, you will enjoy this section even more. Once you paddle away from the Hwy 47 bridge you won't come acrss any landings until the end. Camping is available at several primitive sites along the river. Put in at the Hwy 47 bridge downstream right. Mixed woods and marsh are found throughout this section. There are several sloughs that make "doglegs" off the main channel. In a number of place the river bends so sharply back upon itself that you can see it flowing in the opposite direction just a few feet away. At 15.2 miles, the Bear River enters on the left. At this point the Manitowish ends and the Flambeau begins. After a series of bends you enter the Turtle- Flambeau Flowage. Bear right as you paddle toward the narrow neck of water where the landing is located.. There is a prominent landmark called Baptism Rock that some canoeists aim for when paddling toward the landing.. Take out at Murrays Landing, a sandy beach on the right where the flowage narrows.

Manitowish River map 2