Canoeing the Marengo-Bad 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.


Marengo River to the Bad River- Ashland County-12 miles-The Marengo River is largely spring fed and is likely to be runnable during most of the summer. During thesummer the Bad River is generally too shallow to run. Put in at the bridge due north of the town of Highbridge. 1/2 mile into the trip you pass the mouth of Silver Creek where there is a short Class 1 rapids.Watch out for downed trees in this narrow part of the river. At the 2 mile point is Billy Creek with another Class 1 rapids just below this. At 4.5 miles you merge with the Bad River. At about 7 miles the Potato River enters from the right. A little while after that the Soo Line trestle crosses the river. Take out at Elm Hoist bridge. The Elm Hoist Trail is really a dirt road so you will probably need a 4-wheel drive.


Bad River-Ashland County-19 miles-The river is best run in spring when the water is higher. Put in at the Elm Hoist Trail Bridge.At two miles there is a Class II rapids. At 3.5 miles you come to the Bad River Falls.This must be portaged. There is a footpath on the right bank. At 8 miles Camerons Creek enters from the left. The first bridge upstream from Odanah is the recommended take-out.