Canoeing the Oconto 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.


Oconto 1-Tar Dam Road to Bagley Rapids- Oconto County-9.5 miles. Definitly not for beginners, this stretch offers a succession of Class II boulder gardens. High water raises the danger level. Put in downstream right from the Tar Dam Road bridge. This is private property so ask permission from the owner. The river starts off narrow with a boulder strewn rapids followed by a stretch of flatwater. After another Class II rapids a flatwater stretch leads to Loon Rapids at 2 miles.As the Hwy. 32 bridge comes up there is a long winding Class II rapids. After the Hwy. 32 bridge there is a very long continuous Class II boulder garden that continues for a long time.Before the old Krammer Dam at 5 miles you come on to some quiet water. After the river narrows the rapids resume. A long stretch of flatwater takes you under the County W bridge. As you approach the Bagley Rapids Campground the rapids resume.Take out at the campground if you are registered or otherwise take out a couple hundred yards downstream on river left.





Oconto 2-Underhill to Oconto Falls- Shawano and Oconto County-16.8 miles. This is an excellent stretch for novices and quiet water paddlers. Stay off the river when the water is high. Put in at the city park at Underhill, upstream from the Hwy. Vbridge. Mud banks line the river for the next 11 miles.After the Hwy. 22 bridge at 3.9 miles several gravel bars jut out from the right shore. Approaching Pulcifer the river is fairly wide and deep. All the way to County BB the river is consistently wide at about 75 feet. A pleasant wayside landing is located upstream right at the Hwy. 32 bridge. The last 5.5 miles from the bridge to Oconto Falls has virtuallyno current, so you will be doing alot of paddling. Take out at the public landing on the left side of the lake, alongside Hwy 22, upstream from the dam.




Oconto 3-Hwy. 141 to the Bay-Oconto County-12 miles. This is a pleasant mix of wooded shoreline and developed surroundings, with good fishing. You will find excellent camping in Oconto at Holtwood Park. Water levels are largely dependant on the volume of release from the Machickanee Flowage dam at Stiles. Put in at the Machickanee Public boat landing at the Hwy. 141 bridge. The river begins fairly narrow with good current.There are many gentle bends in the first couple of miles.At 3.5 miles you go under the Cty. J bridge.Suzie's Rapidsappears downstream at 7.6 miles, a Class I S curve with rocks and gravel bars. Soon Copper Culture Park appearson the left on the west edge of Oconto. Take out just before the mouth of the river at the public boat landing on the left bank at Breakwater Park.