Canoeing the Totogatic 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.


Totogatic 1-Duck Dam to Cotton Dam -9 Miles-Washburn and Douglas County-24 miles.This trip is prime whitewater canoeing when waters are above average. Put in is at Duck Dam about 10 miles north of Hayward and reached by the Frog Creek Fire lane. Plenty of fast water and rapids the first two miles. You will hear High Falls before you see it. it is a 20 foot drop over a steep ledge. It is common sense to portage this.Portage along the right bank. The next 1.5 miles are almost continuous rapids. Small Falls should be approached cautiously. The river narrows into a chute and drops about three feet. Stay near the center. Buck Falss is a wild tumbling 15 foot cascade of water over some rock ledges. The fast water continues down to Cotton Flowage. Take out is on a little sand beach just upstream from the dam on the left shore.


Totogatic 2-US Hwy. 53 to Lake Nancy Road-Washburn and Douglas County-16 miles. This part of the river has a little bit of everything for the canoeist. On the upper part the river is shallow except for the deep holes on the river bends. The current is quite slow and there are no rapids. Below Minong Lake the river has medium current and low hazard rapids. Put in is at the Hwy. 53 bridge. The channel route to the Minong Flowage is about 4 miles in length. Take out is on the right steep bank just below the bridge at Nancy Road.