Featured Photo by Wanderluster
Pepin County Spots for Canoeing and Kayaking
Pepin County is home to various lakes, streams, and rivers that allow paddlers to get out on the water and in their canoes and kayaks for a day of fun, exercise, and outdoor adventure. With many easy access public landings and a few outfitters, it can be easy for anyone to get out and do some paddling in Pepin County. Here are a few suggestions on where to get started for your next paddling adventure on the waterways of Pepin County.
With headwaters at Lake Chippewa in northeastern Wisconsin near New Post, WI, the Chippewa River flows across the state before reaching Pepin County in Durand. The historic Chippewa River is a beautiful waterway that offers challenging whitewater, calm waters, and canoe-camping opportunities for paddlers of all skill levels and abilities. In Pepin County, the river runs over 25 miles starting in Durand until it empties into the Mississippi River at Lake Pepin. Paddlers can put their canoes and kayaks in at various landings along the river and get out along the way to explore the state natural areas, including Tiffany Bottoms and Nelson-Trevino Bottoms. When the river is at a safe level for paddling, a trip exploring the Chippewa’s main channel and winding backwater sloughs is readily available for paddlers of varying abilities. It makes for a great day on the water with friends or family. If you don’t have your own gear, rent from Corral Bar & Riverside Grill in Durand.
Located on the Mississippi River, Lake Pepin is a popular attraction for sailboats, fishermen, water skiers, boats, swimmers, and paddlers. Being the largest lake on the Mississippi River, Lake Pepin has plenty of space for all water recreators to share the lake. Paddlers often enjoy paddling around the lake and sticking close to the banks to find sandbars, beaches or parks to stop at for breaks throughout the day. There is also a wide range of diverse flora and fauna on and around the lake, making it a great place for paddlers who enjoy wildlife and bird watching. Fishermen with fishing kayaks or canoes can also take advantage of the many landings along Lake Pepin to head out and cast a line. Paddlers can also reach many of the river’s backwaters from Lake Pepin if they wish to get away from the main channel.
Eau Galle River
Another option for paddlers in Pepin County is the Eau Galle River which runs from the dam at Eau Galle into the Chippewa River just southwest of Durand. This stretch of the river features five miles of gentle current, making it suitable for paddlers of all ages and skill levels. The river flows through rugged, wooded areas and farmland with a variable flow. The Eau Galle River can make for a day of east paddling and for taking in the natural beauty of Pepin County. It is worth noting, though, that there are no developed launch sites.
Silver Birch Lake
Silver Birch Lake is also a great location in Pepin County for paddlers looking to get out on the water. Located in the Chippewa River floodplain, less than 3 miles south of Arkansaw, paddlers will find Silver Birch County Park and Holden Park Campground. The park features a developed boat ramp, parking, a picnic area, and a developed shoreline. The lake is often used by fishermen in motorboats, but fishing kayaks and canoes would also be sufficient for a day of fishing on the lake, which has a maximum depth of 8 feet. If you wanted to make a weekend out of your paddling adventure, you could camp at Holden Park Campground and take time to explore Silver Birch Lake as well as the nearby Chippewa River.