Gear Review

Book: Canoeing and Kayaking Wisconsin: The Rivers, The Towns, The Taverns

Canoeing and Kayaking Wisconsin The Rivers The TownsDoc Fletcher has his own unique take on paddling adventures. It’s based on the idea that a complete canoe or kayak trip is about three things; the River, the Town and the Tavern. And we very much agree with him. One of the exciting aspects to kayaking is the journey. It’s the little towns we travel through, the things we see and people we meet. And of course, there is simply nothing better than a post-take-out beer after a day on the water.

What We Like:
We (obviously) really enjoy reading other people’s trip reports. That’s essentially what this book is but with the unique breakdown of river, town and tavern aspect. It’s incredibly well researched, detailed and served up with a dose of humor.

The book is loaded with information on local canoe and kayak liveries, taverns, town history, maps, etc. The maps are charming, (Sharpie on tracing paper) but while they give you a general idea of the route, I would recommend sticking with Google Maps or a current atlas for detailed route information.

The rivers he features cover a lot of popular water which includes the Baraboo, Black, Bois Brule, Brule, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Flambeau South Fork, Grant, Kickapoo, Lemonweir, Little Wolf, Mecan, Milwaukee, Namekagon, Sugar, Tomahawk, White, Wisconsin and one “bonus” Illinois trip, the Chicago.

The actual description of the paddles are very detailed and are broken down by mileage and time. The time aspect proves unnecessary because the flow of the river and one’s own paddling speed plays into how long it takes to navigate a river but we applaud the effort nonetheless because it’s interesting reference and could prove useful.

Also, I don’t know if Mr. Fletcher is a Wisconsinite but he knows how to capture the heart of an outdoor enthusiast in Wisconsin by including the radio station affiliates for both the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Final Word:
This is another great addition for canoe and kayak fanatics in Wisconsin and it’s worthy of a place on the shelf next to Mike Svob’s books. Not only for its wealth of information but also its entertainment value and the love that went into documenting these journeys.

Key Info:
Author: Doc Fletcher
Publisher: Arbutus Press
Pages: 208

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