Gear Review

Canoeing & Kayaking South Central Wisconsin

Canoeing & Kayaking South Central WisconsinFollowing in the footsteps of notable paddling guides and authors, Timothy Bauer, co-author of, has added to the paddling landscape by highlighting less-traveled opportunities in the Southern Wisconsin area. Much like Michael Duncanson, or the derivative paddling bible, Paddling Southern Wisconsin by Mike Svob, his guide provides updated information on a few familiar destinations conveniently located near Madison, but much like Frank Piraino, he covers the in-betweens and otherwise undiscovered gems located in our own backyard.

What We Like:
The premise of this book is simple: 60 trips within 60 miles of Madison. In addition to being the capital of the state, Madison provides a tidy geological demarcation such that everything to the east was glaciated in the last Ice Age some 13,000 years ago, while everything to the west wasn’t. With Madison at the center, the 60-mile circumference extends to Platteville to the southwest, Horicon to the northeast, Lake Geneva to the southeast, and Wonewoc to the northwest.

This book primarily offers single-day outings, with the exception of a few trips that require a one-night minimum campout on a river (or two nights, depending on your pace and water levels). The landscapes these rivers and creeks course through are as varied as the streams themselves: Driftless cliffs and glacier-deposited drumlin hills, gentle prairies and wind-swept marshes, oak savannas and floodplain swamps, just to name a few. There are even a few lake trips featured, for flatwater enthusiasts, all of them protected from gas-motor engines.

It is Timothy’s sincere belief that you can find wildness in your own backyard without having to drive five hours to seek out wilderness. While wilderness experiences are certainly wonderful, they’re impractical for most of us who are just looking for fun spots close to home but are still pretty, protected, and offer momentary escapes. This book offers both off-the-beaten path water trails as well as established trips, and for beginner paddlers and experienced ones alike. There’s something for everyone.

The Final Word:
Timothy has put in countless hours planning and then documenting these paddles, dozens of which are not posted on While, I’m certainly biased in my adoration of this book, the proof is in the pages, and the attention to detail is extraordinary. He put a lot of love into this project all to benefit and best prepare paddlers to seek out rivers and creeks in Southern Wisconsin they might otherwise have never considered. We can’t wait to share this with you.

Key Info:
Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press
Trips: 60
Pages: 288

Buy Now

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply