A Brief Overview of the Kickapoo River


The Kickapoo River, located in Wisconsin, USA, is a gentle, meandering river that flows past a diverse array of vegetation and along sandstone bluffs. It consists of about 500,000 acres of Monroe, Crawford, Richland, and Vernon counties, and contains more than 500 miles of streams.

It is under the care of the Kickapoo Valley Reservethat is located in the middle Kickapoo sub watershed. The Kickapoo River has been identified as one of the most accessible and beautiful rivers that is enjoyed by the public.

Geologists have even suggested that it is the oldest river system in the world that can be found outside Antarctica. Experts have identified the Kickapoo River as the perfect example of an entrenched dendritic river system.

A valley has been carved by the river over a period of centuries that varies from less than a mile wide to a very narrow gap at some areas. The Kickapoo River is fed by a number of tributaries and smaller streams. The river is kept cool all-year round due to the presence of free-flowing wells and springs.

As beautiful as the Kickapoo River may sound and look, it also has its fair share of danger. During and after a heavy amount of rainfall, the river does rise quickly which makes flooding a common occurrence.

The most dangerous conditions would be when log or debris jams occur. With the high number of trees alongside the river, log jams are a natural occurrence.

Visitors are warned to be careful if they plan to go portaging or swimming. The deep pools with very strong currents, cool water temperature, and hidden logs can prove hazardous even to the most expert individual.

The Kickapoo Valley Reserve does have information that they provide visitors with regards to the conditions of the river as well as a guide to help determine if the area is safe or not for canoeing or kayaking.

If you plan to go canoeing or kayaking at the Kickapoo River any time soon, you’ll be happy to know that the Kickapoo Valley Reserve website has a river guide that you can access and download at home to help you plan ahead.

The guide contains information on the approximate river distances and paddle time, including the area of the river where you are under the Kickapoo Valley Reserve jurisdiction or if you are already under the jurisdiction of the Wildcat Mountain State Park.

Over the most recent years, Kickapoo River water quality has greatly improved. Several studies conducted on the river showed that it is home to 31 species of fish. Three of the five tributaries are known as excellent spots for trout fishing particularly, brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout.

Quite recently, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve along with other local business and organizations has launched the Paddler Pick Up program as an initiative to clean up the Kickapoo River.

Basically, people who will be canoeing or kayaking in the river are provided with red mesh bags where they can put trash in. The collected trash is then sorted at boat landing and the red mesh bags can be hung to dry and ready for reuse by the next paddler.

Are you up for a visit to the Kickapoo River?