Recon: Kickapoo River near Gays Mills, WI

This paddle launch could work out if the Kickapoo is not too swift. It would have to be a non-shuttled paddle.

We planned to paddle at Wyalusing but it was the hottest two days in the summer of 2023. Our friends had rented a nice (cool) cabin in Veroqua via vrbo (Driftless Cabins and Retreat Center).

On our way to dinner at we saw launch signs so we checked it out on our way back home.

Location: Hwy B bridge just south of River Road but North of 131. Set your  GPS to St. Francis Hermitage in Gays Mills, WI . It is just a little over 1 mile from there. See screenshot of map below. It is the on the south side of the bridge over the river. (Opposite side of River Rd.)

This is about 2 hours from Madison eastside. Ironically Wyalusing is also 2 hours and so is the busy paddling area around Wildcat Mountain.

Launch:  There is an 18″ or so step down into the water. So we would need to prepare to have wet feet – not sure if our usual launch routine would work. We tried to find a second launch within a few miles in order to have a shuttled paddle, but as best we can tell the nearest landing is in Soldiers Grove – nine river miles upstream.

Water: The river looked lively – probably shouldn’t paddle against stream more than this flow until it is tested. Kickapoo river flow for August 25 at LaFarge 135cfs (mean 170, median 126, about 50th percentile). Stueben gauge 445 cfs (about 30th percentile, mean 643. median 510)