Chippewa Falls, WI

The Best Option for Tubing or Canoeing in Chippewa Falls

Walter Rhein
Image by Walter Rhein

Northern Wisconsin boasts some of the most pristine and beautiful waterways in all of North America. Chippewa Falls is a community surrounded by lakes and rivers of all sizes. Whether you are looking for a day long activity, or you just want a couple of hours to float and relax, Chippewa Falls has you covered.

One of the most popular options for tubing, canoeing, or riding a stand up paddle board can be found at the public boat landing right in the heart of the town. The boat landing is located off Riverside Drive which connects to Main Street right at the bridge. This boat landing is located within sight of the dam and provides access to the Chippewa River.

For the most part, the Chippewa River is a tranquil waterway. Like all rivers, there are often stones hidden just beneath the surface, and the depth can vary dramatically. There are a few places where the water picks up speed, but there’s nothing that could really be called dangerous rapids as the water flows towards Lake Hallie.

It’s always recommended that you don’t leave valuables in your vehicle, but, for the most part, Chippewa Falls is a law abiding community. Faced with the choice of risking leaving valuables in a car, or taking them with you on the river, there’s a much greater chance the water will take your valuables than anyone bothering your car.

Before you go out on the water in any kind of vessel, it’s always important to take note of the water level. If there have been recent rain storms, it’s likely that the water will be higher and faster than normal. Always be cautious and aware of what you’re getting into.

One of the chief dangers of high water is the potential for getting caught up in a snag. If a tree has fallen into the river and you float into it on a tube or while wearing a life vest, it’s possible to get caught up in the branches and pushed below the surface. If you are traveling with small children, make sure they know to stay away from downed trees that have fallen into the water.

Floating on a river can seem like the most peaceful thing in the world, but if you get caught in a snag you’ll recognize the inherent power of thousands of gallons of flowing water. Fortunately, snags are easy to avoid and pose little danger provided you pay attention to your circumstances.

Many locals enjoy floating from the Main Street boat landing down to Loopy’s river rentals. Loopy’s will shuttle you down to the landing and then you can float the approximately 3 miles to the take-out point. Loopy’s is marked from the water by a huge banner that’s impossible to miss. The length of the trip depends on the water level and the speed of the current, but it’s generally around one and a half to two hours.

If you’re up for a longer trip, you can leave a vehicle down at the Wheaton Boat Landing off 106th Street down by the River Bend Vineyard & Winery. The river is easily navigable throughout the entire distance, but you do pass beneath Highway 29 and you need to be mindful of the piers.

The longer trip is about 6 miles on the water and can take anywhere from two to four hours depending on if you are paddling or not.

Getting out on the river is one of the best ways to hit the reset button on your life. If you’ve spent the whole day staring at a computer screen and you are hounded by the trivial concerns of modern day life, getting out on the water can bring about a sense of peace and calm you might not believe is possible.

There’s no better activity for keeping kids entertained on a hot summer day than taking them on a family river trip. As long as you make sure everyone is wearing a life jacket, and you remember to bring plenty of snacks, you’re sure to make fond memories that will last a lifetime.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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