September 03, 2013

Kickapoo River Wisconsin

We woke up around 7 am so we could make sure we got an early start on the river before the spring break calamity crowd hit the river.  We packed up and made it over just in time to get in line at the put in location where 10 intrepid adventurers would embark on a 22 mile float down the famous Kickapoo River. We were able to drop off our cars in Lafarge which was where our take out point was thanks to Drifty Canoe Rental, which was a great outfitter that provided our canoe rentals for the trip.  They had everything ready, gave us a shuttle ride from our take out point,  and the prices were within reason. The 10 of us gracefully boarded our canoe vessels and started our course for Lafarge.

Bluffs on the Kickapoo River

The Kickapoo River got its name from the Algonquin Indians which means "One who goes here, than there".  The crooked meandering river starts near Mill Bluff State Park and 126 miles later becomes a tributary of the Wisconsin river.  There are some springs and other creeks that feed into the Kickapoo River but back in the last ice age, glacial meltwater ran down cutting valleys and gorges which has cut a valley/ravine through the southwest Wisconsin Driftless area known today as the Kickapoo River. The scenery was as expected, beautiful!!!
Kickapoo River looking up at Wildcat Mountain observation point
As we cut the banks around the twisty bends of the Kickapoo river, we come across decent sized bluffs with hanging gardens of rare ferns and moss.  The marshlands and the valley of the Kickapoo hold some unique flora and fauna to enjoy while you meander down the lazy river.  We encountered a few small places where the water picked up but I wouldn't really class it as a class one.

About as rapid as we found it to be on the Kickapoo River
We continued down past wildcat mountain and found ourselves losing the crowds at the take out points along the way.  It was really nice to have the river just us which also made it easy to find a good camping location.

campsite on the kickapoo river
We woke up early from camping and got back onto the water so we can make good time back to the car and onto our final location for the trip at Buckhorn State Park.  We continued on our trip down the river enjoying the heat of the sun and the coolness the canyon bluffs offered us.
Day 2 Kickapoo River
We came across a spot on a bluff where we could all jump into the water and enjoy a nice break from the canoes.  Properly named "Adventure Cove" for the cavern like indentation in the bluff, we continued on the Kickapoo River into the Kickapoo Valley preserve area.

Adventure Cove Kickapoo River
We continued to see bluffs with hanging gardens all the way down to Lafarge which was nice as well as having time to tie our canoes together to enjoy good company and stimulating conversation.
Day 2 Bluffs on the Kickapoo River
The trip was nearing its end as we made our final bends around to the take out point at Lafarge.  22 miles of memories, nature, adventure, and good times with friends made this trip a wonderful experience.
almost to LaFarge on the Kickapoo River

 We headed out and the group broke in half with some of us going to Chicago and some of us continuing on to Buckhorn State Park and Pewit's Nest the following day.

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