Paddling NHAL and the Manitowish River in Northern Wisconsin

When October 2015 finally arrived it meant that the 2nd annual fall paddle would be here soon. What we've settled on for the fall paddle each year is that it will be on a river system that is different than previous trips. This year that meant heading up to the Northern Highland - American Legion State Forest and the Manitowish River(click for map and detailed route info).

We put our kayaks in along highway 51 on the Manitowish River and spent the first 2 days paddling that. The Manitowish is a greater river for pretty much all age levels. There are a handful of riffley sections on an otherwise gentle river. The map shows quite a few campsites and because of the fall temps we had our pick of the lot.

The Manitowish eventually flows into the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. This flowage has numerous islands and backwaters to explore...its huge. Many of these islands have campsites on them and for every one we stayed at we padded 3 others just as good. Another check mark for fall paddling, there were only a handful of other folks out and plenty of room for everyone. 

I really like the fact that the Turtle Flambeau Flowage doesn't have much development on its banks. You certainly feel like you are "up north". From the dam that created the flowage the early parts of the Flambeau River flow another 113 river miles before joining the Chippewa River. If you are like our group, we prefer the peppy rapids, so something like the Flambeau is a great alternative. An account of a journey down both of these systems can be found here.

Tyler provided the entertainment on the eve of our trip.

As we set up vehicles at Murray's Landing, you could feel that the day was going to be goood.

And the 2nd Annual Fall Paddle is off!

After finding a spot for the night along the river and among the trees, we woke up to get some breakfast going over the fire.

The campsite was great, felt comfy.

We <3 Trees.

We made our way to the Turtle Flambeau Flowage and began the exploration.

Tyler is having fun at the next campsite on the flowage.

There are plenty of deadheads both submerged and like this one, sticking out among 100 others. The new growth is beautiful.

The final morning on the flowage was pretty much perfect.

A few miles across the lake to the take out.