Bois Brule - B) Copper Range Campground to Hwy. 13 (9 miles)


Bois Brule, Wisconsin, US

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B) Copper Range Campground to Hwy. 13 (9 miles)

Usual Difficulty II (varies with level)
Length 9 Miles
Avg. Gradient 23 fpm
Max Gradient 45 fpm

Bill on the Bois Brule


Bill on the Bois Brule
Photo of Bill G running May's Ledge #4 by Dave Schumacher taken 08/16/06 @ medium

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
BOIS BRULE RIVER AT BRULE, WI
usgs-04025500 125 - 1700 cfs I-II 00h47m 173 cfs (running)
Low boatable. Gauge (118 square miles) lies about eight miles upstream from the put-in so quite accurately reflects conditions.


River Description

Very scenic river with mild whitewater, suitable to novice paddlers. (There are a few named ledges, but no significant or technical rapids.) Commercial outfitters are available for canoe or kayak trips on various reaches of this river. Local boaters paddle an abbreviated section of this reach up and downstream of Cty FF for the "best of" but specifics are unknown.

Since the headwaters of this river are largely spring-fed, flows tend to be very even, providing boatable levels nearly all year.

It is important to note that while a map will show numerous potential access points, many of them are 'off-limits' as launch/landing sites, being designated as access only for fishermen.

According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, the name means "charred wood" or "burnt wood". Also, the correct pronunciation is "bwah broo-ley" (hear it spoken by going to dictionary.reference.com and clicking the 'speaker' icon), though you'll almost never hear it pronounced that way. In fact, there are many who will look askance at you for being so 'snooty' as to employ what they consider a 'mock French' pronunciation! Indeed, this river is often simply referred to as "the Brule". This can create some confusion, however, since there are two other relatively nearby Brule Rivers. One forms the border between Wisconsin and Michigan, and (after the confluence with the Paint and the Michigamme) becomes the Menominee River. While it does contain some whitewater, the rapids are no more than class I (marginally to class II) and there is so much flatwater that it must really be considered more of a flatwater trip for canoeists. The other Brule River (much less likely to cause confusion) being up in Minnesota, well North/East from Duluth, towards the Canadian border. This Brule contains some quite significant whitewater, and is detailed in the Minnesota section of this website.

MnktoDave has a fine video from a trip on the Bois Brule River:



Also, Morrall River Films has a great series of documentaries of various Upper Midwest Rivers, including this one on the Bois Brule:


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-10-30 14:53:31

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.1Co-op Park RapidsN/A
3.3Lenroot LedgesN/A
3.9May LedgesII
9.0Highway 13 RapidsN/A

Rapid Descriptions


User Comments

Users can submit comments.
June 30 2010 (2643 days ago)
northernwi (152059)
I ran the Pine Tree to highway 13 seciton today, 06/29/10. The ledges were going pretty good at 200
cfs, there is a big wave at the bottom of the last slide or drop of mays ledges. Also there is a
tree completely blocking the river about an hour or so downstream from the ledges you will have to
portage unless it has been cleared, I would recommend using the left river bank.


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