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Bois Brule - B) Copper Range Campground to Hwy. 13 (9 miles)
Bois Brule, Wisconsin, US
B) Copper Range Campground to Hwy. 13 (9 miles)
II (varies with level)
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
Low boatable. Gauge (118 square miles) lies about eight miles upstream from the put-in so quite accurately reflects conditions.
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: