Difficulty I-II at this flow (II normally)
Length 9 Miles
Flow Range 125 - 1700 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 130 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/23/2019 9:31 pm

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-lay' (hear it spoken by going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdVlFAnNqHM), 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" (with the Anglicized pronunciation "brool"). 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, quite far 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.

Rapid Descriptions

Co-op Park Rapids

Class - N/A Mile - 0.06
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Lenroot Ledges

Class - N/A Mile - 3.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

May Ledges

Class - II Mile - 3.86
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Highway 13 Rapids

Class - N/A Mile - 9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing


Gage Descriptions

The cited gauge lies about eight miles upstream from the put-in for this reach. As a result, the reading will be a very accurate reflection of boatability of this reach.

Gauge/flow analysis:
Drainage area at gauge: 118 sq.mi.
All time minimum flow: 74 cfs
90% of time flow exceeds: 119 cfs
10% of time flow exceeds: 253 cfs
All time maximum flow: 1,700 cfs
10/90 ratio ('flashy-ness'): 2.1 (under 3 is fairly steady, over 10 is quite 'flashy') Average runnable days per year: 298

Offseason ('Ice') gauge conversion:
1.55 = 135cfs
1.80 = 180cfs
1.92 = 200cfs

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports







Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1211585 04/01/19 Rob updated image position
1211863 04/08/19 Rob updated description
1212992 06/23/19 Rob updated description
1211862 04/08/19 Rob updated image position
1197126 01/18/10 Rob Edit text highlighting; add rapids.
1197715 05/20/10 Rob embed video
1208741 01/15/18 Rob remove table from gauge description, putting info into simple statement/paragraph form.
1205398 10/30/15 Rob embed Morrall film
1192074 05/22/07 n/a n/a
1196665 11/22/09 Rob Fix/remove dead links.