Wolf, Wisconsin, US
|Usual Difficulty||II(III) (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||19 fpm|
|Max Gradient||40 fpm|
|WOLF RIVER AT LANGLADE, WI|
|usgs-04074950||200 - 1250 cfs||III+||01h42m||1020 cfs (running)|
|~15"-25"; high flow. Gauge (463 sq.mi. drainage) is at the beginning of the (full) reach, thus very accurately reflects actual flow in this reach.|
Commonly referred to as Section III of the Wolf, this 10.3 mile stretch includes several Class
II+ (III) rapids and some long flatwater stretches. With most of the river bank under state
ownership (until the end of the run), you get the feeling of paddling in a wilderness
The full run begins at Langlade, however paddlers often run an abbreviated section (called "Short III") by putting in at the DNR landing off of County Highway M. This put-in is below Twenty-Day Rapid and above Boy Scout, making for a 3.9 mile trip catching the three main drops. In either case, the run finishes immediately around the bend after Gilmore's Mistake.
Please note: this access point is privately owned by Buettner's Wild Wolf Inn. Don't drive your car down to the take-out point. Carry your boat to the boater's parking lot. Don't let your dog run around unleashed. Spend a few dollars at the bar and restaurant to thank the owners for access. Also be aware that immediately downstream of this take-out lies the county line. Proceeding downstream is trespassing within the Menominee Nation, and can be done only after paying a 'trespass fee' and getting a wrist-band to boat this next stretch of the river.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|4.0||Twenty Day Rapids||II|
|6.5||Access for 'Short 3'||N/A|
|7.6||Garfield (A.K.A. Boyscout) Rapids||II+|
An obvious horizon line as the river narrows signals Twenty-Day Rapid, a short but relatively steep pitched class II. It is followed by three miles of flatwater before you reach Boy Scout Rapid. Midway through this flatwater you will come across the landing which is the put-in for "Short III".
Most paddlers forego the aforementioned distance and rapids and use this access point to catch just the final 3.9 miles containing the three best rapids on the run (often called "Short Section III" or just "Short 3").
A footbridge signals Boy Scout Rapid (named for the Scout camp on river left). Class II rapids lead to a second footbridge, which is the heart of this half-mile, somewhat 'technical', boulder-garden rapid. In high water, Boy Scout rapid becomes pushy. Deaths have occurred there, and the rocks under the second footbridge have caused foot-pins. (Float with your feet as near the surface as possible! Do not try to stand in moving water!) With enough water, the rocks are all covered, and the rapids is far less technical.
A mile downstream you'll find Hansen's Rapid. A large eddy on river right, just below the entrance allows you to boat-scout the rapids. Just across from this eddy is a very consistent side-surfing wave often filled with boaters.
Each year this is one of the sites for the "Buttercup Series" of slalom races. This event can be great fun for participants and spectators, and can always use set-up and take-down volunteers. Participating in slalom boating is a great way to challenge yourself and improve skills, having to make moves to go through the gates, taking lines through the rapids that you would unlikely otherwise take!
Another 1.5 miles downstream lies Gilmore's Mistake, which can be scouted on the left. A large shelf of rocks (and its accessibility from the Wild Wolf Inn) makes this rapid the perfect place for spectators and park-and-play boaters.
The rapid starts with a constriction with good playboating possibilities, followed by a shelf drop. Below the drop is a hole popular with many playboaters. Be aware that this is shallow and rocky at low levels. Face plants here usually mean some bruises or blood, or both.
As you head around a left-hand-bend, short bit of boulder-garden rapids and one final ledge/drop lead to the take out immediately on river left. DO NOT PASS THIS TAKEOUT unless you have paid the 'trespass fee' and gotten a wristband to enter the Menominee Nation which lies immediately downstream. Tribal law provides that punishment may include being fined, imprisoned, and/or impoundment of any and all gear used in committing the trespass (which could include not only your boating equipment, but also your shuttle vehicle(s)!).