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Explore the historic Manitowish River.


Duration: Day Trip 2-4 hours

Support: Guided or Independent

The Manitowish River is a storied river. Beginning in the Johnson Creek area above Boulder Junction, it meanders its way through the Manitowish Waters Chain of Lakes, through the Rest Lake Dam and down through the TFSWA on its way to the Mississippi. Along its banks are written the tales of tribal trading parties, fur trappers, timber barons, depression-era conservation camps and notorious early gangsters. River's Edge is in the center of each of these historical story lines, auspiciously perched at the confluence of Circle Lily Creek and the Manitowish River. 

Launch at the Rest Lake Dam, historic site of the largest river logging drive on the Chippewa River, picking your way through pilings in the river, left from the operation. Continue through Vance, Sturgeon and Benson Lakes, navigating a mild Class I rapid to ease back into the steady current of the Manitowish. End your trip at the River's Edge landing or continue to one of the landings downstream.

For those journeying past River's Edge, know that we are the last outpost beyond which there is only wilderness on the river. Downstream you'll find beaver, otter, moose, eagle and kingfisher, but not many other humans unless you're on the river with them. Pull ashore for lunch at one of the river-access campsites and continue your trek to the next landing.



This is a Class I river. Water depth ranges from 16' to 8'. Current is gentle and steady with very little undertow and no dangerous eddies. It is, however, a wilderness river, and will present features like strainers and sharp turns to keep things interesting. In your Navarro canoe, however, paddling upstream will be almost like downstream.

  • Easy paddling downstream can be as easy as a float

  • Excellent fishing for muskie, small mouth bass and walleye

  • 6 river-access campsites between River's Edge and Murray's Landing on the eastern edge of the TFSWA

  • Wildlife viewing

  • Optional guided historic tour

Canoe Performance Test: Maneuverability, tracking, ferry glides


Explore the Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area.

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