When the days are long and the sun is hot, there is nothing more enjoyable than a kayak trip down the river. Between the winding Kickapoo River just south of town and the picturesque La Crosse River running right through town, you can cool off in no time. Here is our ultimate guide to kayaking in and around Sparta, Wisconsin.
Kayak Rental Companies
For a completely hands-off kayaking experience, rent a kayak or canoe from Kickapoo Wild Adventures in Ontario, WI. Take off on the Kickapoo River in a picturesque bright red kayak and explore the banks at your leisure. Choose your duration and a crew will be ready to pick you up and bring you back to your vehicle at your exit point. No dragging, no lifting, just relaxing.
Explore the scenic La Crosse River on an excursion starting from Sparta! Choose your trip length and pull out of the river either in Rockland or Bangor. If you’re looking for a romantic setting, rent a two-person canoe or stick with two separate kayaks for ease. If you enjoy fishing, then this is the river to sink a line. Bluegill, bass, and trout are just a few of the species that reside in the La Crosse River.
Titanic Canoe Rental lies in the heart of Ontario and makes it one of the easier rental groups to get to. If you don’t want to eat lunch on your way down the river, you can grab a bite at one of the restaurants just steps away from the rental company. Titanic Canoe Rental also offers seasonal promotions and military discounts so call ahead and see what kind of deals you can find!
If you are planning on bringing your own kayak or canoe and want a shuttle service to bring you back to your cars, call Mr. Ducks. They are more than happy to help make your river trip as easy as possible. They also offer a wide range of rentals from kayaks, canoes, and tubes to coolers and waterproof boxes to keep your stuff safe.
Pack a Picnic
One of the best parts of kayaking is finding a secluded little cove on the water and enjoying a delicious picnic. Pick up your staples at Northwood Country Market or swing by the Sparta Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 3-6 to find something truly unique. You’ll find Wisconsin produce picked fresh that morning, fragrant sourdough bread, and even a bouquet of flowers to tie your picnic all together.
What to Bring & What to Leave at the Inn
The basics on any river trip include a bathing suit, sunscreen, and water, but you can make your kayaking excursion as unique as you would like. Plan on bringing some sort of snacks and refreshments. Even if it’s simple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a soda or you want to go all out with a charcuterie board and some craft beers, you’ll want some sort of cooler to keep everything crisp. You can bring your own life jacket from home, but all rental companies make sure you are equipped with one before you leave so save the space and borrow one instead.
Don’t bring any glass on the river as it can break. Instead, you can bring canned beer, soda, or even canned wine!
Don’t bring expensive cameras. You’ll want to take pictures sure, but leave your nice cameras at home. With beauty like this, a phone camera is more than enough to capture your memories.
Don’t bring expensive clothes. You’re going to want to take a dip in the river and while your clothes probably won’t be affected, don’t risk it!
Stay at the Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast
After a long day of floating down the river, return to your luxurious accommodations at the Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Sparta. Take a bath to rinse off the river and spend the rest of your day relaxing. Enjoy a glass of wine on the porch or walk downtown to grab a bite for dinner. Your getaway just got a whole lot easier.
Ready to explore Wisconsin’s Driftless Region? Book a room at the Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast for a warm and inviting stay in one of Sparta’s most beautiful and historic inns.