River Rd to Rainbow Dam

  • Scroll down past the map for details about this section of the trail.
  • Click here for the full size version of the map below.
  • Click here for a PDF file of the details.
  • Click any dam symbol Portage Symbol on the map below for a aerial photographic detail of portage.
  • Click any campsite symbol Campsites on the map below for campgrounds information.

Mile marker signs on maps correspond with actual signs placed on the river. Mile markers are typically located on the right side of the bridges and at portage take out sites.


No signs were placed in the field at these locations but they were placed on the map for reference.

Map 1 Mile 041 Mile 058
- General Description
o Miles 025 - 035 (River Rd landing to Vilas County G) River continues through marshy lowlands, be on guard for deadfall
o Miles 035 - 040 (Vilas County G to STH 70) Little current, heavy boat traffic through Watersmeet Lake where the Eagle River and other tributaries enter
o Miles 040 - 041 (STH 70 to Otter Rapids dam) Gently meandering, easy to canoe
o Miles 041 - 048 (Otter Rapids dam to Oneida County O) Tailwater area is fast with many boulders, narrow river channel through wooded uplands and marshy lowlands to beginning of flowage above O Bridge
o Miles 048 - 058 (Rainbow Reservoir) Winds can make crossing the 4,165 acre reservoir very difficult

- Portages (see portage maps by clicking on the dam symbol)
o Mile 041 Otter Rapids dam - Short 500' portage (right)
o Mile 058 Rainbow dam - Short 450' portage, steps provided at both ends (right)

- Landings suitable for take-out or put-in
o Mile 035 County G public boat landing downstream of the bridge (left)
o Mile 041 Otter Rapids Hydro off STH 70 gives access to the portage route (right)
o Mile 046 Unimproved access right side off STH 70
o Mile 048 County O public boat landing upstream of the vehicle & snowmobile bridges with parking available (right)
o Mile 058 Rainbow Reservoir boat landing and tailwater access has parking available at both facilities although no overnight parking is allowed (right)
o Mile 059 WDNR County D boat landing provides access just below the Rainbow Dam with parking available (right)

- Camping
o Mile 047 WDNR - canoe campsite 41 at confluence with Sugar Camp Creek (left)
o Miles 048-058 No camping allowed on the Rainbow Reservoir WVIC or WDNR property
o Mile 060 WDNR - canoe campsite at Rainbow Rapids (left)

- Other amenities
o Mile 035 - Small park at County G Landing with boat landing, tables & restroom (left)
o Mile 039 - Eagle River 1 mile east from Watersmeet Lake (left)
o Mile 045 - Hawks Nest Canoe Outfitters (right)
o Mile 058 - WVIC Rainbow Dam Recreation Area with boat landing, picnic tables, fishing area, canoe portage & restrooms (right)

- Flow Information - For flow information on river flow below Otter Rapids go to http://www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/environment/hydrodata.aspx” and for flow information on river flow below Rainbow go to http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/uv/?site_no=05391000&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060.