Wisconsin Valley
Improvement Company

WVIC's Burnt Rollways Boat Hoist

Aerial View of Burnt Rollways Dam and Boat Hoist


Welcome to the Burnt Rollways Boat Hoist operated by Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company.  We'll hoist your boat up into the Three Lakes Chain of Lakes, the largest chain of freshwater lakes in the world, or down into the Eagle River Chain below. 
As part of the Wisconsin River Reservoir System, we call the Three Lakes chain the Burnt Rollways reservoir.  The reservoir consists of 20 lakes which have a combined surface area of 7,600 acres and 106 miles of shoreline.  The chain is regulated by our Burnt Rollways dam at the end of Long Lake.

The Eagle River chain consists of nine lakes which cover 3,900 acres and have 68 miles of shoreline, and reaches to the City of Eagle River. The Eagle chain is regulated by the Otter Rapids hydroelectric dam operated by Wisconsin Public Service Corporation.

This is boating and fishing at its finest. Our historic marine railway has been operating since the turn of the century for the convenience of residents and visitors. The hoist will safely carry all craft. We maintain the two and one half miles of channel below the hoist into Cranberry Lake. It is dredged and marked with permanent navigation markers. Please navigate at slow no wake speed for a safe and enjoyable boating outing.

Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company built the first boat hoist in 1911. It was an inclined railway that used mechanical power furnished by the stream. The current turned a water wheel in the dam that pulled boats, resting on a wheeled cradle, over the dam on the tracks. Since 1952, an electric gantry hoist running on a 165 feet long trestleway more quickly hoists boats of all sizes as they travel this popular thoroughfare.