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Where to rent Kayaks & Canoes near Prairie du Chien

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

There's nothing quite like exploring the beautiful and peaceful backwaters of the mighty Mississippi in a personal watercraft. Bring your own kayak or canoe to float the day away OR rent one on site. Wyalusing State Park, located just 12 miles South of Prairie du Chien, WI offers mapped out canoe trails, and on-site canoe and kayak rentals by the hour or day.

Or, head the same distance in the other direction, over the Iowa/Wisconsin bridge to Bigfoot Canoe Rental on the Yellow River in Monona, IA.

Wyalusing Park Outing:

Where to Rent: Head into the main entrance of the park - NOTE: A state park sticker is required for park entrance. If you're renting, follow State Park Lane to the concession stand, which is where you'll pay your rental fees and pick up your life jackets, paddles and keys to unlock the boats. Reservations are not required, boats are first come first serve. The park keeps 8 kayaks and 20 canoes on site for rental.

Cost: Rentals are $15 for the first hour and $10 for each hour after. OR you can rent the craft for the entire day for $65. Life Jackets are provided. A State Park Vehicle pass is required, and the access fees for daily or annual passes are shown below. A pass grants you access to ALL Wisconsin State Parks.

Where to Access The River: Follow the signs to the canoe trail, and you'll find the Refuge boat ramp and canoe/kayak racks within easy access of the river. Park your vehicle at the landing, load up your boats and set sail!

Where to Paddle: There are two options depending on what you're looking for:

  1. Northern Trail: Paddle out and back in the very scenic backwaters. The trip takes about 3 hours and requires some paddling upstream, but it is very doable.

  2. South Loop: Paddle all the way in this extremely calm water. This route is not as scenic as the Northern Loop, but is the easier of the two and takes 2 hours.

  3. Do them both!


Yellow River Outing:

Where to Go: Bigfoot Canoe Rental is located at 409 Deer Rd, Monona IA. Before you head out, this outing must be booked by reservation. Call (319) 238-2064 or message them on Facebook to book your trip.

Cost: Kayak rentals at Bigfoot Rental are $30 each for the day and canoe rentals are $40 per day. Kayaks hold one person, and canoes hold 2-3. Rentals include paddles and lifejackets. Shuttle service is also available for $25-$50 depending on drop-ff point, see below.

Where to Access the River: You'll meet your shuttle driver at the take-out point, which is where you'll park your car. Then, you'll hop in the shuttle and get dropped off at either the 2-hour drop point ($25) or the 5-hour drop point ($50). Both floats finish at the same spot, simply pull the boats out of the water to the designated spot and head to your parked vehicle!

Where to Paddle: There is a 2-hour (4.3 mile) intermediat float or a 5-hour (10 mile) intermediate-to-experienced float. Just tell the driver which float you want to do, and they'll drop you off in the right spot. When you reach your take-out point,


What to Bring:

No matter which float trip you choose, the list of suggested supplies remains the same. It's always a great idea to bring:

  • A cooler with drinks and snacks (small soft coolers are great for kayaks or larger traditional coolers work if you have a canoe).

  • Sunglasses and/or sun hat

  • Bug spray

  • Sunscreen

  • Towel

  • Watertight bags for phones

  • Water shoes are also a nice "extra" if you wind up outside of your boat, intentional or otherwise!

  • Life Jacket (provided at both places)

Where to Stay

Wyalusing State Park has dozens of amazing and scenic campsites, but if you're not into camping, head to the Corner Cottage AirB&B in Prairie du Chien. The Corner Cottage is a freshly updated mid-century home packed with charm and amenities. Conveniently located just one block from downtown, the cottage is in easy walking distance to shopping, restaurants and nightlife.

The Cottage sleeps 8 and offers ample off-street parking for your vehicles/boat trailer, and a private fenced yard for the kids to play. High Speed internet, fire pit, grill, fully stocked kitchen and comfortable accommodations. Check the Corner Cottage Booking Calendar Here.


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