Saturday, November 29, 2014

Walk alongside rapids-filled river on trail

Little Falls/Slough Gundy. Photo courtesy of  Price
County Tourism Department.

Trail leads to whitewater
river popular with paddlers

Day hikers can enjoy a peaceful walk between a couple of the Flambeau River’s famous rapids on the Little Falls-Slough Gundy Scenic Area Trail in northern Wisconsin.

Located in the Flambeau River State Forest, the looping trail with two spurs is just a little over a mile.

To reach the trail from Sawyer County, in Winter take County Road W east into the state forest then turn south on County Road M. In 7.5 miles, after crossing the South Fork of the Flambeau River, watch for the signage and take a right/west into the parking lot.

Once parked, hike the stem trail west. At the junction, go right/northwest. You’ll hear the roaring rapids as descending about 60 feet in elevation to the Flambeau’s Slough Gundy, a class II-III rapids.

The trail crosses an intermittent stream, heading north a bit on a spur trail. When the trail peters out in less than 500 feet, turn back. Upon reaching the trail intersection, continue south along the river.

Wild whitewater paddling is popular on the Flambeau, and you’ll likely see kayakers working their way through the rugged rapids. Some kayakers use this segment of the trail to portage between Little Falls and Slough Gundy for repeated trips through the rapids.

Class V rapids
Fishing and picnicking also are popular along this stretch of the river. You may want to pack your own basket to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the boulder-filled river ensconced in pines.

The trail next comes to Little Falls, a class V rapids. As at the Slough Gundy, the trail continues a little south on a spur. After a couple of hundred feet, turn back, and at the trail junction, go right/northeast.

At the next intersection, you’ve reached the stem trail. Head right/east back to the parking lot.

Read more about day hiking Sawyer County, Wisconsin, in my Day Hiking Trails of Sawyer County guidebook.