Fall Along the Namekagon River: Wisconsin’s Moving National Park

Photo: Washburn County Tourism/James Netz Photography

August 24, 2018

Submitted by: Washburn County Tourism Association

As the summer visitors head for home, the Namekagon River: Wisconsin’s Moving National Park is transitioning into the peaceful fall season. The Namekagon, part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, offers a free opportunity to explore one of the nation’s greatest treasures. Gentle rapids, abundant wildlife, and true north woods beauty are some of the main reasons that folks fall in love with this very special riverway. The crisp fall air and vivid colors along the river make this season an amazing time to visit. With less traffic than the summer months, September and October bring a sense of peace to the river where you can truly get away and reconnect with nature.

Wildlife is very busy during the fall months. Migrating birds such as warblers, nighthawks, broad-winged hawks, and spotted sandpipers are making their way south, stopping over on the Namekagon along their way. In addition, many of the local animals are preparing for winter. Abundant species include bald eagle,deer, multiple species of turtle, black bear, chipmunk, raccoon, beaver, muskrat and otter. Bring your binoculars and birding books along because you just never know what incredible wildlife you’ll come across.

When planning your trip on the Namekagon, there are many resources to make it a success.

  1. Order your Namekagon River brochure to begin your trip planning. This brochure includes all three Namekagon river maps along with the paddling guide which describes each stretch of river so that you can choose the best possible area for your trip. Maps can be ordered on our Contact Us page.
  2. Consult with a local expert. There are park rangers available at the Namekagon River Visitor Center and area experts at the local visitor centers as well. In addition, the river outfitters are a wealth of information when it comes to trip planning and knowing the little details along the riverway.
  3. Speaking of outfitters, for a hassle free river trip, consider utilizing an outfitter for rentals and transport. The river outfitters know the Namekagon like the back of their hand and are always excited to help with your trip planning. Visit the outfitters page to learn more.
  4. Plan your gear wisely. We all know what it’s like to begin a vacation and realize that you’ve forgot an important item for your trip. Planning ahead and making a list of necessary gear will make your trip much more enjoyable.
  5. Prior to heading out on the Namekagon, we highly recommend checking the river conditions. River levels are updated by National Park Service staff and include any landing or campground closures as well.

As you venture out for your fall Namekagon trip, be sure to take some time to visit the neighboring communities and see all of the great attractions that they offer. The four counties along the Namekagon River, Bayfield, Sawyer, Washburn and Burnett, are all popular destinations for our visitors and offer an array of activities and events during the fall season. To begin planning your trip, be sure to stop by our Request Information page and we’ll get a packet in the mail to you right away!