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Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - Helena Unit




04/01 - 10/31

The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway flows unimpeded 92.3 miles from below the dam at Prairie du Sac to its confluence with the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien. It encompasses 40,000 acres of DNR land on both sides of the river. It was created in 1989 to protect and preserve the scenic beauty and natural character of the river valley. The Helena Unit centers on the Spring Green area. There are 285 bird and 45 mammal species found within the riverway. Signature species include the Bald Eagle, Osprey, Common Merganser and Common Goldeneye. Rare species include the Golden Eagle, Cerulean and Kentucky Warbler, and Yellow-breasted Chat. From Spring Green, travel south on Highway 23 or Highway 14 to access the Helena Unit.



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  • Jeffrey Stafford posted 2 months ago
    "Stay away from trees fallen in water. If wading walk into current (upstream). Bridges create turbulent water. River tends to rise in the night. Be very cautious approaching islands. Sandbar offer your best option for camping especially those that join up to mature islands (some offer shaded area). Glass is not allowed on river. Make sure you are prepared to take your trash out with you. I saw post that says good for inexperienced canoeing or kayaking maybe so if you avoid the hazards I mentioned. I will tell you there are many rescue calls or the summer months by multiple fire departments. Be smart and enjoy it is awesome! "
  • Randy Slayton posted 3 days ago
    "Very interesting way to spend a day. Enjoyed the animals, history, wish had seen the movies also. Highly recommended."
  • Lilly Lueck posted 2 months ago
    "Our group has been paddling this area for the last 6 years. It is absolutely gorgeous, but please respect the No Glass policy, the DNR does stop by to check. The sand bars are amazing to camp on with quiet water, bald eagles, pelicans, and cranes."
  • JoAnna Lathrop Haag posted 2 months ago
    "Wisconsin's beauty at its best. I won't go IN the river, it's dangerous, but beautiful."
  • Rick Breininger posted 3 months ago
    "This is a great place to canoe and hike and fish it is a beautiful area with plenty of room for everyone you need to be careful on the water but it is a beautiful place with deer and Eagles and cranes and and more animals then one can imagine"