Recreation Areas around Appleton

Sturgeon Bay & Lake Michigan Ship Canal

The project is located in the northeast portion of Wisconsin in the middle of The Door County peninsula. The ship canal is used as a shortcut for vessels using the ports of Green Bay and Menominee. Acreage along the northern side of the canal has a hiking trail and scenic overlook with parking.

Driving Directions

From Milwaukee, north on US 141 to Manitowoc, north on WI 42 to Sturgeon Bay, right on Memorial Drive.

Wisconsin River island in Portage

Wisconsin, with its 84,000 miles of rivers and 15,000 lakes, is full of places to paddle, float, fish, or just watch and listen. The BLM has a share in all this beauty, as we manage almost 500 islands in Wisconsin's rivers and lakes. Many islands in this region were omitted from the original land surveys conducted in the 1830s and 1840s, and we don t manage all of them. Many of the islands we do manage are close to other state-owned and privately owned islands, so it's critical that visitors determine whether an island is public land before using it.

The flowages between Stevens Point and Nekoosa are chock-full of more than 60 public islands, ranging from small, low patches of willows and alder, to large stands of mixed pines and hardwoods. Below Castle Rock Lake, the islands down to Prairie du Sac are mostly floodplain forests with broad sandbars that invite paddler-campers. A few of these islands have remnant prairie and savanna vegetation.

Many public islands are perfect fishing spots, lunch stops for your next float trip, or overnight campsites. Future management plans include the posting signs so recreationists may know which ones are available for public use and local restrictions, if any.

Would you like to volunteer as a BLM public island steward? Contact Derek Strohl, dstrohl@blm.gov.

Wisconsin River Portage

Driving Directions

From Interstate 39 take exit for Hwy 33 east toward Portage. Just before crossing the river, turn right into the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources carry-in boat launch.

Wisconsin River islands in Stevens Point

Wisconsin, with its 84,000 miles of rivers and 15,000 lakes, is full of places to paddle, float, fish, or just watch and listen. The BLM has a share in all this beauty, as we manage almost 500 islands in Wisconsin's rivers and lakes. Many islands in this region were omitted from the original land surveys conducted in the 1830s and 1840s, and we don t manage all of them. Many of the islands we do manage are close to other state-owned and privately owned islands, so it's critical that visitors determine whether an island is public land before using it.

The flowages between Stevens Point and Nekoosa are chock-full of more than 60 public islands, ranging from small, low patches of willows and alder, to large stands of mixed pines and hardwoods. Below Castle Rock Lake, the islands down to Prairie du Sac are mostly floodplain forests with broad sandbars that invite paddler-campers. A few of these islands have remnant prairie and savanna vegetation.

Many public islands are perfect fishing spots, lunch stops for your next float trip, or overnight campsites. Future management plans include the posting signs so recreationists may know which ones are available for public use and local restrictions, if any.

Would you like to volunteer as a BLM public island steward? Contact Derek Strohl, dstrohl@blm.gov.

Wisconsin River Paddle

Driving Directions

Take Interstate Highway 39 North and exit onto U.S. Route 10, headed west. From central Stevens Point, take County Road HH across the Wisconsin River. Turn left onto River Road. Proceed approximately 1.5 miles to the Portage County boat launch.

Wisconsin River islands in Wisconsin Rapids

Wisconsin, famed for its 84,000 miles of rivers that meander through varying terrain and its 15,000 lakes, is full of places to paddle, float, and fish. Many islands in this region were omitted from the original land surveys conducted in the 1830s and 1840s. Because of this, there is a mixing of ownership between state-owned, privately owned islands. For those under federal management, the BLM administers to almost 500 islands throughout the area. Because of this varied ownership, it's critical that visitors determine whether an island is public land before using it.

The flowages between Stevens Point and Nekoosa are chock-full of more than 60 public islands, ranging from small, low patches of willows and alder, to large stands of mixed pines and hardwoods. Below Castle Rock Lake, the islands down to Prairie du Sac are mostly floodplain forests with broad sandbars that invite paddler-campers. A few of these islands have remnant prairie and savanna vegetation.

Many public islands are perfect fishing spots, lunch stops for your next float trip, or overnight campsites. However, there are no visitor services at any of these locations; as such, it is important to plan accordingly. If you have any questions about visiting the islands, please call (414) 297-4400.

Would you like to volunteer as a BLM public island steward? Contact Derek Strohl, dstrohl@blm.gov

Wisconsin Headwaters

Driving Directions

Coming from the North: Follow US-51S to WI-34S in Knowlton. Follow WI-34S/State Hwy 13S towards Hanson Park in Wisconsin Rapids. The exit for Hanson Park is on the right.

Coming from the South: Follow I-39N, also known as I-90W/I-94W, towards Plainfield. Take exit 136 for WI-73N/ State Hwy 13N towards Wisconsin Rapids. Follow State Hwy 13N towards Hanson Park in Wisconsin Rapids. The exit for Hanson Park is on the left.