Brokaw Mill Landing to Gilbert Park Landing

Experience the beauty of the Great Pinery Heritage Waterway from Brokaw Mill landing to Gilbert Park Landing that will take you 2 1/2 hours to paddle through. This easy 5-mile segment offers breathtaking views, perfect for a leisurely paddle. Explore the scenic wonders of Central Wisconsin and when you are done on this segment of the water trail pull up to Gilbert Park and grill out or fish off the pier.

Brokaw Mill Landing to Gilbert Park Landing

Experience the beauty of the Great Pinery Heritage Waterway from Brokaw Mill landing to Gilbert Park Landing that will take you 2 1/2 hours to paddle through. This easy 5-mile segment offers breathtaking views, perfect for a leisurely paddle. Explore the scenic wonders of Central Wisconsin and when you are done on this segment of the water trail pull up to Gilbert Park and grill out or fish off the pier.

Segment vitals

Segment information:
Start: Brokaw Landing Mill
45.033575, -89.660277

End: Gilbert Park Landing
44.984179, -89.622004
Miles: 157 to 162
Segment length: 5 miles

Time required: 2 1/2 hours
Segment difficulty: Easy
Skill level: N/A
Water level: N/A
Gradient: N/A
Trail Type: Scenic 

Internet: N/A

Check out the live data

Flow rates

Flow rates play a crucial role in determining the conditions of rivers for canoeing, kayaking, and paddling activities. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced enthusiast, being informed about flow rates is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience on the water.

Landmarks

Brokaw Dam: River Hazard

Trip description

The Brokaw Mill segment is 5-miles in length, and one paddles past the remnants of a dam and a paper plant that once stood just south and a bit east of the County WW bridge. This is an easy paddle along heavily wooded banks. The paddle starts at Mile Marker 157 and within half a mile you encounter the WW County Bridge, Mile Marker 157.5 and shortly thereafter the remnants of the dam that once stood here, Mile Marker 158. The dam should be taken seriously and crossed along the right bank, that has a small channel cut-in for a passage. In low water the dam is a river hazard, so be careful and stay right!

Brokaw’s formation traces back to this ill-fated dam, commonly called the five-mile dam, which was part of the Wausau Boom Company’s slack-water boomage built in and around 1871 for the mills at Wausau. The dam was built in 1883, it wasn’t until the turn of the century that a village began to develop here when Norman Brokaw, a Fox River paper magnate, leased the dam and established Wausau Paper Mills.

Just south of the dam the trail bisects mixed hardwoods with a steep bank on the east side of the river.

At Mile Maker 160 the river’s flow slows in that this is actually a flowage and river powerboat traffic picks up a bit, so stay left when paddling.

The Gilbert Park Landing is located at Mile Marker 162 on the left bank just north of Wausau.

Landings

Brokaw Mill Landing

Coordinates: 45.033575 N, -89.660277 W

Parking: Yes

Brokaw Dam Hazard

Coordinates: 45.022788 N, -89.655692 W

Parking: No

Gilbert Park Landing

Enjoy a day of fun at Gilbert Park Landing! Pack a picnic, go fishing, or simply relax by the water. This landing has an accessible fishing pier so anyone can enjoy a day of fishing. With ample parking and facilities, it’s the perfect spot for outdoor adventures!

Coordinates: 44.984179 N, -89.622004 W

Parking: Yes

History

History of Brokaw & the paper mill

In 1889, Norman Brokaw of Kaukauna and W.I. Edmonds of Appleton came to Marathon County to investigate reports of excellent and unexploited waterpower. Their idea was to establish a paper mill. After examining several locations along the Wisconsin River, they settled on a spot about seven miles north of Wausau.

Learn More

The 1912 flood of the Wisconsin River

If you were standing right here at about 10 pm July 23, 1912, you would have seen the signs of the coming disaster that would be one of the most infamous evenings in the history of the Wisconsin River. By the time the swell was visible from this point, the flood had already swept down the Wisconsin River through Merrill and Brokaw.

Learn More

Wildlife

Deer

Wisconsin boasts a robust deer population, with over one million whitetail deer inhabiting diverse landscapes ranging from forests to farmlands. These adaptable creatures are a common sight throughout the state, contributing to Wisconsin’s rich wildlife heritage.

Otter

Wisconsin hosts a growing population of river otters, especially in wetland habitats near lakes and rivers. Recognized for their playful behavior and sleek appearance, otters contribute to the state’s vibrant aquatic ecosystems.

Eagles

Wisconsin boasts a thriving bald eagle population, with over 1,600 breeding pairs. These majestic birds are commonly found near large bodies of water, including lakes and rivers, where they build their nests and contribute to the state’s rich wildlife heritage.

Walleyes

Walleye, a popular sportfish in Wisconsin, thrives in the state’s lakes and rivers, including the Wisconsin River. With a robust population and widespread distribution, anglers enjoy pursuing this prized species, making it a cornerstone of Wisconsin’s freshwater fisheries.

Beavers

Beavers are widespread throughout Wisconsin, especially in areas with abundant water bodies. Their population contributes to shaping ecosystems by creating wetland habitats and altering landscapes, showcasing the ecological importance of these industrious mammals in the state.

Black Bears

Wisconsin is home to a robust population of black bears, estimated at around 24,000. These adaptable mammals are found in a range of habitats, including forests and swamps, showcasing their ability to thrive in diverse ecosystems.

Wildlife

Deer

Wisconsin boasts a robust deer population, with over one million whitetail deer inhabiting diverse landscapes ranging from forests to farmlands. These adaptable creatures are a common sight throughout the state, contributing to Wisconsin’s rich wildlife heritage.

Otter

Wisconsin hosts a growing population of river otters, especially in wetland habitats near lakes and rivers. Recognized for their playful behavior and sleek appearance, otters contribute to the state’s vibrant aquatic ecosystems.

Eagles

Wisconsin boasts a thriving bald eagle population, with over 1,600 breeding pairs. These majestic birds are commonly found near large bodies of water, including lakes and rivers, where they build their nests and contribute to the state’s rich wildlife heritage.

Walleyes

Walleye, a popular sportfish in Wisconsin, thrives in the state’s lakes and rivers, including the Wisconsin River. With a robust population and widespread distribution, anglers enjoy pursuing this prized species, making it a cornerstone of Wisconsin’s freshwater fisheries.

Beavers

Beavers are widespread throughout Wisconsin, especially in areas with abundant water bodies. Their population contributes to shaping ecosystems by creating wetland habitats and altering landscapes, showcasing the ecological importance of these industrious mammals in the state.

Black Bears

Wisconsin is home to a robust population of black bears, estimated at around 24,000. These adaptable mammals are found in a range of habitats, including forests and swamps, showcasing their ability to thrive in diverse ecosystems.

Nearby attractions and activities

The Pickle Jar - Grinds and Finds

BB Jacks Pizza and Sandwich Lounge

Brokaw Park Trails

Gilbert Park

Sylvan Hill Park

Monk Botanical Gardens

Scholfield Park

Know Before You Go

Please review these important safety reminders before getting on the water.

Safe & Smart

Check the weather and water temperature before going paddling.

Wear a Lifejacket

Don’t be a statistic.

Know Your Limits

There are old paddlers and bold paddlers, but no old bold paddlers! Know your skill level.

Don’t Drink and Paddle

Water and booze don’t mix.

Have the Right Gear

Footwear, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, trail map, water, snacks, water tight bag for personal items and your cell phone, bilge pump, and first aid kit.

File a Float Plan

Communicate to family and friends your put-in and take-out, and when you are paddling.

Water Levels & Obstacles

Be aware of water levels, rapids, and dams before you get into the water.

In Case of Emergency Call 911

Remember your mile markers and landmarks.

Have a Map or App

Take a map or download an app to know where you are at on the water. 

No Glass on the Wisconsin River

It is illegal to have glass on the Wisconsin River. If you are caught, the DNR will fine you up to $749.

Know Before You Go

Please review these important safety reminders before getting on the water.

Safe & Smart

Check the weather and water temperature before going paddling.

Wear a Lifejacket

Don’t be a statistic.

Know Your Limits

There are old paddlers and bold paddlers, but no old bold paddlers! Know your skill level.

Don’t Drink and Paddle

Water and booze don’t mix.

Have the Right Gear

Footwear, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, trail map, water, snacks, water tight bag for personal items and your cell phone, bilge pump, and first aid kit.

File a Float Plan

Communicate to family and friends your put-in and take-out, and when you are paddling.

Water Levels & Obstacles

Be aware of water levels, rapids, and dams before you get into the water.

In Case of Emergency Call 911

Remember your mile markers and landmarks.

Have a Map or App

Take a map or download an app to know where you are at on the water. 

No Glass on the Wisconsin River

It is illegal to have glass on the Wisconsin River. If you are caught, the DNR will fine you up to $749.

Apps

We put together some recomended apps for anyone planning a trip out on the water.

Resources

Check out these resources to help you out when you are planning a trip out on the water.

Apps

We put together some recomended apps for anyone planning a trip out on the water.

Resources

Check out these resources to help you out when you are planning a trip out on the water.

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