Best Places to SUP in Wisconsin

The world has many places to SUP! We're here to tell you the best paddling spots for a wide range of stand-up paddle boarding styles and preferences in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland” and its inhabitants are often referred to as “Cheese Heads” but we’re about to take you away from the pastures and blow your mind with some of the most beautiful spots to paddle board anywhere in the US. 

Besides having some of the nation’s friendliest people, WI also has an impressive variety of waterways.


Boulder Lake

where to paddle board in Wisconsin

Boulder Lake is a beautiful, spring-fed 516-acre lake located in Vilas County. It has a maximum depth of 11 feet so the water tends to warm up in the summer. Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings. The lake's water is moderately clear.

Only an hour-and-a-half from either Green Bay or Wausau, Boulder Lake is one of the jewels crowning the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Fall is a favorite time to SUP Boulder Lake when the mixed hardwoods around the lake reflect their striking colors in the still waters.  Pick up a rental SUP at Coontail Adventures.


Pine River

paddle boarding in Wisconsin

The Pine River is an under-rated SUP prospect that is sandwiched between the Baraboo River and the Kickapoo River.  The water level is typically high with a steady, gentle current.

The Pine River is part of the Wisconsin Wild Rivers, and is stunning with peaceful, untouched woods and wilderness on both sides. Otters and bald eagles can be seen as you paddle through the gorgeous scenery as the river winds through valleys and under a natural bridge.

The river boasts scenic views of bluffs and lowlands for roughly 17 miles.  Swing by Wildwood Outdoor Adventures to get your rental paddle board.


Apostle Islands 

SUP in Wisconsin

The Apostle Islands are a group of 21 islands which are considered the “Jewels of Lake Superior.” This is a quintessential Wisconsin water adventure as you’re able to paddle within and through the many sea caves scattered throughout.

Lake Superior offers wide stone beaches off the shores of the islands.  Unlike the hard basalt rock of the north shore of Lake Superior, the south shore is mainly sedimentary rock.

Centuries of wave action, freezing and thawing have carved out sea caves begging to be explored by SUP enthusiasts in the summer months and by winter hikers and skiers when the Lake freezes. Your SUP will give you a great vantage point for checking out the clear shallow waters.

Rent your SUP from Rustic Makwa Den.

paddling in Wisconsin



ocean paddle boarding

Wisconsin surfing – wut?!  Surfing in Sheboygan and the Great Lakes has been a local pastime for over fifty years, due to its ideal location and geography on the Great Lakes. 

Surfers refer to it as the “Malibu of the Midwest.” The biggest and best waves are formed when winds of 20-25 miles per hour blow from the northeast or west southwest. 

Surfing in Sheboygan is year-round, with surfers getting up at the crack of dawn in wetsuits to scope out the perfect spot. Sheboygan’s peak surf season runs late August through early April (appealing to the polar bears among us). If you’re a newbie, we recommend taking advantage of warmer temps in August and September. 

Rent your paddle board at EOS Surf & Outdoor.


Upper Dells

best places to sup in wisconsin

The most famous section of the Wisconsin River is in the Wisconsin Dells area.  This is commonly divided into ‘Lower Dells’ (below the Kilbourn Dam) and ‘Upper Dells’ (above the Kilbourn Dam). Paddling the Upper Dells is an amazing feast for the eyes of nature lovers.  

The sandstone cliff formations created through thousands of years of water action is a highlight of this SUP trip.  This is a good round trip paddle board excursion. Paddle upstream as far you like and ride the current back.  The current isn’t too challenging if the water level isn’t too high.  

As you paddle up the river the scenery never seems to get dull. There are tons of bluffs and every now and then a new channel to explore. Walkways are built into the cliffs and you will see plenty of fish jumping and ducks paddling along with you.

Grab a SUP rental at Dells Paddlesports.



So, there you have it. Some of the nicest paddle boarding surrounded by some of the nation’s nicest people! Grab your Cheese Hat and paddle and head for Wisconsin for some memorable SUPing!


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