Plan a trip on the water with our Paddle Guide, exploring the best spots to canoe and kayak in the Stevens Point Area. This time we're featuring the McDonald Island loop, part of the Wisconsin River Flowage. In each guide, you'll find details on what to expect, where to put-in and take-out, along with mileage and estimated time. All that's left to do is head out!
By Timothy Bauer of MilesPaddled.com
Paddle Guide: McDonald Island
Unload your boat, kayak, or canoe and paddle across the Wisconsin River to McDonald Island. This 34-acre island is a haven for wildlife that features a wide diversity of species due to its proximity to the mainland and the high diversity of forest types.
Skill Level: Beginner
Class Difficulty: Quiet water
Put-In/Take-Out: 2148 W. River Dr., Stevens Point, WI 54481
Time Needed: 1-2 hours
Miles Paddled: 1.5 miles
Wildlife: Whitetail deer, grey squirrels, songbirds.
McDonald Island is a great 1-2 hour paddling loop. To access the Wisconsin River/McDonald Island take Business 51 South to Hwy. 66 West. Continue on Hwy 66 through downtown Stevens Point and go over the Wisconsin River. Take a left on West River Dr. after you cross the Clark St. bridge. Travel 1 mile until you see a boat landing on the left. Park your car in the driveway area on the left; unload your boat, kayak or canoe and paddle across the Wisconsin River to McDonald Island. Alternate access is just south of the Highway HH bridge, off River Drive.
The 34-acre island features a wide diversity of wildlife species due to its proximity to the mainland and the high diversity of forest types. Whitetail deer and gray squirrels are commonly seen. A wide variety of songbirds can be heard and seen feeding and nesting throughout the oak and maple forests. The Island is a haven for wildlife within the city limits of Stevens Point. Consolidated Water, Power, and Paper Company sold the Island to the McDonald family in the early 1900s. The family farmed a 20-acre section of the Island from the 1930s through the mid-1950s. At that time, crossing the river was accomplished on a small rocky bar from the west bank of the river to the north end of the Island. The water level is much higher today, so the Island is only accessible by boat. In 1969 the McDonald Family donated the property to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resource program.
Find more fun on the water in the Stevens Point Area - from paddling to swimming and fishing to boating - and learn more about MilesPaddled. Then, plan your own trip in the Stevens Point Area with the Pedal, Paddle & Hike Guide (view online), or order a copy by mail.