Rapids Class Ratings

The following are the International Canoe Federation Whitewater Rating Definitions, the ratings were adapted from Best Canoe Trails of Northern Wisconsin and Whitewater Quietwater. These are conservative ratings, intended to give a paddler an idea for what one might encounter along the river.

The water levels along the river can fluctuate daily, if not hourly, and it is important for the canoeist to be aware of river conditions and the seasonal variations that occur. The department does not monitor the river for these changing conditions and cannot guarantee the accuracy of the ratings for any given time. Please be careful, use common sense and enjoy your canoe trip.

Easy: riffles, small, regular waves. Easy to find course. Minor obstacles. Beginner paddler.

Medium: Fairly frequent but unobstructed rapids, usually with regular waves, easy eddies, and bends. Novice paddler.

Difficult: Characterized by numerous high, irregular waves covering boat. Course not easily recognizable, requires maneuvering in rapids. Intermediate Paddler.

Very Difficult: Long rapids with powerful and precise maneuvering is required. Course difficult to determine without scouting from bank. Holes will keep boats. Advanced paddler.

Extremely Difficult: Long, violent rapids with difficult, irregular, unavoidable high waves and holes. Rescue difficult. Fast eddies and vigorous cross currents. Frequent scouting is mandatory. Expert paddler.