Friends of the Baraboo River


Mission: protect, restore and enhance the natural environment within the Baraboo River Corridor and promote activities that will spur recreation, tourism and development and establish the region as the premiere water recreation destination in south central Wisconsin

Making it Happen - One Launch at a Time


Lazy Beaver Race - July 27th

Proceeds from the 19th annual Lazy Beaver Canoe and Kayak Race will go to the Friends of the Baraboo River to be used toward the purchase of equipment that can be used to clear paddling paths through log jams the entire length of the river. The 11-plus river mile race from LaValle to Reedsburg will be held Saturday, July 27, starting at 10 a.m. in LaValle with the finish line being the Granite Avenue landing in Reedsburg. The race is sponsored annually be the Reedsburg Kiwanis.

The entry fee, which includes a t-shirt and a picnic lunch following the race, is $20 per paddler up through July 14 and $25 after that date. Registrations will also be accepted the day of the race in LaValle, starting at 9 a.m.


North Freedom, Wisconsin, handicap accessible boat launch


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Accessibility in Outdoor Recreation

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An emerging trend in outdoor recreation is accessibility for users with mobility limitations. Nearly 30 years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), societal expectations about outdoor recreation are shifting. Whereas biking, canoeing and kayaking were once considered activities for the young and agile, equipment and access improvements are opening these activities to a much larger group of people.

A variety of stable, easy-to-access kayaks are available on the market and the Baraboo River now has two accessible floating launch piers with handrails and ramps for safe entry and exit.

There are currently two sites with accessible kayak launch piers, one at North Freedom Park in North Freedom, and one at Haskins Park in West Baraboo. As additional improvements are made up and downstream of this segment, promotion of this feature should also expand. (Fred Lochner / MSA Branding and Marketing Study)

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The Friends of the Baraboo River met with citizens and village officials on May 23, 2019, at the La Valle Town Hall to discuss ways to move forward Phase II of the Baraboo River Corridor project (La Valle to Hillsboro). Andrew Nussbaum (second left) presented the JEM grant to the Friends of the Baraboo River on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

Thank you Wisconsin Department of Tourism!

The Friends of the Baraboo River received a $10,000 JEM Grant to promote the Baraboo River Corridor as a desirable outdoor recreation destination for families. This campaign comes after a market study of the Baraboo River Recreational Corridor identified the family-friendly tourism potential of the area. Grant funds will go towards digital engagement efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. The campaign is expected to attract 4,000 new visitors to the area, generating an estimated $424,000 in visitor spending.