Guided Backwaters Canoe & Kayak Tour


Public Invited to Paddle and View Wildlife Habitat from the River

La Crosse, WI – Mississippi Valley Conservancy offers its second annual paddle tour of the Onalaska Canoe Trail on the north side of Brice Prairie at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018. This event is part of the Conservancy’s 2018 “Linked to the Land” series of outdoor experiences sponsored by Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare of La Crosse.

The Onalaska Canoe Trail was opened in 2016 through funding by the Onalaska Tourism Commission. The tour, guided by staff from the Upper Mississippi River National Fish & Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and Midwest Fisheries, will navigate through the backwaters of the Black River where paddlers can enjoy a leisurely and scenic canoe tour. Stops along the way will allow viewing of wildlife and river bluffs from the water.

Canoes and kayaks will launch from Lytles Landing and paddle to Fred Funk Landing, for a total of 4.3 miles. A limited number of canoes will be available to borrow via pre-registration, along with equipment and life jackets. Registration will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.  All paddlers are asked to pre-register by June 20th to allow coordinators to best plan for event logistics and group safety.

If you have your own canoe or kayak, please plan to drop it off at Lytles Landing by 9:30 a.m. and then bring your vehicle back to Fred Funk Boat Landing.  All paddlers should plan to be at Fred Funk Boat Landing between 8:30 – 9:45 a.m. to catch a free shuttle to Lytles Landing.

Please RSVP to Ranger Hallie Rasmussen at 608-779-2392 or email to

What to bring: Hat, sunscreen, shoes that will get wet. If you plan to paddle your own canoe or kayak, please bring and wear your own personal floatation device (PFD/life jacket).

Directions: From La Crosse follow Hwy 53 north to exit OT.  Take OT into Midway, turn left at stop sign and follow ZN to Z.  Take a right at stop sign and follow Z to Lytles Landing.  From Lytles Landing follow Z and turn right on ZB and follow ZB to Fred Funk Landing.

About Mississippi Valley Conservancy

Founded in 1997, Mississippi Valley Conservancy is a nationally accredited regional land trust that has permanently protected more than 19,613 acres of scenic lands in southwestern Wisconsin by working with private landowners, businesses and local communities on voluntary conservation projects. The focus of the Conservancy is to conserve the forests, prairies, wetlands, streams and farms that support native wildlife and enrich communities, for the health and well-being of current and future generations. Learn more about programs, services, events, volunteer opportunities, and membership