LOCAL OUTDOOR HIGHLIGHT : White River in Lake Geneva, Grand Geneva to Lyons

The tourist town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin has a really great river that runs northeast from the lake towards the small town of Lyons and eventually to Echo Lake in nearby Burlington. For this LOCAL OUTDOOR HIGHLIGHT the focus is on the section from Sheridan Springs Rd. (1) near Grand Geneva Resort to Riverview Park(2) in Lyons. This river gets pretty low as the summer turns to fall, but catch it in the spring and early summer and it is a wonderful day on the river. 

^Drop-in on Sheridan Springs Rd. near Grand
Geneva, and pull-out at Riverview Park in the town of Lyons. The total trip goes around 2-3 hours depending upon paddling ambition. The section is broken up well by the bridges that the river flows under periodically throughout this section.

^First is the bridge on Sheridan Springs Rd. near Grand Geneva Resort that is the drop-in point to float this section. There is a good gravel pull-off spot on the road to unload gear, but it is best to stage any parked vehicles at the end point at Riverview Park. In the picture above is the gravel path to the river shoreline drop-in spot. 

^Sheridan Springs Rd. landing.

^Calm and winding is the name of the game for the first hour of this section of the White River. An occasional stand of trees offers some shade.

^Tall green wetland and prairie grass line the banks of this section that winds its way north. Many local birds are bustling about to and from the sparse trees and fish large and small dash from the banks. Como creek enters from the west in this windy stretch of river. 

^Despite the flat and winding topography the river moves along rather quickly. Paddling is still required pretty frequently to navigate the tight winding turns through this section. 

^Just before the first bridge, the river enters a more forested environment flowing north. Tall trees and thick underbrush line the river through here as the river makes a turn to the east just before going under the first bridge.

^Pictured above is the first bridge crossing back under Sheridan Springs Rd that had flanked the east side of the river thus far on the float flowing north. From here the river gets a bit rockier and continues in the shady cover of the forest.

^Not long after the first bridge crossing is White River County Park, which can also serve as a good drop-in point to shorten this section, or run the river further towards Echo Lake in Burlington. The Park has a small rifle rapid after you pass the Park landing pictured here.  

^A local trail bridge pictured above. Scenes like these are the stereotypically beautiful Wisconsin moments it is known for. Huge beautiful trees hang over the rippling river as you float under a quant red wooden bridge. Moments like these are abundant on this section of the White River and is really what this whole experience is all about. The river winds onward through sandy and rocky bottom with downed trees to navigate. 

^From the White River County Park to the next bridge is more meandering river through a mix of wetlands, prairie and thick woods with until it breaks out again into the open just before this bridge flowing under Spring Valley Rd. where the largest rapid of the river flows. Turning the corner just before the bridge and the sound comes first. It is not anything drastic, but it is a rocky section that requires navigation. I personally am not afraid to admit that I did it on my knees on my stand-up paddle board. While it is nothing to be scared of, it would indeed hurt to fall on the rocks no doubt. 

^This is a picture looking back up river after navigating the small rapid. From here the section ending at Riverview Park is nearly complete. The river comes into the town of Lyons at this point and rural neighborhood homes and the local elementary school line the banks of the river as it does a couple of turns with some more rifle rapids. Ore Creek also enters the flow through a large culvert on a tight turn and serves to mark the last two sweeping turns leading to Riverview Park in Lyons.

^The bridge pictured above handles the Mill St. traffic that bisects the town of Lyons. The right hand side of the frame here is the landing area for Riverview Park. There is ample parking here for vehicles and trailers and serves as one of the best landings on the river as it carries onward towards Burlington and Echo Lake.