A Paddling Guide to Milwaukee’s Rivers

NEWS Alert! The Milwaukee Urban Water Trail was featured in the New York Times! To read that story click here.

Download Map Here!

Why create a water trail?

The goal of the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail is to help the citizens of Milwaukee gain safe and legal access to the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers. The Milwaukee Urban Water Trail is a trail and map for canoes, kayaks, and other small non-motorized boats on the “urban” portions of our three rivers. Water trail guides are comprised of access points, portages, and resting sites, and also includes information on historic, cultural, ecological, or scenic points of interest along the way. The ultimate goal of a water trail is to connect more people to the rivers in their backyards, and to inspire stewardship and protection of our waters.

What is a water trail?


A water trail is a liquid parkway along a river, lake, or coastline that provides recreational, educational and/or scenic experiences.

Water trails are managed with public-private partnerships, with volunteers as the key supporters and advocates of the trail.

Water trails promote stewardship/conservation of natural resources, and abide by “Leave No Trace” code of outdoor ethics.

Water trails promote wellness and well being, and accessibility for all.

Water trails connect people with places, both natural and human-made.

Signage clearly marking put-in and take-out locations, portages, and safety concerns will also be an integral part of this project.

For more information about planning a safe canoe or kayak trip click here.

[Click here for a great water trail blog, including a history of what the water trail “used” to be like]