The Wausau & Marathon County Parks & Recreation Foundation announced this week the Great Pinery Heritage Waterway has been designated as Wisconsin’s 21st water trail and the first such water trail in central Wisconsin.

The trail starts its journey at the Hat Rapids Dam in Oneida County and finishes at the Lake DuBay Dam in Portage County and is 108 miles in length, the fourth longest water trail in Wisconsin, according to the Wausau & Marathon County Parks & Recreation Foundation.  

In addition to the creation of the river trail, a comprehensive website highlighting the trail’s access points and its amenities has been created.

Communities and organizations up and down the river have embraced this project by adding key assets such as ADA-approved launches that have opened the waterway to the disabled and elderly, making the Wausau area, a paddling destination like no other in the Midwest, according to William Bertram, president of Wausau and Marathon County Parks and Recreation Foundation.

Two additional trails are under development by the Parks Foundation. The goal is to make Wausau the preferred base camp for paddling adventures from whitewater rafting on the Wolf River to small streams such as the Lower Big Rib and Eau Claire rivers.    

Trail information can be found at Water Trails in Wisconsin | | Wisconsin DNR.

If you would like to donate to the water trail, visit Great Pinery Heritage Waterway Post (