Bagley Rapids Falls

Final stop today was at Bagley Rapids Recreation Area in Mountain, Wisconsin. I’ve been here in the past but wanted to explore a bit further downstream as there might be other rapids in the area. Rather than starting in the campground I tried a different route from the south off an unnamed forest service road / visitor parking area. It’s fairly easy to find if you know to look for the trail signs.

Not far off the main trailhead there is a small fork in the road. One path leads to the river going west/south, the other leads up through the campground to Bagley Rapids (Falls). I started with the campground route but ultimately did both.

It’s a fairly short trail, maybe 0.2 miles in each direction give or take. The trail crosses directly through campsite #10 which thankfully is empty today so I didn’t disturb anyone else’s good time.

And not far from camp you can walk right down to the Oconto River and see Bagley Rapids (Falls). They are officially called “Bagley Rapids” but honestly it drops several feet and is more substantial than many other waterfalls in Wisconsin  so why not call them falls?

Here’s another angle from just above the falls looking downstream. The water is moving quite rapidly in this area, wouldn’t want to take a swim here but it’s a great place to relax and take pictures.

After walking back to the fork, I then travelled the more southern-ly trail and found some small rapids maybe a tenth of a mile or more downstream. Nice to look at but nothing super exciting. It seems the larger rapids/falls downstream of here is mostly surrounded by private lands. Back to the drawing board.

I didn’t know at the time but I might be able to gain access via drone which I only discovered now in 2022. Looks like I will have to go back and check it out again. Third time is a charm, right? Fine with me, I need to be there when the colors are more vibrant anyways.


Here’s a short video of the hike on both paths and the rapids/falls in action.

Hiking Data

Here are the hiking routes. The lighter blue line was my first direction to the falls, purple line is the second to those small rapids. Neither route is what I would call difficult, but bring bug spray for the mosquitos depending on the season.

Path to rapids/falls is about 0.36 miles round trip depending how much you pace around taking photos and exploring.

Path to the lower rapids is only slightly less around 0.3 miles round trip. All in all less than 3/4 of a mile if you do both.

Lat = 45.1562157 , Long = -88.4692612 -- Show at Google Maps

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