Brunsweiler River Rapids at Spring Brook Road

I was having a great time driving through parts of the Nicolet-Chequamegon National Forest and nearing my next destination when I spotted something under a bridge and got sidetracked. The warm temperatures meant I had the windows down for fresh air, and as I crossed a bridge it struck me immediately: “I hear moving water!” I parked in a small pullout about 100 yards up Springbrook Road and walked back to what I would find is the Brunsweiler River.

There was an old sun-bleached Wisconsin DNR sign asking anglers to protect the trout stream by not introducing foreign bodies or damaging the fragile ecosystem. I’ve seen this sign many times and usually there is much more color, but this particular one is faded to a point where the black text will be gone soon.

Looking straight down from the bridge you can immediately find some small rapids (falls?). The river appears to split around a small localized island clump, this is the view of the right-hand channel if looking upstream.

Here’s another view looking even further upstream. It seems to calm down again quickly and flatten out. This side is harder to see and accessing through the woods looked more difficult for minimal reward so I passed for this trip.

Another small rapids as seen from the bridge, this one now looking at the left-hand channel. Even though these aren’t big huge waterfall features you can easily see with your naked eye that the river is descending steadily across this entire area.

Here’s a view further upstream on the left-hand channel from the bridge. There is tree cover obscuring views, but you can clearly see a huge rock garden. The hardest part of getting there is climbing down the steep road drainage ditch; after that you can easily make your way through the woods (but be careful of all the small boulders which can easily twist ankles).

At river level, here is a view of those initial small rapids as seen looking back towards the bridge. It was hard to get a good photo here, and I didn’t make too much effort as they are quite small.

The more interesting feature was definitely the rock garden that covered about 100 yards up river. I don’t have exact numbers but using my height as a gauge I’d say the river drops somewhere between 5-10 feet across this section.

At the head of the rock garden and looking upstream it seems to flatten back out again but I can’t say for sure. I had to cut this adventure short for time since my planned afternoon journeys were expected to take great effort. This location might be worth looking into further but there are equal chances to find no other rapids/waterfalls. I have it marked for the future if I should return.


Here’s a short video of the area that I think will better show the moving water versus still photos.

Hiking Data

Here’s a view of my hiking path on that left-hand channel around the island. I didn’t go far but you really don’t need to. Though I am still curious to know what (if anything) I missed…

Statistics to prove this isn’t some crazy difficult hike. Just a short hop & skip off the road to see what you can’t from the car. Always a good idea to check out unknown things like this – never know what you can find!

Lat = 46.3434296 , Long = -90.8214493 -- Show at Google Maps

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