Wisconsin rivers from the road and sometimes kayak

Red River

The Red River is a 47 mile long tributary of the Wolf River. The headwaters flow out of Moose Lake in Langlade County, about six miles the way the crow flies southeast of Antigo. It flows through Gresham and has a dam. Below Gresham, the Red River flows into the Wolf River in northern Shawano County.


Phlox is about nine miles the way the crow flies southeast of Antigo, Langlade County, and only three miles southeast of the Red River's headwaters out of Moose Lake.


The photos show the Red River downstream, then upstream from Hwy 47.



From Camp 26-McCall Camp Rd

If you want to have some fun, you've got to get into the backwoods of Menominee Indian Reservation, Menominee County and explore. Hunting for the Red River is a good way to start. The area is sparsely populated, densely forested, and with lots of gravel roads, variously named.

To get these views of the Red River, I headed east out of the town of Aniwa in northeastern Shawano County on CH Z. You'll come to a town called Mattoon, hang a right on CH D and then very shortly thereafter take a left onto Park Ave. Stay on Park Ave. heading east and you will enter western Menominee County. Here's where the fun starts.


Shortly after entering Menominee County, Park Ave. will end at a road variously called McCall Camp Rd. and Camp 26 Rd. Take a left and you should be on Camp 26 Rd., though the markers might say you are still on McCall Camp Rd. In any event, stay on it and quite quickly you will cross the Red River which will be flowing to the southeast. I took these three photos from the area where Camp 26 Rd. crosses the Red River.




At the least, you know you are in some remarkable wilderness which the Menominee Tribe has preserved well. In fact, when you enter this county from Shawano County you will notice a stark change from cleared out flatland to heavy, thick forest.


Some interesting things are done to the Red River in the Gresham area. Very close to town is the Gresham 2WP 1540 Dam which forms Upper Red Lake to the northeast of the city. Then about three miles southeast of the city is what's called the Weed Dam which forms the Lower Red Lake. The Red River feeds them and exits from the Weed Dam. There are power stations at both ends.



This is the Gresham dam and is quite interesting.


I've blown up the satellite view of the connector between the Upper and Lower Reds Lakes in downtown Gresham. The Gresham dam is at the lower end of the Upper Lake, to the left of the red arrow. That is the Lower Red Lake to the right.


This is the Gresham Dam and the Red River on the winter day I was there was trickling out through the ice and into the connector. It was mid-February.


This is the Red River after it has exited the Gresham Dam and is now flowing through the connector to the LowerRed Lake.


But let's back up for just a moment. The water flows from the Upper Lake through the dam, but also flows into a pipe which takes it to the length of the connector and to a power house.


And here you see the piped water going to the powerhouse and then if you look closely, it flows out left center and into the Lower Red Lake.


And so the Red River flows into the Lower Red Lake to go through yet another dam at the far end, the Weed Dam and then on its merry way southeast and then east eventually to the Wolf River at Shawano.