When It Rains It Roars

The Pike Hole Rapids, Apple River, Little Falls, Wisconsin
Shown on September 8, 2002.


The stream makes a sudden drop of about 8 feet into a small gorge known locally as the Pike Hole, a portion of the water's fall is pictured here. Skin divers say the falls feature an underwater cave and a dangerous undertow during high water.

The Apple River is a popular fast-flowing river in Northwestern Wisconsin and is most famous for inner tubing fun in the Somerset area. But far upstream near Little Falls, Wisconsin the Apple comes alive during periods of heavy precipitation.

At the bridge the stream begins a sudden decline and the thrills begin at the old foundation of the Little Falls dam and power plant which washed out in 1957.

Listen to the Apple
Digital Stereo Recording

Pike Hole Lower Falls Pike Hole Upper Upstream View Looking Downstream Little Falls Bridge from the river.

Apple River Map, Little Falls, Wisconsin

A clickable map, five photos near the blue P's are available.

The satellite view shows the stream flowing from the Little Falls bridge, right to left.

Little Falls Park, river access and town site in the background.A good place to start an Apple River adventure is below Black Brook Dam (4515.825' 09224.174') at the nearby park. Some danger areas to check before hand are at the Little Falls Bridge (4516.410' 09225.092') and the Pike Hole rapids (4516.484' 09225.692') water fall area for protruding rocks at low water levels. A good indicator of water flow is at the dam itself. No water flowing over the spillway and water from only one generator tunnel means very low water. If you see many rocks in mid-river at the Little Falls bridge, come back another time. For a calmer transit of the river, try the Alden Township high bridge (4516.785' 09228.306') (3 miles downstream from Little Falls) to highway 65 or beyond. The highway 65 landing is on the right bank about 425 feet upstream from the bridge at (4516.757 09228.290).

The river is ever changing on a daily basis, is not monitored and parts are blocked with trees. Canoers, kayakers, rafters, and tubers will be isolated in many areas. Roads parallel the river on the left side to the Alden High Bridge within 1/2 mile.

Kayakers should have their skirts on by the Little Falls bridge. Rapids in the Pike Hole area are estimated at class 2 - 3, the deepest portion is on the right half. The shelf below has a calm area along the right bank, with high water the left half is fine and there is a huge boulder mid-stream exposed during low water. Click on the map to view the lower rapids photo to see the shelf.

You can exit the river before the Pike Hole rapids on the left side of the river after passing a rock cliff about 20 feet high.

Milltown Group

<A party from Milltown, Wisconsin gets ready
to canoe from the Alden Township High Bridge.



Near the area of a mansion with large chimneys on the left bank, the river splits. (4516.605' 09226.705') The old shallow channel to the right is calmer with trees you might have to portage around. The new main channel may or may not be clear of trees. Other trees beyond nearly block the river. After Wapogasset Branch, a quiet stream, the river is deeper with a peaceful finish to the Alden High Bridge.

This is September 2002 information, none of it is guaranteed as changes constantly take place.


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[American Whitewater Little Falls/Apple River Info]

"To the lost man, to the pioneer penetrating a new country, to the naturalist who wishes to see the wild land at its wildest, the advice is always the same -- follow a river. The river is the original forest highway. It is nature's own Wilderness Road." -Edwin Way Teale

"Although it was wonderful to see all that water tumbling down, it would be even more wonderful to see all that water tumbling up." -Mark Twain