Wisconsin River

Wisconsin River
River, central and southwestern Wisconsin, U.S. It rises near the Wisconsin-Michigan border and flows south through central Wisconsin, then turns west and enters the Mississippi River after a course of 430 mi (690 km).

It is navigable for small craft for about 200 mi (320 km) from its mouth. Lake Wisconsin is formed by a hydroelectric dam on the river near Prairie du Sac.

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      river rising in Lac Vieux Desert (lake), Vilas county, northern Wisconsin, U.S., on the Wisconsin-Michigan border. It flows generally southward through central Wisconsin past Rhinelander, Wausau, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, and Wisconsin Dells (site of a scenic gorge). The river then turns southeast to just past Portage and then southwest and west to join the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien after a course of 430 miles (690 km). It has a drainage basin of some 12,000 square miles (31,000 square km).

      In 1673 the French explorers Jacques Marquette (Marquette, Jacques) and Louis Jolliet (Jolliet, Louis) traveled down the Wisconsin River from Portage to the Mississippi. The Wisconsin is navigable for light craft as far as Portage, 200 miles (320 km) from its mouth, but navigation farther upstream is made difficult by shifting sandbars. At Portage the Fox River (connected to the Wisconsin by a canal that has been in disuse for navigation since the mid-20th century) is only 1.5 miles (2.5 km) by land to the northeast across low, marshy ground. Several lakes were formed by dams, including Lake Wisconsin and Castle Rock and Petenwell lakes.

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Universalium. 2010.

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