If you're looking to launch your boat in Janesville, Wisconsin, you're in luck! The city offers several boat launch sites that are open all year round from 5AM to 11PM, and best of all, they're all free to use. Here's what you need to know about each site:
Afton Road Launch in the Rock River Parkway:
This small launch is located just south of the intersection of Afton Rd. and Rockport Rd. It's ideal for boats like canoes, small powered flat-boats, and row boats. However, there is limited parking for vehicles with trailers, and restrooms and drinkable water are not available.
This launch is located at the end of the Kiwanis Pond road adjacent to the Kiwanis fishing pier. Kiwanis Pond is designated as a "motor-free" pond, so only canoes, small row boats, and flat-bottom boats without gas-powered motors may be used. Electric trolling motors are allowed. While there is very limited parking near the launch, adequate parking is provided a short walk to the west. Restrooms and water are not provided.
Located on the west side of Lions Pond, next to the Water Utility well, this launch is steep and only open to non-motorized craft. The water depth just beyond the ramp rapidly reaches 18 ft., so use caution when launching boats. During the swimming season, restrooms are available at the Lions Beach Bathhouse, and benches, picnic tables, and water are available at the beach as well.
Riverside Launch Pier:
This launch is in the middle of Riverside Park and provides two boat piers as well as a floating mooring dock for boats and jet skis. There is ample parking for vehicles with trailers, and the site has picnic tables and trash barrels. Restrooms are located at Veterans Field on the north end of the park. This launch can accommodate larger river boats.
Traxler Park, Central:
Located at the north end of the main park, this launch is used by the Rock Aqua Jays for river access for their shows and practices. There is ample parking for several vehicles and trailers, and restrooms are a short walk to the south in the center of the park. This launch can accommodate large river boats.
Traxler Park, North:
This launch is accessed on Sherman Avenue and the river, just north of the Veterans Memorial Bridge. It includes vehicle and trailer parking, piers for short-term boat mooring, and two picnic pavilions. Convenient restrooms and picnic pavilions are available as well as soda machines and drinking water. This launch can accommodate larger river boats.
Canoe and Kayak Specific Launch Sites:
In addition to these sites, Janesville also has several canoe and kayak-specific launch sites, including:
Town Square, 525 S River St, 101 Rockport Rd, Monterey Park (East side across from Basketball Courts), and Anglers Park.
No matter which launch site you choose, it's important to always use caution when backing your boat into a new launch and verify that the necessary depth exists to offload your boat. With these helpful tips and information, you're ready to enjoy the beautiful waters of Janesville, Wisconsin!
If you don't have your own kayak or prefer not to transport one, Drift Away Paddle Co is a fantastic local rental option. They offer a variety of kayaks and paddleboards for rent and provide drop-off and pick-up service at several Janesville, Wisconsin locations, including Gibbs Lake and the Lower Yahara River. To make a reservation or book a same-day rental, simply call or text 608-295-4348.