“No-Regrets – 2021” – Rafting Road-Trip from Chicago to Niagara, Wisconsin

What is No-Regrets
A mancation, a tradition, where bunch of close friends hunker down for a weekend of adventure, each year, every year. Key ingredients: Road trip, stirring adventure, nature and a new destination to satiate our wanderlust.

All No-Regrets Trips
Rafting/Adventure Road-Trip from Chicago to Ohiopyle, Ohio (No-Regrets 2018)
Adventure Road-Trip from Chicago to Rocky Mountains, Colorado (No-Regrets 2019)
Camping Getaway from Chicago to Iowa (No-Regrets 2020)
Rafting/Adventure road-trip from Chicago to Niagara, Wisconsin (No-Regrets 2021)
Rafting/Adventure road-trip from Chicago to New River Gorge, West Virginia (No-Regrets 2022)

Why Wildman resort, Niagara?

One of the closest white-water rafting locales from Chicago, clocking around 4 hours.
Convenience – being an adventure resort, you get a plethora of pre-booked activities so less hassle and more fun.
Great mix of adventure activitiesfor families or adults alike.
Support staff is lively, knowledgeable and fun-loving, just like its patrons.

How to Plan your visit?

•  For accommodation, you can choose one of the many cabins OR camps inside the resort. We stayed at the Pineview cottage.

• Run through the emergency checklist.

• Run though the tech essentials to turbo charge your road trips.

•  Choose your activities and places to visit. We did the following in a 3 day trip: whitewater rafting at Menominee River; zip-lining, paintball, trekking and Kayaking. To squeeze in more activities – we took Friday off, went straight to white-water rafting and then did the rest of the activities on Saturday and early Sunday before returning late Sunday evening.

Our Trip from Naperville

June 11-13, 2021

Road Trip
Naperville to Menominee River Outpost, WI.
299 miles, took around 5 hours with many breaks along the way.

We reserved this cottage directly from Wildman.

Day 1 – The Drive and the Rafting

Rise and shine – We left sharp at 7 AM in our Durango R/T and MDX to kick-start our escapade.

We headed straight for white-water rafting outpost, the only pit-stop being here at Crivitz, WI.


With our stuffed bellies and overflowing spirit of adventure, we sped over to the most sought-after part of the trip – R.A.F.T.I.N.G.

The beginnings were humble and uneventful. We had 2 guides in our raft who entertained us with jokes and pirate songs and calmed some nerves down, in mostly placid water.


Some more serene moments, full of nervous euphoria.



Things got amped up hastily.

The guides know when to pose, don’t they.

After a few Class II/III rapids, we were motoring along towards the Class IV rapid. The guides lined up the raft perfectly to hit the tongue of the rapid.


The drop itself didn’t seem that bad..


Until we went further in..

IMG_9730 (1)

After a few heart-in-the-mouth moments, we hit the normalcy of mundane flowing river, which felt good for a change.

But the raft besides ours wasn’t that fortunate. A loose foot is a perilous disposition inside the raft.



Can you spot the leg?

Man overboard!


Where did he go?


All eyes on the guide, may be we need a rescue?


After a few jittery moments, he resurfaces..


And all is well with the world again. We had a great time reliving these moments with the fallen guy in the bar inside the resort. I loved his quip – “Not everyday you get to fall in a Class IV rapid!”

The Menominee River Outpost had a fully-stocked bar with several grubbing options. There are other facilities for the patrons like cornhole, which we utilized aptly.

NIK_0879 (2021-06-19T03_46_40.089)

Hiking at Menominee River State Recreation Area

Feeling ebullient after our skip-a-heartbeat rafting gig, we decided to take a short trek to the Menominee River State Recreation Area. The trail meanders around the Menominee River, leading to some breathtaking views of the white-water rapids we went on earlier.

These pictures only do half the justice.

You need to drop your guard and spend a few mins doing nothing, to soak in the ambience.

NIK_1031 (2021-06-19T04_03_26.132)

Here’s the roaring rapids, with all their might.

Gatlinburg Wildman Adventure Resort – Peshtigo River Outpost

We swiftly headed towards our resting abode for the night – the Pineview Deluxe Cabin at Peshtigo River Outpost.


After the rich exploits of the day, we retreated to our cabin, the freshly grilled food and drinks leading the festivities of the night.

Day 2 – The Resort , Ziplining and the Paint-ball

The Resort

We took a morning stroll around the resort to check things out. The resort has ample lodgings – campsites as well as cabins. The campsites are nestled close to Peshtigo River. The area had plenty of shades and picnic tables.

A short walk from our cabin led us to the tranquility of the Peshtigo River, a stark contrast to the roaring rapids the other day.


Golfing aficionados will enjoy the teeing amenities.



After a filling breakfast, we headed over to the first adventure of the day – 5 adrenaline pumping ziplines with speeds up to 35 miles an hour. We went whistling over the wooded area and the golf course.

Paint-ball Pursuit

We shared the large paint-ball arena with another sizable Church group from Chicago and mixed-up the teams. The paint-ball arena was densely wooded area accentuated with man-made shields and obstacles, it gave us a great perspective of how an actual battle in the wild would look like.

Courtesy: Wildmanranch.com

Day 3 – The Kayaking Trip and the Return

Kayaking Trip

A trip to the north isn’t complete without a leisurely view of the Northwoods. And we leveraged Wildman’s kayaking tour at the High Falls reservoir to soak in the experience.

The lake was vast and placid.


We swiftly ushered in and went about our away.


Things got a bit too calm after a while and it took a literal nose-dive from the near-by cliff, to balance out the things.

Screenshot 2022-04-19 202256

and just like that, we headed back.


All Good Things..

Come to an end. A few hours and a pit stop later, we parted our ways, with a promise of bigger adventure looming in the air for No-Regrets 2022.

IMG_9727 (1)
Thank you for the memories, Wildman!

Please share your thoughts on this post or your own Mancation Road-trip ideas in the comments section.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s