Do you have a small group, family outing, or company kayak activity in mind? Listed below are the places we love to paddle and know the areas very well. For trips on longer stretches of the rivers, we will coordinate with you the most convenient means of transportation from take out to put in, where your kayak awaits. For out and back paddle locations, there is no need for a shuttle. Listed below are several guided trip destinations available to meet your experience and to suit your paddle enjoyment. River trips length of time on the water are fully dependent on water levels and rain fall. We shall advise you of current water conditions, and if they are running well. Total paddle distance for each locations are provided. These trips are best reserved in advance – and will be on a first come, first served availability. We need a minimum of 72 hours advanced notice to reserve your trip. Kayaks, paddles, and PFD included in the prices.
4 Hour Trips:
Random Lake – This smaller lake (212 acres), located within the town of Random Lake. Local residents find enjoyment trolling around on their pontoon boats viewing the cattails and ducks which frequent the area. The water clarity is fairly clear. Nice little swimming beach near the boat launch, and plenty of picnic tables. This lake is one of the training lakes we use (3.5 mile lake circumnavigation).
Bathroom – yes, Potable water – yes, Parking – large area. No shuttle needed.
Long Lake – Long Lake is a 423 acre lake located in Sheboygan, Fond du Lac Counties. Part of the Kettle Moraine North unit; It has a maximum depth of 47 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing, public beaches. The lake’s water is moderately clear (5.5 mile lake circumnavigation).
Bathroom – yes, Potable water – no, Parking – large area away from launch. Wisconsin State Parking pass required. No shuttle needed.
Big Cedar Lake – This is located just outside of West Bend, This 900 acre lake, with 16 miles of shoreline is fairly popular to water sports enthusiasts (power boats and jet skis) especially in the warmer weather months. There is a ‘super secret’ back water location which is the natural spring feeder to the lake. We take an up close and personal view of the ‘blue hole’ from which the waters bubbles it’s cold, clear, water (4 mile round trip to the blue hole – 16 mile lake circumnavigation).
Bathroom – yes, Potable water – no, Parking – about 8 single car parking areas. No shuttle needed.
Little Cedar Lake – Big Cedar’s sibling. This body of water is part of the Washington County Park system. Either a yearly pass or day pass is required to enter here (payment can be made via web site). This location has a sandy swim beach, and a dedicated boat launch. Circumnavigating this lake will produce a little over 4 miles to your odometer. The water clarity is mostly clear, and one can look down about 12 feet. There is a small island near the boat launch, with several large rocks surrounding it. On both the southern sections of the lake, there is a ‘marsh-like feel’ with several cat-tails and lily pads in the warmer months. Power boats do frequent this area.
Bathroom – yes, Potable water – yes, Parking – large area. No shuttle needed.
Horicon Marsh – Immersive surroundings of cat tails and nature unlike what you may have experienced. Horicon is the US largest fresh water cat tail assembly, and provides a maze-like sensation to the paddler. This fascinating and unique eco-system is quite impressive. Over 340, 000 square acres of marsh await the naturalist to explore.
Numerous water-foul frequent this area as a migration zone, mass numbers of Canada geese, ducks, sandhill cranes, blackbirds, and many other species stopover at the marsh during their annual fall migration. Horicon Marsh is a shallow, peat-filled lake bed scoured out of limestone by the Green Bay lobe of the massive Wisconsin glacier. The glacier entered this area about 70,000 years ago and receded about 12,000 years ago. The same layer of rock that forms the gentle hills to the east of the marsh extends 500 miles to the east and is the same rock layer over which the Niagara River plunges at Niagara Falls. This Niagara Escarpment bordering the marsh, commonly referred to as “The Ledge” extends for 230 miles in the state of Wisconsin alone. The marsh itself is approximately 14 miles long and ranges from 3-5 miles in width. (Taken from the US Fish and Wildlife)
Boat traffic is normally limited to small fishing boats and tour boats on the main channels – as most of the inner marsh is too shallow for motorized traffic. Kayakers will embrace the nature, serenity, and beauty which resides within. There are several small islands scattered in the marsh, few of them which can provide a short stop over and resting place for the weary paddler. At times, maps and charts of the area will not prove worthy, as the terrain features do change through the year (as the cat tails and lily pads emerge).
Make this a destination as one of your paddle destinations not to miss. Your paddle distance can be a simple out and back, covering as many miles as one wishes, as one explores the numerous inlets. After the paddle, may we suggest visiting the Horicon Marsh Visitor’s Center to learn more about the historic features of the marsh.
Bathroom – yes, Potable water – no, Parking – large area. No shuttle needed.
Milwaukee River (Cedarburg to Thiensville): There are several paddle lengths to this more rural route of the Milwaukee River. Launching at Lime Kiln Park, there are bathrooms present. A fair amount of parking and a fairly easy access to the water. The upper section by Lime Kiln Park down a few miles in the warmer season and low flow water will produce some areas of scraping the kayak hull… and maybe some walking along the way. Only a few houses are visible on this stretch, as majority of the shoreline is ridden by trees and wildlife. The water clarity of this river does change a bit through the season, however mostly clear and clean. As one reaches Garrison Glen kayak launch, the water gets a bit deeper down the middle. The launch at Garrison Glen is pretty small in comparison to the final destination of Thiensville. There is a small parking lot – which can hold maybe a max of 6 cars (if they park nicely). Trailer parking would be very tight, as the turning radius is limited. There is no bathroom or running water at this location. From this point onward, the river banks continue to amaze you – as you wonder why you hadn’t paddled this before. Just about 3 ½ miles before Thiensville, the flow of water will slow down a bit, and you will notice power boats and more residential homes. There are a few places one can get out and stretch – however only one offers a bathroom stop – this would be Vila Grove, with a porta-potty. There is a power boat launch near the south end of this park – and it is usually busy. Just a few more miles down the river one will finally arrive at Thiensville (just before the dam). There is a bathroom and fresh water available at this location – plenty of parking (with or without a trailer). One thing to note, if water levels are moving at a fast pace and is reasonably high, check the launch gate – as this may be closed for safety reasons. Lime Kiln to Garrison Glen – about 2 ½ miles. Garrison Glen to Thiensville – about 5 ½ miles.
Bathroom – yes (Lime Kiln and Thiensville), Potable water – yes (Lime Kiln and Thiensville) Parking – Varies from location. Shuttle needed.
Covered Bridge to Cedarburg – Another favorite area to paddle. It is usually a gentile, quiet, and easy paddle through wooded banks and very little residential development. We shall start at the last remaining coverage bridge of Wisconsin, built in 1876. Although motorized traffic can not use this, it still remains an active pedestrian walkway. Our travels will venture though the back acres of Cedarburg and the outskirts of Grafton, eventually arriving in the heart of Cedarburg’s historic district (about a 5 mile paddle).
Bathroom – yes, Potable water – no, Parking – large area at Covered Bridge, street parking at take-out. Shuttle needed.
6 and 8 hour Trips:
Milwaukee River – (West Bend, Newberg, and Waubeka -country setting): A paddle through the countryside, with a gentile flowing current. A local favorite and quite relaxing to see the changes of the seasons on this stretch of the river. The water clarity is slightly tannic, some aquatic plants to help you guide your kayak the correct direction. There are two sections of the entire stretch which have seasonal riffles and thrills – but mainly a gentile paddle trip. The banks of this river have various trees which at times, canopy and dapple sunlight. You may also encounter several deer grazing along the edge, heron, cranes, and other birds. (8 mile, 11 mile or 13 mile paddle trips available). Should you wish, there can be a 21 mile paddle from West Bend to Waubedonia Park.
Bathroom – yes (Newberg and Waubedonia Park), Potable water – yes (Newberg and Waubedonia Park), Parking – varies by location. Shuttle needed.
Milwaukee River – (city): Explore the inner city of Milwaukee unlike any other sight seeing method – from the water. This unique view from the water provides a prospective of the historic city. Passing under several bridges and waving to the pedestrians above us. Several rivers flow into the Milwaukee, and we shall pass by the grounds of Summerfest (and channel connecting the Milwaukee river to Lake Michigan). Additional miles can be obtained by paddling and exploring the Menominee and Kinnickinnic Rivers. Minimum round trip distance (to mouth of Lake Michigan) 6 1/2 miles. Ask about adding on some additional paddle miles.
Bathroom – along route, Potable water – along route, Parking – street. No shuttle needed.
Lake Michigan paddle – This is an open water paddle, where the lake dictates how the outcome of the trip will play out. This is always a weather dependent destination. A fairly accurate condition report is available usually three days prior to the trip. Even with careful planning and consideration of the weather patterns, Mother Nature usually has the upper hand. Prior to this trip, one should be familiar with a wet exit, be comfortable with getting wet, and should have a decent self-rescue skill. A spray skirt, and proper clothing is always required for any of these trips. Our destinations distance is usually 10 miles or less – taking a break at the half way mark to explore Lion’s Den and the shoreline.
Bathroom – yes, Potable water – no, Parking – for about 20 cars. No shuttle needed.