Kayaking in Door County is one of the best ways to spend a summer afternoon.
With over 300 miles of shoreline, the Door Peninsula provides easy access to the water from every town. Favorite spots for local kayak enthusiasts include Pebble Beach, Garret Bay in Gills Rock and the passage from Washington Island to Rock Island.
On Rock Island, there are Native American carvings in the limestone. They are hard to get to by foot but a kayak provides an easy way to access this remote area. The passage between Washington Island and Rock Island is a difficult paddle. Be aware that this is a shipping lane and can possibly be busy with boat traffic.
Don’t own a kayak? There are numerous sporting goods shops that have them available for rent and most provide guided tours.
Any hardcore kayakers out there? Two of our locals made the trek from Door County across the lake and up to Fayette, MI. Dale Krolick and Chuck Scully made the crossing a couple years ago. The trip took six days but it can be done in four. Just goes to show, there are limitless options when adventuring in Door County.
For those looking for a little less of an adventure, Pebble Beach, Schoolhouse Beach, or Garret Bay provide a beautiful paddle without the risk of much traffic. For beginners, I would recommend Pebble Beach or Schoolhouse Beach. These protected coves offer a great place to learn how to paddle and some windy days have nice waves. Garret Bay has a shipwreck right at the launch site. If you paddle south along the shore you can see the limestone cliffs from an angle that is unsurpassed. The clear water and flat rocks provide a great place to swim and have a picnic.
Door County has many kayaking events scheduled each summer. Paddlefest at Nicolet Bay in Peninsula State Park takes place in June every year. Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Race, an expedition and symposium also begins in June and includes a “Death’s Door Passage” from Northport to Jackson Harbor. Bayshore Outdoor Store rents kayaks and provides a complete listing of kayak related events.
Door County Lodging isn’t the only one excited about kayaking. The Chicage Tribune recently posted an article about a first hand kayaking experience on the water: Door County by kayak.