The Michigan Center for Geographic Information indicates that West Michigan (our immediate region) has 6,881 miles of rivers and streams, most of which are highly accessible for kayak use and provide beautiful paddle trips. Note:  that this is but a portion of the 51,348 miles recorded for the entire state. We live in a paddler’s paradise; there is no question about it.

Our plan and purpose at Kayak-Kayak is to introduce our friends and fellow paddlers to some of the best of these waters.

Paddling the Grand River will provide access to a multitude of creeks and lakes that feed the river and are being upgraded by Ottawa County Parks and Recreation in a major effort to provide water access to the public. There are short portages to beautiful small lakes and bayous. This river once held a seven mile long log jam during the spring run- off in the 1880’s. We traveled many of these waters and with the help of the Werner’s were able to map kayak trails with mileage points for the major rivers in the area. We have these maps available at the store. Do not miss the glorious Lotus fields this summer. Ottawa County provides an extensive electronic map for the Grand River Water Trail.

Logs remain scattered and submerged throughout the lower Kalamazoo as it meanders to Saugatuck. Take a one hour, three hour or four hour trip down the Kalamazoo as you paddle back into history and through the beautiful Allegan forest. The colors are terrific in the fall. Eagles still nest along the banks.

The Pigeon River like the Kalamazoo brings you back decades to the quiet, environmentally compelling adventure of woods, turtles and all kinds of wild birds. You may wish the services of a naturalist from the convenient Hemlock Nature Center or certainly stop there on your paddling excursion.

Remember on the southside of Holland there is the  Outdoor Discovery Center with a series of walks and wildlife to view.

We can also arrange to meet groups at a central location to make transportation more convenient.

Finally, special paddles on Lake Michigan will be a regular occurrence, subject to the weather our plan is to run these paddles on Tuesday or we can arrange another day for a 5 person minimum. Kayak-kayak will arrange handling the boats for the return to the shop. The trips we are planning include from Lake Macatawa to Saugatuck, Lake Macatawa to Pigeon Lake, Pigeon Lake to Grand Haven. These paddles are in the planning stage and, of course, conditioned upon the weather. The trips will take place mid week and last up to five hours with shore breaks scheduled. These trips will include a modest organizational and hauling charge for each kayaker. Reservations are required.

Specific trips

Paddling the Beach Town waters in West Michigan.

What are the Beach Towns? Ranging from South Haven to Sutton’s Bay, we have defined the Beach Towns for our summer trips to be those places where the local rivers or lakes access Lake Michigan (or are immediately adjacent). These are all wonderful towns filled with history, arrayed with neat and unique spots, possess remarkable natural beauty and, yes, “a river runs through it”to a larger lake called Michigan. Since before the 1800’s these rivers have been the center of commercial activity in otherwise remote locations to source global products. Commerce to these towns means the fur trade, famous old logging rivers that delivered the famous white pine to the mill at the river mouth for further transport to Chicago and other large market distribution points. After the forests immediately on the river bank were harvested the logging activity moved further inland prompting the development of the railroads, thus an entire railroad history is embedded in this region. Note that in the 1870’s and 1880’s more miles of track were laid in Michigan than existed in all of Europe and more than any other state. History abounds amongst the natural beauty of the area and each are recorded in local museums and nature centers that dot the region.

Our paddling review seeks to incorporate all of these dimensions. For each river and town, we have maps and comments with points of access, special interest and historical sites. Each town is reviewed to include nature centers, historic highlights, museums, unique restaurants and other idiosyncratic local charm.

Kayak-Kayak will be sponsoring “Wednesday’s On the Water” this summer. These are group paddles. Beginning with a brief orientation about paddling and the paddle trail for the day, we will get on the water mid morning.  We will haul the boats from our store where we meet at 9:AM, getting back after lunch generally mid afternoon. Rentals are available. We also offer group and family rental rates. There will be a modest organizational and boat handling charge for each kayaker of $10 for each kayaker. The proceeds from this are contributed to the Historic Ottawa Beach Society. Please make reservations.

 2013 Paddling Schedule    Call for reservations 616.366.1146
 June 1   Sat Store Opening   30-Jun Sun     28-Jul Sun     25-Aug Sun  
2-Jun Sun     1-Jul Mon 4. Indian Channel   29-Jul Mon     26-Aug Mon  
3-jun  Mon  Indian Cut Grand River                   27-Aug Tue  
    paddler dinner#2   2-Jul Tue     31-Jul Wed     28-Aug Wed  
4-Jun Tue     3-Jul Wed     1-Aug Thu     29-Aug Thu  
5-Jun Wed Kalamazoo River- 12 mile   4-Jul Thu Fourth celebration   2-Aug Fri South Manitou back`   30-Aug Fri  
6-Jun Thu     5-Jul Fri     3-Aug Sat     31-Aug Sat  
7-Jun Fri     6-Jul Sat     week 32     week 36  
8-Jun Sat     week 28       4-Aug Sun     1-Sep Sun  
week 24       7-Jul Sun     5-Aug Mon 8. Riverside to Bass RiverBayou   2-Sep Mon Labor Day
9-Jun Sun     8-Jul Mon 5. Eastmanville to Eastmanville Farm       Paddler dinner #4   3-Sep Tue  
10-Jun Mon connor Bayou   9-Jul Tue     6-Aug Tue     4-Sep Wed  
11-Jun Tue     10-Jul Wed White River   7-Aug Wed holland to Saugatuck   5-Sep Thu  
12-Jun Wed Black River South Haven w/ bikes   11-Jul Thu     8-Aug Thu     6-Sep Fri  
13-Jun Thu     12-Jul Fri     9-Aug Fri     7-Sep Sat Drummond Island-out
14-Jun Fri     13-Jul Sat     10-Aug Sat     week 37 Drummond Island
15-Jun Sat     week 29       week 33     8-Sep Sun Drummond Island-3 nights
week 25       14-Jul Sun     11-Aug Sun     9-Sep Mon Drummond Island-back
16-Jun Sun     15-Jul Mon 6. Grand River Park to Lamont on to Eastmanville Bayou.   12-Aug Mon 9. Lotus fields from Mills point park- spring lake   10-Sep Tue  
17-Jun Mon Eastmanville to Ripps, portage in   16-Jul Tue     13-Aug Tue     11-Sep Wed  
18-Jun Tue     17-Jul Wed Hamlin Lake- Ludington   14-Aug Wed Holland to Port Sheldon   12-Sep Thu  
19-Jun Wed Flat River- Covered bridge paddle   18-Jul Thu     15-Aug Thu     13-Sep Fri  
20-Jun Thu     19-Jul Fri     16-Aug Fri     14-Sep Sat  
21-Jun Fri july 17 -22 Great  Lakes Symposium,   20-Jul Sat     17-Aug Sat     week 38  
22-Jun Sat 902.226.7112   week 30       week 34     15-Sep Sun  
week 26       21-Jul Sun     18-Aug Sun     16-Sep Mon Riddeau Canal- Canada
23-Jun Sun     22-Jul Mon 7. Paddle Eastmanville bayou   19-Aug Mon     17-Sep Tue Riddeau Canal- Canada
24-Jun Mon 3. island lunch   23-Jul Tue     20-Aug Tue Pictured Rocks   18-Sep Wed Riddeau Canal- Canada
25-Jun Tue     24-Jul Wed Old Mission Penn.-planning group   21-Aug Wed     19-Sep Thu Riddeau Canal- Canada
26-Jun Wed Muskegion in Newaygo-Croton Dam   25-Jul Thu     22-Aug Thu     20-Sep Fri Riddeau Canal- Canada
27-Jun Thu     26-Jul Fri     23-Aug Fri     21-Sep Sat  
28-Jun Fri     27-Jul Sat     24-Aug Sat          
29-Jun Sat                     30-Sep Mon Paddler dinner #5