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.
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|
|5-Jun||Wed||Kalamazoo River- 12 mile||4-Jul||Thu||Fourth celebration||2-Aug||Fri||South Manitou back`||30-Aug||Fri|
|7-Jun||Fri||6-Jul||Sat||week 32||week 36|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|21-Jun||Fri||july 17 -22 Great Lakes Symposium, www.greatlakesseakayaksymposium.com||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|
|29-Jun||Sat||30-Sep||Mon||Paddler dinner #5|