Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking

Grab Your Paddle & Explore The Keweenaw!     

The Keweenaw Water Trail is a designated route established in 1995 for paddlers of sea kayaks and canoes. Nicknamed “A Superior Sports Port” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, the Water Trail exemplifies the Keweenaw Peninsula in the most literal sense. 

Copper Harbor Sea Kayak Experience

Check out our interactive Copper Harbor Sea Kayak map and get a taste of paddling in the Keweenaw!  Join Matt and Tyler, two guides from the Keweenaw Adventure Company, as they navigate the coastal Lake Superior waters near Copper Harbor and offer tips to get the most out of your Keweenaw paddle experience.  

Keweenaw Sea Kayaking Recommendations

The Keweenaw offers a rugged coastline that competes with that of the legendary Isle Royale, only without the ferryboat ride. It highlights a mixture of the many moods of Lake Superior can change in short order. Here are some recommendations to have a fun and safe experience:

  • Paddlers should grab an official Keweenaw Water Trail Map to help plan routes and identify camp entrance/exit sites. Water-proof/tear-proof KWT maps are available by mail for $8.00, from the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau, 56638 Calumet Avenue, Calumet, MI 49913.
  • Paddlers should be familiar with potential landing sites along the route as steep, rocky shorelines or cliffs and private property issues can be encountered. Much of the Keweenaw’s shoreline not owned by the State is either in private conservancy land or is registered as Commercial Forest Reserve (CFR) land. This land is valuable to the owners and their generosity should not be infringed upon by the negligent use of the land. 
  • Please respect private ownership by not camping without direct permission from the owner and by obeying sign postings.
  • Water temperatures even during a hot day in August average only in the low to mid 50’s and the Lake is colder than that during most paddling season. Cold water temperatures cool the air in the summer and a 10-degree temperature difference from the inland temperature and should be expected. The cold water creates even more of a need to wear a life vest (PFD) as the frigid water can quickly deplete motor skills if immersed in the event of a capsize. Most paddlers wear wetsuits for added protection.
  • When in doubt, follow adopt a “Leave No Trace” mindset. Much of the land and waters used by recreational paddlers are ecological gems. Let’s keep it that way.  This means:
    • Plan ahead and prepare.
    • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
    • Dispose of waste properly. Pack out what you pack in. Bury human waste at least 100’ from any water source.
    • Leave what you find….take only pictures, leave only footprints.
    • Minimize impacts of campfires.
    • Respect wildlife.
    • Be considerate of other visitors.

Keweenaw Outfitters

Don’t have a kayak?  Need a wet suit? Not a problem.  You can rent one from a few locations around the Keweenaw.  Check out these local businesses for equipment and more:  

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308 Shelden Avenue
Houghton, MI 49931 US

Phone: (906) 482-2500
E-Mail Address: downwindsports@gmail.com
Region: Houghton
Website

We have the Upper Peninsulas most complete selection of quality clothing and equipment for outdoor sports!
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155 Gratiot Street
Copper Harbor, MI 49918 US

Phone: (906) 289-4303
E-Mail Address: info@keweenawadventure.com
Region: Copper Harbor
Website

Keweenaw Adventure Company, northern Keweenaw's silent sports guide outfitter, offers year-round Lodging and summer time Lake Superior Sea Kayak Tours, Lessons Rentals. Guided day trips and overn ...
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18350 Highway M-203
Hancock, MI 49930 US

Phone: (906) 482-0278
Region: Hancock
Website

90 sites on Lake Superior. Open mid-May to mid-October.
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Isle Royale, MI 49931 US

Phone: (906) 482-0984
E-Mail Address: ISRO-Ranger3Reserve@nps.gov
Website

One of Americas few island national parks offers over 165 miles of hiking trails with a variety of options for trip length and difficulty. A unique wilderness experience for visitors accessible on ...
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MI 49945 US

Phone: 906-0820
E-Mail Address: info@keweenawlandtrust.org
Region: Chassell
Website

Although small in size, the Princess Point Nature Area packs a powerful punch in enhancing recreational opportunities in the Sturgeon River Sloughs region. The property lies on the eastern side of the
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1100 W. Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931 US

Phone: (906) 275-8936
E-Mail Address: info@portagepaddlesports.com
Region: Houghton
Website

Summer destination spots offering rental stand up paddle boards, kayaks, bikes, and floats for all experience levels. Also, offering 20+ flavors of Jilberts hand dipped Ice Cream and other concessions
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15.6 Miles from Gay on the Gay-Lac La Belle Road
Gay, MI 49950 US

Phone: (906) 482-0820
E-Mail Address: info@keweenawlandtrust.org
Region: Lac La Belle / Bete Grise
Website

The George Hite Dunes & Marshes is open to the public for non-motorized recreation.
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Manitou Island
MI US

Phone: (906) 482-0820
E-Mail Address: info@keweenawlandtrust.org
Region: Copper Harbor
Website

The Preserve is open to the public for rock collecting, kayaking, bird watching and visiting the light station grounds, but getting to the island is challenging due to frequently treacherous waters of
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MI US

Phone: 906-0802
E-Mail Address: info@keweenawlandtrust.org
Website

The property is open to the public for non-motorized, low-impact recreation, including hiking, bird watching, fishing, hunting, paddling, and rustic camping along the shoreline. The property can be ac
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