"Then after many glorious days, we will travel to the Isles of Contentment on the shores of Giche-Gumi, by the shining big sea water."

- Aldo Leopold
in a letter to his brother Frederic, 1906

Aldo Leopold Paddling Tour

Aldo Leopold began visiting the Les Cheneaux as a toddler, even before his family built their own cottage on the far eastern end of Hessel Bay. Aldo had immense freedom to explore Marquette Island and the waters of these "Isles of Contentment" annually through his teen years, and his time here without a doubt made a significant impact on his developing worldview as he entered college, worked for the nascent US Forest Service, recuperated from illness, moved to Wisconsin, and began expanding his body of writings (Sand County Almanac being his most widely known).

Annually, the Les Cheneaux community holds the Aldo Leopold Festival that occurs in the days and weekend following Memorial Day (often the first weekend in June). Workshops, field trips, and classes include topics such as birding, wildflower walks, and other topical lectures. To find out more about the festival, click on their web address to be directed to their website: www.aldoleopoldfestival.org

During the festival, Woods & Waters offers a special Aldo Leopold kayak tour that allows you to travel in the way Aldo himself did — by paddling! You will get to see first-hand the Les Cheneaux Club and hear from Club historian Charles Fels. During our morning together, participants will learn about the Club, more about Aldo, and see where the family "Shanty" (their nickname for their cottage) used to stand. This Aldo Leopold paddling trip is a relatively short paddle using super stable tandem (two person) sea kayaks which makes this trip accessible to all levels of paddlers. It's about history and understanding this area as Aldo witnessed it.

If you a looking to learn more about Aldo Leopold outside of the annual festival, email or call us to schedule your own Aldo Leopold kayaking tour. Although we are unable to meet with Charles, we will still paddle to Club Point and talk about Aldo Leopold during the equivalent of a Little Dipper Tour.