After crossing the Mackinac Bridge — head east and enjoy an ecotour in the Eastern Upper Peninsula!

Located just 30 minutes from the Mackinac Straits area (Mackinaw City and St. Ignace), Woods & Waters offers guided kayak tours among the the beautiful Les Cheneaux Islands nestled in northern Lake Huron. We're also not a far drive from Sault Ste. Marie (the Soo), Trout Lake, Brevort, or even Petoskey, Harbor Springs, or Cheboygen! 

The Les Cheneaux (lay shh-know) are an archipelago of 36 islands abound with quaint historic cottages, nature preserves, migrating birds, wooden boats, cedar-lined rocky shores, and protected waters that are suitable for all levels of paddlers. There are dozens upon dozens of shoreline miles to paddle allowing repeat guests the opportunity to see a different area every time. Trips can be offered upon request on Drummond Island, the DeTour peninsula, the Soo, or the Mackinac Straits. 

We also love helping paddlers develop kayaking stroke skills, gain confidence in bigger water, practice wet exits and rescues, and hone risk management through private lessons or ACA classes (American Canoe Association).

Tours range from 2 hours on the water to a full "perfect" day — or even an overnight camping trip on Government Island in the Hiawatha National Forest. We can also work with larger groups and organizations for custom trips. We love to create the custom experience you are seeking for your family, company, or group.

Although we can take requests for a tour destination, we will always pick the best place to paddle depending on the day's forecast. All guided kayaking trips include top-quality sea kayaks, all associated gear, and trained kayak guide. Every trip starts with a beach talk where we teach basic kayaking information.

The Little Dipper

The Little Dipper guided kayak tour is a perfect short adventure for experiencing the Les Cheneaux Islands from the water. Paddling time averages two hours making this offering well-suited to families with younger paddlers, absolute beginners, tight vacation schedules, or individuals unsure of their endurance. All levels welcome.

We offer a Little Dipper guided tour almost every morning because Lake Huron is usually calm; call us to schedule an afternoon tour or a custom time.

The Bigger Dipper

The Bigger Dipper kayaking adventure, a guest favorite, expands the possibilities of where we can paddle in the Les Cheneaux as well as provides more time to disconnect and enjoy kayaking. There are so many options — circumnavigating Little LaSalle, reaching Marquette Bay, paddling through Magulpin Cut, or a one-way from Hessel to Cedarville. Paddling time averages 3:30–4:00 hours on the water (brief stop if needed). All levels are welcome.

Sunset Paddle

Most evenings, winds begin to calm and our local Lake Huron waters begin behaving more like an inland lake. Some nights guests paddle waters that are as calm as glass. Regardless if the sky show is subtle and tranquil or a breathtaking display of clouds and color, sunset paddles are always a relaxing way to end your day in the Les Cheneaux. Average time spent paddling is 3:00–3:30 hours with plenty of time for taking pictures and soaking up the views. All levels welcome. Start times vary based on sunset.

Full Moon Paddle

Enjoy both a sunset and moonrise in the Les Cheneaux with plenty of time for enjoying "nature TV" — and as dusk settles you'll paddle a kayak illuminated by solar lanterns waiting for the moon to crest the islands.

Trips often offered the day before/after the official full moon. Time on the water is approximately 3:00–3:30 hours. Although suitable for all levels, recommend mature teens as an age minimum due to the later evening. Tandems sea kayaks strongly encouraged. 

The "Perfect" Day — you pick the day!

This private tour allows you to spend a perfect day on the water exploring the Les Cheneaux Islands at your pace and includes a chef-prepared picnic lunch. As one of our guides likes to say, "we have nowhere to be and all day to get there" — and that is exactly the goal on this full-day kayaking adventure. We can stop for a swim, enjoy a nap after lunch on a Lake Huron beach, or take a short hike at a nature preserve. The possibilities are nearly endless. 

This trip is suitable for all active individuals and eager beginners and customized to capabilities and interests. Time spent paddling will average six hours with a one-hour lunch break. 

Sunrise Paddle

Early birds can start in the pre-dawn darkness, using solar lanterns for illumination, and have a front-row seat as dawn breaks. After sunrise, enjoy seeing what was once hidden in the dark. Upon our eventual return to shore, know you'll have earned that cup of coffee! 

There is truth to the statement "it's always darkest before the dawn" — therefore we require tandems for sunrise paddles (unless an experienced kayaker). If you are staying in the area, we'd love to get all your equipment fitted the day before. Offered late July – September. Although all levels welcome, recommend mature teens as an age minimum due to the early start time and time spent paddling in darkness.

 

The Perfect Overnight

Departing early afternoon, your overnight kayaking adventure begins by paddling the equivalent of a Bigger Dipper tour. We then land at one of Government Island's rustic campsites, part of the Hiawatha National Forest. We'll also handle the cooking of your chef-prepared personalized meal-plan while you explore, swim, or just relax and enjoy the views. After dinner, watch the stars come out and be dazzled by the dark skies. In the morning, awaken to a hot beverage and breakfast. We then pack up and continue paddling, returning to "civilization" by noon. 

Call us to schedule or check availability. Guests can opt to supply their own food and be on their own without a guide.

Kayak Paddling Lessons

Learn new skills, or brush up on skills you haven't practiced in recent memory, from people who spend time on the water. Lessons build a great foundation for continued self-improvement and practice for beginners and intermediate paddlers, or can be tailored to cover specific skills — self-rescues, bow rudders, or rolling. Lessons are also great if you are looking to rent solo sea kayaks for multiple days in the Les Cheneaux Islands.

Lessons are available one-on-one, or up to five people. Length of lessons can vary. All kayaking gear, including wetsuits are provided. You can also discuss using your own boat! You will get wet and will want extra clothes, a towel, and maybe even a thermos of hot cocoa. 

Adaptive Paddling

Woods & Waters truly wants everyone to get out on the water — regardless of ability, additional assistance, or accommodation. Please reach out to us to inquire if we can help customize a kayak tour, especially since these trips sometimes take some additional planning and coordination of weather, staff, and gear.  We do not charge extra for this extra time or additional guide (if needed).