Kayaking Articles

Discover the Park – Activities

Faces of Friends: Ali and Aidan’s quest to be “kayak guides for life”

Faces of Friends: Ali and Aidan’s quest to be “kayak guides for life”

Ali Erickson and Aidan Lee met at Bayfield kayak outfitter Trek & Trail in 2016. They worked as sea kayak guides over several summers, saying they reveled in the opportunity work outside, surrounded by beautiful water. In 2019, their love for adventure brought them to Alaska where they worked and played with the outdoor community there, but they couldn't stop thinking about Lake Superior. Alaska was their playground, but they say the Apostle Islands were home. In 2022, they moved back to Bayfield where they now own and operate Trek & Trail and support Friends of the Apostle Islands...

Canoecopia 2024 includes presentations on protecting our Starry Skies, paddling the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Canoecopia 2024 includes presentations on protecting our Starry Skies, paddling the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

If paddling the spectacular sea caves in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is on your bucket list, we invite you to see us at Canoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin, March 8-10, 2024. This annual event includes more than 100 educational presentations and clinics on kayaking, canoeing and related topics, including presentations by Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke and Ranger Steve Ballou of the National Park Service. You'll also be able to learn from the experts what gear you need to safely explore the islands.Alliant Energy Center1919 Alliant Energy WayEvent host Rutabaga Paddlesports...

You did it! Access for All campaign goal reached for Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

You did it! Access for All campaign goal reached for Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

One more stroke of the paddle and the bow touches the shore. You did it. The long journey is complete. With your help, Friends of the Apostle Islands has reached its fundraising goal of $325,000 for its Access for All initiative. “It takes all of us to make a difference,” Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke said in announcing the achievement, “and with the help of nearly 200 individual donors and more than a dozen caring, supportive corporate sponsors, we did it together.” The Access for All campaign is to date the largest effort of its kind in the history of Friends of the Apostle...

“Why I support the Meyers Beach accessible ramp may surprise you.” Public comment period ends May 12th

“Why I support the Meyers Beach accessible ramp may surprise you.” Public comment period ends May 12th

An unseen patch of late-winter black ice changed my life in an instant. My feet took flight as I went airborne. I landed on my side with a bone-shattering thud, a shout and a groan. In that instant, I became something I never expected. I became physically disabled. During many months of recovery, I experienced varying degrees of mobility challenges. I learned to use a wheelchair. A walker. Then a cane. I also felt what it’s like to require help from others for even the most-basic tasks. This accident taught me a valuable lesson: We are all an instant away… whether by accident, by illness or...

Get your copy of the National Geographic feature on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Get your copy of the National Geographic feature on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

The Apostle Islands are a national treasure. In its March 2023 issue, National Geographic magazine celebrates their beauty and importance.The story, "Return to Wild Waters" calls the Apostle Islands a "sublime, yet dangerous playground for kayakers, sailors and powerboaters to explore." Author Stephanie Pearson and photographer David Guttenfelder collaborate to capture in words and images the alluring beauty, the cultural significance, and what the future may hold for this untamed wilderness in northern Wisconsin.  Pearson writes, "... in August 2021, I joined Guttenfelder for a segment...

Ageless in the Apostles: Are you ever too old for an island adventure?

Ageless in the Apostles: Are you ever too old for an island adventure?

At what age should one stop kayak camping in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore? Sixty? Seventy? Even eighty years old?  For more than 30 years a group of us has been spending a long weekend over the 4th of July holiday kayaking and camping in the Apostle Islands. We are all aging (the median age of the group was 70 this year), but we are still strong paddlers and competent campers. Perhaps it was only the oldest one of us who had been giving the “at what age …” question serious consideration. Come along with us on this year’s holiday trip. Perhaps you can help answer the question. Maybe...

Attention Paddlers and Boaters: The Buoys are Back!

Attention Paddlers and Boaters: The Buoys are Back!

“The lake is the boss” and “know before you go” are literally words to live by when kayaking in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Before your next paddling or boating adventure, it pays to learn as much as you can about the weather forecast and wave conditions. Lake Superior can be glass-calm in one instant and a short time later you might face three-foot waves from a fast-moving storm. The islands themselves influence wind and wave patterns every day and the cold water presents and ever-present risk of hypothermia. That’s why proper gear, training and forecast knowledge are so...

Explorer’s guide to the Apostle Islands just released – buy a book to support the park

Explorer’s guide to the Apostle Islands just released – buy a book to support the park

Bayfield, WI – "My first visit to the Apostles was over two decades ago. Every wave over to Basswood Island made me wonder if we were going to die," says longtime explorer, paddler and author John Frank. "That feeling has since been replaced with a sense of awe and respect." Frank has just released the second edition of Apostle Islands Water Trips, an Explorer's Guide. And thanks to his generosity, we at Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore are pleased to be able to sell a thousand copies of the book, with proceeds benefiting the park that we - and John Frank - love. Apostle...

Lakeshore Logbook – Daniel Blankenship

Lakeshore Logbook – Daniel Blankenship

Daniel Blankenship As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 19th in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Daniel Blankenship worked in the park from 2008 to 2014. He worked for the interpretive division of Apostle Islands...

Lakeshore Logbook – Josh Sweet

Lakeshore Logbook – Josh Sweet

Josh Sweet As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 17th in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Josh Sweet worked as a seasonal Park Ranger at Meyers Beach from May to October of 2014. What is the coolest thing you did in...