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Woman sea kayaking on Lake Superior at Sunset
Down Wind Sports is located in a paddler’s paradise. With places like Isle Royale National Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and countless miles of Lake Superior Shoreline nearby there are many world class paddling opportunities to be had. We spend a lot of time in our kayaks and whether you’re looking for a short day-paddle, an overnight, or something more adventurous we are here to help. Stop by our shop to check out the latest paddling equipment and kayaks or for more information on paddling in the area.



While long known for and associated with its superb opportunities for backpacking, Michigan’s only National Park also is recognized to be a world-class destination for paddling. The entire island is about 45 miles long by 11 miles at its widest point and runs from the southwest to the northeast in Lake Superior. Paddling on Lake Superior is typically best suited for sea kayaks. Both the southeast and northeast sides of Isle Royale are perfect for paddling with numerous barrier islands and finger-bays to explore. Many campsites in this region are accessible only by water and summertime crowds are lower than at campsites shared with hikers.

Kayakers can choose protected, scenic areas, such as Rock Harbor and the Five Fingers, or take on the challenge of the more rugged and exposed shoreline. Canoeists can take advantage of a chain of inland lakes that ultimately connect with Lake Superior on the south and the north sides of Isle Royale. For more information or to pick up a few last minute items swing by our shop in Houghton located just blocks away from the Isle Royale Ranger dock.


Seperating Houghton and Hancock, this canal offers a convenient and beginner friendly place to paddle. With views of both cities, historic mine buildings and ruins, and very easy access, it's a perfect place to spend a day.


Two Kayakers paddling around Presque Isle in Marquette


Located righ in Marquette, this city park offers a spot to get out on the water with easy put ins and classic Lake Superior scenery, including the legendary Black Rocks where you'll see swimmers cliff diving on hot, or cold, summer days.


Running 120 miles from Big Bay to Grand Marais Michigan on Lake Superior’s south shore, the Hiawatha Water Trail follows a shoreline paddled by Native Americans, Voyageurs and early European explorers. Experience some of the most scenic paddling available in the Midwest at places such as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Grand Island National Recreation Area, Hiawatha National Forest and other public lands.

Currently, the water trail is fully developed along the eastern third from Munising to Grand Marias, a section that includes the Grand Island National Recreation Area and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Campsites, signs and public land are bountiful here. Stop in the shop to purchase a map and for more information on our favorite paddling destinations.



Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is an incredibly diverse landscape that covers 73,236 acres of pristine land and 42 miles of Lake Superior shoreline. Pictured Rocks features towering cliffs, beautiful white sand beaches, lofty sand dunes, inland lakes, streams and waterfalls. Only from a kayak, you can slip up beside the towering cliffs, explore the caves, pull under water seeps, take a shower under a waterfall or explore the intricacies of shoreline bedrock.

Paddlers often begin their trips in the Munising area, which provides quicker access to cliff sections of the shoreline. Popular kayak access points include Sand Point, Miners Beach, the Munising Municipal Boat Ramp, and Grand Island Landing. Access points at the east end of the park include Twelvemile Beach Campground, Hurricane River Campground, and the Grand Marais Marina.

We are proud to say that this park is our back yard. If you need help planning your trip to Pictured Rocks- give us a call and we’ll make sure you get to see the “secrets” of the lakeshore!


A popular casual river float, this scenic and relaxing trip is a great option if Lake Superior isn't cooperating.

Sea kayaker paddling toward Grand Portal Point in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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