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Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.
Moderators: Ingo, johnhens
We're planning a trip to the island the second week in August. None of us are experienced kayakers so we're planning to hike the majority of the trip, however we'd like to kayak one day at least. Would it be feasible (and safe) to rent kayaks from Rock Harbor and kayak across Tobin Harbor to Hidden Lake? From there we'd leave the kayaks at the shore and hike up to Lookout Louise to enjoy the view for a while. Then head back the same route and perhaps kayak more on Tobin Harbor if it's going well. Is this a good idea given our lack of experience?
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- Location: River Falls, Wisconsin
I have paddled a canoe over 5000+ miles and have canoed half way around Isle Royale several times. That being said about my experience on the water, I have never kayaked and would never have my first kayaking experience on Lake Superior Waters. I could be wrong, but I have been told you can get in a lot of trouble if you overturn a kayak and have no experience in self-recovery techniques.
I am sure some "true" Kayakers can weigh in with better knowledge.
- IR Expert
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I'm in agreement with head2north. Lake Superior isn't where I would suggest learning how to kayak. Just wading out into the lake to filter water will numb your toes within the time it takes to get a couple of quarts. Tobin harbor won't be as cold as the main lake, but still would be cold. If you want to get over to lookout Louise, I would almost rather suggest a canoe based on the self recovery factor.
Thank you head2north and hooky for the quick replies. I think we'll skip kayaking on Tobin Harbor. Given our experience level are there any safe kayaking locations near Rock Harbor? If not we'll just stick to the trails.
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- Location: Alger County, MI
I doubt if there is any safer place on IR where you can rent a kayak and use it than Tobin Harbor. If you don't act silly in the boat, Tobin Harbor is the place for people with limited kayaking experience. Any sensible, prudent person could take a rental kayak or canoe over to the LL dock on a calm day. Still, remember where you are, in a wilderness. You will be far better off if you get some experience kayaking in a safer environment and learn a little bit about cold water kayaking in general. My wife and I have been on kayak trips to IR in May of 2013 and 2014 (over 101 miles in the boats in 2014) and we plan to go back this May.