September 4-8, 2024; Group camping at Potawatomi State Park and kayak paddling around Door County.
Miles: Varies each day
Challenges: Weather and wave conditions; possible long paddle days; Please join one of our Practice Paddles prior to the gathering. This event is not intended for first-time paddlers due to the types of paddle conditions typical of Green Bay and Lake Michigan venues.
Fee: FREE for NEWP members!
Current ACA members from other paddling clubs are welcome for a $10 fee to help cover the event costs. (WI State Park annual or day passes are required to enter and stay in the park.)
- All participants must wear a personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket) at all times while on the water.
- No alcoholic beverages are allowed on the paddle or during lunch stops.
- Jeff Mazanec
Door County offers paddling destinations among the best, well, anywhere! Join us in September for camping at Potawatomi State Park’s Orchard group campsites. Enjoy kayak day trips, hiking, Ephraim ice cream trips and campfire tales with your old and new kayaking friends.
You will need to provide your own sea kayak with water-tight compartments fore and aft (sorry, no recreational kayaks or canoes), kayak gear, camping equipment and food. Participants may join us for any or all of the four reserved camping nights. Please use the “Count Me In” button below so we know you’re coming and can plan accordingly. (If we think you’re coming, your name is listed in the left-hand column!)
This event is free for current NEWP members and also open to other current ACA Members for a $10 fee. We have reserved two group campsites for 2024:
- Group Site A: Tent use only with capacity limited to 20 tents, 20 vehicles and 36 people.
- Group Site B: Available for RVs, campers and tents limited to 36 people and 12 vehicles, including RVs or campers.
Other camping options for RVs or pop-up campers may be available though the State Park reservation system, but be sure to register early! Day-trippers are also welcome to join us.
The Plan: Travel to Potawatomi State Park and follow park signage to the Group Campsites. Feel free to find a suitable spot for your tent on the group campsite or a spot for your RV/ camper and get setup. We’ll coordinate our paddling and social activities each day with whoever is present.
Meals and Camping: Participants are responsible for their own camping and cooking. Participants may choose to prepare meals together, or to enjoy any of the many nearby Door County dining venues. We will coordinate a brat/ burger potluck meal Saturday evening at the group campsite and will provide the meat, buns and condiments for a small charge to cover costs. Others feel free to bring sides or other dishes to pass.
All Potawatomi State Park rules must be followed. All participants will be expected to follow the “Leave No Trace” practices. Specifically no burning of garbage, cigarette butts or other waste is allowed in the fire area.
Questions? More details follow, or email event coordinator Jeff Mazanec
Event Coordinators: Jeff Mazanec and others
Event Coordinator(s) will coordinate group paddling activities based on group preferences and participant abilities, wave and weather conditions.
Paddle Trip Venues and Options: Door County offers an awesome range of paddling venues on either side of the peninsula, allowing paddlers of all skill levels to select paddle routes within their abilities. As a gathering, rather than a “trip,” self-led separate and independent paddling activity may develop based on participant preferences. However, trip leaders will be designated for specific group paddles to promote group safety.
Equipment and Paddle Clothing:
- Trip leader(s) for group paddles will have final approval of all kayaks and equipment for the specific paddle venue and conditions.
- All kayaks, equipment and clothing must be suitable for Lake Michigan, Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay open water paddling. Recreational kayaks, SUPs, canoes, and kayaks with only one bulkhead are not suitable for most open water venues, although could be used on Door County inland lakes or protected bays.
- Kayaks must have flotation or bulkheads, deck-lines and be fitted with spray skirts. If the kayak does not have bulkheads the use of and knowledge of how to use sea socks is required.
- Inflatable PFDs are not acceptable for this trip.
- Lake Michigan is COLD! Bring suitable cold weather paddling gear (e.g. wetsuit, drysuit, splash jacket, gloves, etc.). Dress to confidently function in cold weather and in case of (unexpected) cold-water immersion.
Safety equipment and training:
- Practice self and group rescues; review the video Cold Water Boot Camp.
- Acquire and become familiar with safety equipment such as paddle floats, radios, tow ropes, spare paddle etc.
- Although night paddling is not planned, paddlers should be prepared in case a night paddle becomes necessary or desirable (Our 2020 Nicolet Bay sunset paddle was amazing!). Coast Guard rules require everyone to have a visual light source such as a laser flare or three traditional flares, a sound source (whistle) and a white light source (head lamp) to display in the presence of moving boat traffic.
Alcohol and Drugs:
- NO ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION WILL BE ALLOWED WHILE PADDLING.
- NO ILLEGAL DRUGS WILL BE ALLOWED.
Event Goal: Our goal with this event is to have a fun, safe paddling weekend on Green Bay and Lake Michigan waters. Because of the nature of open water paddling in these locations, safety will be the primary factor. Possible weather and wind conditions may prevent doing some planned paddle trips and alternates may be considered. Participants must be flexible and be prepared for changes in events and timing. All participants must have and wear a PFD (personal flotation device) while paddling.
- Be a current ACA and NEWP member, or a current ACA member of another club ($10 fee).
- Have taken a NEWP class or be known by one of the lead paddlers to have the requisite skills and training for the planned activities.
- Complete the event registration (see the “Count Me In” button above).
- Want to practice before the gathering? Join one of our Practice Paddles.
Kayak Trip Tips: