MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Kayak klatch

Paddling festivals on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan are good places to mingle and learn.

From Rossport, kayakers head to the lighthouse on Battle Isl

© Beth Gauper

From Rossport, kayakers weave among three tiers of islands on Lake Superior.

If you're interested in sea kayaking and ready to jump in, kayaking festivals are a good place to improve skills and meet other kayakers. Programs include classes, seminars, demos, on-water tours and, often, races.

Sign up as early as possible for the best selection of classes and tours. Youths get discounts. Below are some of the best festivals.

July, Door County Sea Kayak Symposium near Ellison Bay, Wis. This big festival, sponsored by Rutabaga in Madison, is based at the Rowleys Bay Resort on the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula. Passes include some meals. 

July, Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium in Grand Marais, Mich. This symposium, the oldest on the Great Lakes, is held on the eastern edge of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

August, Ladies of the Lake Kayak Symposium in Munising, Mich. This festival for women includes instructional courses, clinics, programs and tours.

Last updated on February 28, 2018