Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Kayak the Milwaukee River

It was a gorgeous summer day yesterday, so we decided to check out the newest kayaking vendor in Milwaukee.  ClearWater Outdoors opened a storefront in the  Marshall building last Fall.  Maybe you have been in there to buy Christmas gifts or outdoor clothing, but didn't know it was a place to rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards (SUP) to use on the Milwaukee River.

The crafts conveniently launch at the Watershed building directly across from Milwaukee Public Market. I like that location because it's in the middle of the city action and you can choose to paddle in either direction, knowing you'll have some gorgeous views.  If you're really up for some exercise, paddle along the coast past Summerfest grounds and go into Lakeshore State Park by Discovery World. The assistant manager is the person who launched our crafts, and she said she would like people to get into nature and enjoy the outdoors.  I think people are unaware that they can be in nature right in the city center, and this gives you a different perspective.  It is a great form of exercise too!
The city looks different from the water.  Tie your kayak to a dock and have lunch on your trip.

The bridges are seen from underneath

Friendly staff members meet you at the Watershed dock. Even a dog rode.

There is a current Groupon you can buy to check them out at a 40% discount on a weekday. The benefit to going on a weekday is that there is little boat traffic on the river so if you're a beginner, you won't feel threatened by larger boats coming at you.  

I joined their Adventure Club and got 50% off our kayak rentals.  For the next year, I can participate in club activities at any of their locations, as well as receive a discount.  It's not only kayaking, but rock climbing, stand up paddle boarding, and yoga during the summer months.  Then there are winter activities to keep active Milwaukeeans outdoors all year round. You can reserve on-line for all activities, or call the store.

There are other vendors for kayaking in Milwaukee. Milwaukee Kayak Company launches at another location further down the river, and is open Tuesday through Sunday.  Call to make a reservation. The Urban Ecology Center lets you use their kayaks for free if you are a member.  All of these are a great alternative to buying and storing a kayak if you only plan to use it a few times a year.
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