What are your hours of operation?
Our ours change over the course of the season. Please check our Home Page for Current hours.
Always check the weather or give us a call at 989-550-6651 before making a trip up to our shop.
We can also open earlier and possibly stay open later. For special arrangements, please give us a call and we will try to accommodate you.
After Labor Day, please contact us for hours.
How hard is it to kayak to Turnip Rock?
Kayaking can be exerting, even when you are simply hanging out and paddling by the beach. Making the roughly 7 mile - 2-4 hour round trip to Turnip Rock is a big workout. You must be in reasonable physical shape to make this trip. It is a long paddle, with brief exposure to open water and a sizeable reef to navigate around. On many days we will not be able to rent kayaks to Turnip Rock because of the weather conditions. Keeping a close eye on the weather and picking a good, calm water day is your best bet. Even so, know that almost everyone comes back tired. However, if you are up for the adventure, it’s one of the most rewarding activities to do in the Port Austin area and the scenery is breathtaking and unforgettable. Remember, because the trip is more difficult, only single kayaks are allowed on the Turnip Rock trail.
Can I rent a kayak at 8am on Saturday, go to the Farmer's Market, then come back for it later?
No. There's a lot going on in PA on Saturdays and this is the biggest demand for kayaks throughout the day. Our mission is to keep our kayaks in the water as much as possible as opposed to sitting at our shop. For this reason, we cannot allow kayaks to be rented for the day and then left to be used after other activities. Kayaks must be picked up within 15 minutes of renting at our shop; if kayaks are not retrieved within 15 minutes they will be released to the next customer ready to kayak. This keeps our kayak rates affordable and our units available to more people throughout the day, creating a better experience for everyone.
Do you run out of rental kayaks?
In July and on Saturdays we will sometimes run out of kayaks. Usually, if you arrive before 10:00 am you can get a kayak. Even when we run out it is usually a short wait before someone returns with a kayak. You are also able to make a reservation for a kayak by following the link at the top of every page.
Do you take reservations?
Yes, we set aside single kayaks and tandem kayaks each day. You can reserve a kayak right here on our website. We do not do reservations by phone, only here on our website. If the reservations are full we still have around 35 kayaks that are available on a first come first serve basis.
Do I have to worry about trespassing when I stop and get out of my kayak for a rest on shore?
While kayaking you can pull up on shore to rest, eat a snack, go for a swim and take a picture as long as you stay below the ordinary high water mark. The law is not clear how long you can stay on the shore to carry out these activities. You are trespassing if you go above the high water mark, climb rocks and cliffs on shore above the high water mark, or go in people’s front yards. We ask that you please respect the owners along the shore. Many kayakers pull up near their houses every week in the peak summer months. This can be a nuisance. We want to be good neighbors and community members. Please do not trespass, leave behind litter, go to the bathroom on shore, be loud and obnoxious, or loiter for an extended period of time. We have spoken to residents in Pointe aux Barques and Broken Rocks and they will respect your rights to pull up on shore to rest. If you encounter a problem please report it when you return.
Can I bring alcohol?
No drinking alcohol while kayaking. We are not going to be the alcohol police. However, we do not recommend that you drink alcohol while kayaking on the Great Lakes. Why?
1. It is dangerous. You could die. Conditions can change quickly. One minute you are paddling and it is nice and calm and the next minute a storm rolls in and you are fighting waves. You do not want to be drunk if this happens.
2. It takes away from the experience. Turnip Rock and Broken Rocks are beautiful treasures of Lake Huron. They should be respected. Many people come from a long way away to experience Turnip Rock. People tell us it was on their bucket list. Others tell us it is a spiritual experience. Sharing Turnip Rock with people that are drinking and partying take away from this experience.
3. The area around the Brocken Rocks and Turnip Rock are private property. Although you are allowed to pull up on shore and rest as long as you need, partying is not allowed.
4. It does not fit with our mission. We want to provide customers an opportunity to experience the Great Lakes in their natural state so that customers will better appreciate the Great Lakes and want to protect them. We are not in business to provide an opportunity to party. There are a lot of other places in the area where you can drink on a beach. Please do not do it at Turnip Rock or Brocken Rocks.
5. We like a cold beer or drink as much as the next person (just not while kayaking). That is why we are opening a beer garden at the shop. When you are done with your paddle stay around and enjoy a cold beer or drink and let the stories fly. Click here for more.
Can I bring my dog?
We don't recommend it, but go for it if you want to. You will need to sign a release form.
Can we kayak with kids?
Yes. We have many options to allow you to kayak with your kids. We believe that it is important for kids to get out on the water and experience nature. Small kids can sit on an adult’s lap in a single kayak or in the middle of a tandem kayak. Older kids can share a tandem kayak with an adult or rent their own single kayak and tie up to an adult when they get tired
Do you take credit cards?
Do you rent canoes, jet skis, pontoons, or other boats?
No. We rent single and tandem kayaks, stand up paddleboards (SUPs), mountain bikes, beach cruiser bikes, kid bikes, and kid trailers.
I have never kayaked before. Is it safe?
Most of our customers are beginners and many have never kayaked before. They almost always have a wonderful adventure. We rent top of the line recreation kayaks that are stable (don’t flip easy) and have a large cockpit area with plenty of leg room so you don’t feel trapped. It is rare that anyone would flip without fooling around. The trails follow along the shore and the water rarely gets over a person’s head. If you do have a problem it is easy to get to shore. We advise all our customers to keep an eye on the weather and if a storm moves in get to shore. If you ever have a problem, get yourself to shore and we will track down the kayak.
What should I bring to kayak?
Kayaks come with basic instruction, life jacket and paddle. It is recommended that you bring water, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. The areas you will kayak to have very slippery rocks. Rubber soled water shoes will help with traction. You'll want a dry place to keep any items, you'll want to bring that too. Each kayak has a compartment for storage but there is no guarantee water will not get into that compartment. If you don't have a water proof container or forget yours, we offer several styles for sale at our shop.
Where do you launch?
We launch behind our shop into Bird Creek. Bird Creek empties into the Port Austin Harbor approximately 100 yards from the launch. From there you can explore the coast to the east or the west. We also launch from Veteran's Waterfront Park, a public beach about 3 blocks east of our shop. See our maps & trails page for suggested kayak routes.