Pictured Rocks Kayaking Celebrates Five Years on the Water
Serving the Munising area as the only outfitter that launches paddlers offshore, Pictured Rocks Kayaking is celebrating five years of showing kayakers the most pristine parts of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
What is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore?
The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore extends 42-miles along the majestic shores of Lake Superior and is made up of multicolored cliffs, beaches, enormous sand dunes, spectacular waterfalls, and lighthouses. Its name derives from the gorgeous red, blue, white, and green of mineral stains on the sandstone cliffs. These rise anywhere from 50-200 feet to illuminate off the magical turquoise water.
Pictured Rocks Kayaking: Behind the Scenes
When booking a guided tour with Pictured Rocks Kayaking, not only are you guaranteed to have a safe and breathtaking adventure, but an informative one as well, as the company is managed by two women from the area.
Deidre Phillipson, general manager of Pictured Rocks Kayaking, spends most of her time on board. With a vast experience of managing tour boats, Deidre got her captain license several years ago and has been navigating the majestic waters of Lake Superior ever since. When you think of a captain, usually the first image that comes to mind is an old, white-bearded man at the helm. However, Captain Deidre is changing that visual for the next generation – she gets quite a few comments from mothers who say “my daughter thinks you are awesome.”
Managing the Pictured Rocks Kayaking office is Abby Rahn, who has been with the business since day one. From the intricacies of administration to helping guests plan their perfect adventure, Abby is always on top of her game. As a graduate from NMU with a business degree and a minor in office information systems, she’s putting her skills to good use. Abby has also been able to give back to the community with the foundation of expertise she’s continued to develop with her management role at Pictured Rocks Kayaking. She volunteers as a secretary and website manager for the local horse club in the UP, UPHA, and has also helped further the fight against cancer with Relay for Life in Alger County.
Last summer, Pictured Rocks Kayaking introduced its newest vessel, the Kayak Express. A 64-by-19 foot boat created to take 72 passengers, six guides and 36 kayaks aboard, the Kayak Express was designed by Michigan-based company Moran Iron Works specifically for launching kayaks into the water.
The Kayak Express left her winter grounds in early June and after a 10-hour trip from St. Ignace, which included a trip through the Soo Locks, she arrived in Munising Bay for the summer.
The Tour of a Lifetime
Pictured Rocks Kayaking provides the only off-shore launch in the area. Rather than taking off from land, kayakers cruise from Munising Bay aboard a kayak-launching boat and are released into Lake Superior just past Painted Coves. You can skip hours of paddling and get straight to the best parts. Once finished with the paddling portion of the trip, kayakers board the boat for a ride back to shore, leisurely gazing at the colorful cliffs.
Also, since the launch boat follows kayakers along as they paddle, you’re always within a reasonable distance of restrooms and emergency help. Plus, by using tandem kayaks, stability is greatly improved. Trips are around 4-5 hours long with 2 hours – or 5 miles – of glorious kayaking time. Kayakers are asked to bring appropriate layers as the temperature is often cooler along the lake. What are you waiting for? Start by booking a Picture Rocks Kayaking tour for your trip to the area now, before the tours fill up!