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Kayaking Tours

USA
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Kayaking Tours

Are there kayaking tours to be found on Lake Champlain? All I have found online is 'True North Kayak', but their website leaves a lot to be desired, and no 2012 info. I've seen several mentions of renting kayaks in Burlington, which I might end up doing. But I will be traveling alone, and would prefer to go out in a group.

I will probably be in the Lake Champlain area 5/21-5/22 - looking for a tour pretty much anywhere on the VT side. I will have a car.

Thanks!

Ormond Beach...
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1. Re: Kayaking Tours

There may be tours, though I'm not aware of any offhand. Call Canoe Imports and ask:

http://www.canoeimports.com/

Kayaks can also be rented by the hour/day at Burlington's North Beach:

enjoyburlington.com/NorthBeach/CanoeandKayak…

USA
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2. Re: Kayaking Tours

Thanks for the suggestions. Have found several rental options, but still searching for a tour!

Edited: 03 April 2012, 20:24
Ormond Beach...
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3. Re: Kayaking Tours

The rental places will probably know of tours, if there are any. Umiak (near Stowe) does packaged tour-type rentals on the Lamoile River. They might also do Lake Champlain.

The lake will be quite cold in late May.... just FYI. Enjoy!

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4. Re: Kayaking Tours

Thanks for the tip. I generally don't get in the water when I go kayaking!

Ormond Beach...
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5. Re: Kayaking Tours

Yes - That just goes to your original comment re: going with a group. It would be nice to have buddies along in case you happened to dump, if you're not a strong swimmer in rather frigid water.

Unlikely though that might be. :)

Edited: 05 April 2012, 03:14
Vermont
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6. Re: Kayaking Tours

Definitely look into Umiak as mentioned above. I think they only do river tours but they may be able to point you in the direction of Lake Champlain tours if they exist.

http://umiak.com/Summer/RiverTrips.html

Vermont
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7. Re: Kayaking Tours

A lot of people don't PLAN on getting in the water when they are kayaking ... but they tip over and end up in the water anyway.

Wind and waves come on quickly and unexpectedly in Lake Champlain. It's not uncommon for an experienced kayaker to tip over.

In 50 degree water, hypothermia can set in within minutes. Unless you're wearing a wetsuit and are adept at self-rescue techniques, you really should not be out on Lake Champlain in a kayak.

You can skip the wetsuit when the water is warmer ... but it's not usually warmer in May.

True North Kayak Tours is a good outfit. But check with Canoe Imports to see if there are others around that they reccomend. Canoe Imports is one of the main hubs of kayaking activity in this area. Their people have great passion and knowledge of the sport and the lake.

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8. Re: Kayaking Tours

I have emailed Umiak, but haven't heard back yet. I'm definitely considering one of their river trips - thanks for pointing me in their direction!

Wow, I had no idea Lake Champlain was so dangerous! And they bill kayak rentals as a fun family activity...

Seriously, though, I assumed that if lake conditions weren't appropriate I would be informed and I could find another activity for the day. Is this not the case? I see one of the websites linked above says mid-June for rentals, so I may be travelling to early for kayaking. Also, I have done tours before where wetsuits were provided, so if that was available, I would be interested.

I do not call myself an experienced kayaker, although I've been out in a kayak plenty of times (and I have NEVER tipped - I'm always prepared for that, but it has yet to happen). I'm not looking for daring adventure here, just some active exploration. I prefer calm water where I can leisurely explore a new area from a different perspective, but I've managed to survive rough water without dumping, wetsuit and all. I even practiced the eskimo roll (many, many years ago).

Vermont
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9. Re: Kayaking Tours

Hi Al in Al --

I'm really not an alarmist, but as with any outdoor activity, a person should know risks and be prepared. No different than hiking or biking. These are fun family activities that have inherent risks.

Lake Champlain can be dangerous. It's a big body of water and one or two people lose their lives every year out there – as often as not the people who drown are experienced boatmen.

That doesn't change that fact that it is an AMAZING lake and people should ABSOULTELY go out on it and enjoy it.

But be aware of the conditions. What's the water temp and is a wetsuit required? What's the weather forecast? It might be a nice morning but what is going to happen this afternoon? How big are the waves on the lake? The Burlington waterfront often looks calm ... but out beyond the breakwater ... it can be rough. What's the wind like on the lake? You’d be surprised how quickly the bad weather can blow in.

I love to kayak on Lake Champlain more than I like doing ANYTHING else on this planet. And I think that EVERYONE should try it -- but when the water is cold, I get nervous for people.

Sorry if I've come on a little strong here -- but my interest is in your safety.

Enjoy your trip in Vermont. I'm sure that you'll find a tour that will work for you.

-Truman

USA
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10. Re: Kayaking Tours

No problem - again, I'd assume the tour company would give me the same warnings and advise if conditions were not appropriate. And believe me - I listen! I've kayaked (with a guide) in cold water locations (Alaska, Iceland), so I know that tours of this nature exist, but perhaps not in places where you can wait for water to warm up.

True North replied that it is a bit early for kayaking, although I don't have the final word, and Umiak is only offering river trips on weekends in May. I may have to settle for a standard boat tour on Lake Champlain and look for kayaking in other areas of the state or New Hampshire.