We did the Paddle and Hike trip on a Saturday morning. When we booked the trip I asked about hiking back to the car but we were advised not to attempt to hike all the way back to the car. The person did not know how far it was but said she would camp overnight halfway. Based on this advice I agreed to book the shuttle back to the car, which cost $20 per person and I had to pay the $40 when I booked. The morning started with meeting at the office at 9:00, but we waited until 9:30 because some people, who weren't part of our trip, were late. I really wish the company would just head out a few minutes after 9:00 instead of punishing the people who were on time. And they could have the group meet at the beach rather than having everyone drive the 15 minutes out to the beach. Once we did get to the beach, we got a bit of a tutorial, loaded the kayak, then got on the water. Fair warning - the lady said the guides had coolers for your lunch when we booked but they did not. We put it in on of the kayak bays. It stayed cold, but just know there is not a ton of space in the kayak. We had one backpack for the hike back and it was a very tight fit. By the time we got on the water it was 10:30. Our group was small which was nice and our guide gave us a lot of historical information about the area. The group moved along pretty well for the first half of the trip. Plenty of time for photos and sight seeing without dragging on. The problem was in the second half of the trip. The distance we went did not require as much time as was allotted but since our shuttle was not scheduled until 4:45, we moved really slow. We hardly paddled and were still leading the group. The time estimate for the trip listed on the website includes the time spent waiting for late people along with the drive out to the beach, and even going very slowly, we got to the end early. If we had actually been paddling a bit more consistently, we would have shaved another 45 minutes to an hour off the trip. Because we got to the end early, we actually decided to hike the 9 miles back to the car, even against the lady's advice and despite the $40 we had already spent for the shuttle, but it was the best choice we could have made. The hike back was awesome. It actually would have been nice if they offered a trip that intentionally moved a little quicker and included the hike back. Because we started the hike back at about 3:00, we had time to sight see and take photos on the way back and still got to our car by 7:00. If you are fairly athletic, you can definitely make the 9 mile hike back in decent time. The views from the North Country Trail were spectacular and were worth the trek. The experience of viewing the rocks from the water was amazing and the kayaking was fun, but the experience could have been better.
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