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“Great views, but the trip moved too slow”

Paddling Michigan/Uncle Ducky Outdoors
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Christmas
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 22 July 2014

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.

Thank SophieFace2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"pictured rocks"
in 114 reviews
"hike tour"
in 8 reviews
"hour trip"
in 15 reviews
"dry bag"
in 7 reviews
"afternoon delight"
in 4 reviews
"sunset paddle"
in 7 reviews
"mosquito beach"
in 13 reviews
"great guide"
in 10 reviews
"great trip"
in 13 reviews
"perfect weather"
in 8 reviews
"tandem kayak"
in 5 reviews
"parking lot"
in 16 reviews
"life jackets"
in 7 reviews
"launch point"
in 3 reviews
"small craft"
in 3 reviews
"longer trip"
in 4 reviews
"slow pace"
in 3 reviews
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247 - 251 of 259 reviews

Reviewed 16 June 2014

We took a Saturday morning 6 hour kayak trip through Uncle Ducky's. (The Paddlers choice.) From the moment we checked in, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Our guide Kelly was great! She was patient and pointed out interesting tidbits for us as we paddled. The trip was well organized and every step of the way things were explained to us. The guides work very hard and yet maintain a great rapport and positive attitude with the guests. This is simply the best way to see the rocks-you don't need to be a triathlete, but you do need to have some upper body strength! It's a workout, but worth it to see the rocks up close.

*tip* Bring your own toilet paper for the lunch break/bathroom break!

4  Thank Innerhousewife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2014 via mobile

We stopped in to just see what they had and found a hard to find item for our daughter. We also talked to one of the staff about our up coming, unguided, trip around Grand Island. The staff member took the time to give us tons of information even though they would not be guiding us. We found the staff very helpful and we would happily go on a guided ice paddling trip with them. The shop was well stocked with the essentials.

Thank Sean151lrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Our guide Carlos was really wonderful. Patient and informative without being obnoxious. We really enjoyed his company as did the other 6 people in our group. We did the 6 hour Paddlers Choice and it was just about right. You get to paddle to the Arch and back. Going out, the lake was really calm and weather quite mild at 65 plus degrees. We paddled leisurely to the Arch and noticed the fog really starting to roll in. We paddled quickly to Mosquito beach and just as we landed so did the squall. Temps dropped at least 20 degrees plus the wind chill...Brrrr...so cold. It was a good thing my husband and I read the directions and brought layers to put on including gloves. Some folks didn't bring anything...not even lunch and they were sorry. We all scrambled to the woods to get out of the wind and wait out the squall. Had a nice lunch that we shared with those not bring theirs. By the time we finished things started calming down including the wind so we jumped in the kayaks and paddled back. 1 to 2 foot waves but they hardly bothered the 2 person kayaks. Seeing the Pictured Rocks up close and personal is the only way to really appreciate the magnitude of their beauty and of Mother Nature. It really was breathtaking! We would highly recommend this trip and this outfitter. Bill Duckwall is a great guy and really easy to work with. Only suggestion is to remember this is part of the Great Lakes and weather can change in a minute so do as they suggest and prepare for all kinds of weather even if it's 75 and sunny when you start. We are not seasoned kayakers and had no problem.

3  Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 May 2014

My first visit to Pictured Rocks was on the regular ferry which was good. But for my second trip I decided to take the kayak tour and it was mind blowing. The well experienced team took us underneath the beautiful rocks and cave formations which was stunning. The whole tour took almost 6-7 hours so I advise adequate breakfast and packed lunch to eat half-way to the tour. This tour was the highlight of my trip and one of the most beautiful experiences ever.

3  Thank CriticLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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