Welcome to the adventurous world of kayaking in Green Bay, a hidden gem in the heart of Wisconsin. Known for its tranquil waters, vibrant wildlife, and beautiful landscapes, Green Bay offers numerous spots for kayaking that cater to all skill levels – from beginners taking their first paddle strokes, to seasoned veterans looking for their next challenge. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the top 6 places for kayaking in Green Bay, delving into the unique attributes that each spot has to offer. Whether you’re a local resident or a traveler seeking new experiences, we hope this guide will inspire your next kayaking adventure in Green Bay. So, let’s dive in and explore the wonders that await you in these remarkable waterways.
1. Fox River
|Green Bay, Wisconsin
|Extends from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay
|Kayakers Point, east side of the river
|Urban and rural landscapes, calm waters
|Stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking
As dawn breaks, the city of Green Bay begins to stir. But our journey takes us not towards the hustle of city life, but to a tranquil realm — the Fox River. Nestled within the urban contours of Green Bay, the river serves as a serene hideaway for kayaking enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
The Fox River, a confluence of quietude and energy, stretches its arms from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay. The river’s urban path offers a unique perspective — the cityscape providing a stark yet harmonious contrast to the river’s calm demeanor.
Launching from Kayakers Point on the river’s eastern flank, paddlers step into a realm of tranquility. The water, like a liquid mirror, reflects the kaleidoscope of Green Bay’s life — the downtown area’s architectural marvels and the verdant envelope of remote wilderness.
As you paddle through the city’s heart, you’re embraced by the river’s subtle rhythm. While the Fox River’s calm waters seem like a standstill moment in time, the city’s pulse provides a dynamic backdrop.
Then, the river takes you on a journey of contrasts. The urban panorama gradually dissolves, giving way to the dense woodlands that paint the river’s rural landscape. A serene symphony of nature’s whispers and the gentle splash of your paddle against the water form a mesmerizing harmony that captivates your senses.
The Fox River’s allure lies in its duality — its capacity to showcase the vibrant city life and the quietude of nature in a single journey. Whether you’re stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking, the river promises a unique experience, letting you explore Green Bay’s charm and diversity from a fresh perspective.
As you traverse the Fox River, you realize that it’s not just a water body, but a silent narrator, unfolding stories of the city and wilderness at each bend. The journey through the Fox River is more than a kayaking adventure. It’s a journey through time and landscapes, a testament to the city’s harmonious coexistence with nature.
2. East River
|Green Bay, Wisconsin
|Type of kayaking
|Urban and rural
|Blue jays, cardinals, kingfishers
|Green Isle Park or Riverview Park
The East River, a hidden gem nestled in the cityscape of Green Bay, offers an unparallelled kayaking experience where urbanity and nature coexist in a delicate balance. It is a waterway that presents a dualistic narrative: one instant, you’re encased within a lush thicket, the next, you’re navigating the pulsating heart of the city. This river, deftly straddling the juxtaposition of metropolitan life and verdant wilderness, affords you the luxury of sculpting your own adventure to suit your mood and whim.
Whether you’re yearning for a tranquil sojourn on the water amidst the rhythmic hum of the city, or a retreat into the verdant sanctuary of Green Bay’s wilderness, the East River serves as a conduit to both. Ornithologists and bird enthusiasts will find their hearts aflutter at the sight of blue jays, cardinals, and kingfishers among the myriad avian species that call this area home.
3. Deerfield Docks Park
|950 W. Deerfield Ave., Howard, WI 54313
|1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset
|Boardwalk trail, Picnic area, Offshore fishing, Boat launch, Canoe access, Snowmobile and ice fishing access, Kayak deck and launch.
|Provides access to Duck Creek and the Bay of Green Bay via the Duck Creek Slough and Peats Lake
Nestled within the heart of the Green Bay area, Deerfield Docks Park offers an enchanting escape into nature’s tranquil embrace. This 3-acre park is a treasure trove of adventures waiting to be explored, making it an alluring destination for kayaking enthusiasts.
The park’s geographical position provides access to the serene Duck Creek and the expansive Bay of Green Bay, encompassing the Duck Creek Slough and Peats Lake. The park is a harmonious blend of nature and recreational facilities that ensure a fulfilling and comfortable experience for visitors. The boardwalk trail offers an opportunity to wander amid the natural landscape, while the picnic area is perfect for a relaxing reprieve. Offshore fishing is another intriguing activity you can engage in during your visit.
Kayaking here is a truly immersive experience. The addition of a kayak deck and launch in 2022 has further amplified the park’s appeal to paddling enthusiasts. As you glide through the calm waters, you can discover the intricate waterways and explore countless smaller passages and ponds. The park’s kayaking launch is an excellent starting point for your exploration. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a novice, the park offers opportunities for everyone to enjoy the waters.
The park is well-managed by the village through a long-term lease with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. It operates from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset, ensuring ample time for you to fully experience all it has to offer.
4. Peshtigo River
|Farmdam Lane Loop
|Boat Landing 12 or Boat Landing 11 Loop
|Beavers, Otters, White-tailed deer
|II to IV
|Length of Run
The Peshtigo River, located in Green Bay, is a magnet for seasoned kayakers who crave the adrenaline rush of whitewater rapids. This thrilling 5-mile run showcases continuous rapids ranging from Class II to Class IV, interspersed with waves, chutes, holes, and eddies. While on this exciting journey, paddlers can encounter wildlife like beavers, otters, and white-tailed deer. However, this run is not for the faint of heart or novice paddlers. It’s highly recommended to embark on this adventure with a guide or another experienced kayaker.
For those seeking a more serene experience, Green Bay offers a variety of other kayaking spots. One such location is the Fox River, an urban paddler’s delight that provides a mixture of city and rural views. Another is the East River, an often overlooked gem that presents both urban and wilderness experiences. There’s also the Deerfield Docks Park, a family-friendly spot with access to Duck Creek and the pristine Peats Lake. Lastly, the Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve offers a peaceful paddling experience and the opportunity to see the ruins of Long Tail Point Lighthouse.
5. Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve
|Urban paddling, scenic woodlands, launch site at Kayakers Point
|Urban and rural paddling, bird-watching, launch sites at Green Isle Park or Riverview Park
|Deerfield Docks Park
|Family-friendly, access to Duck Creek and Peats Lake, launch site at Deerfield Docks Park
|Whitewater paddling, wildlife sightings, launch site at Farmdam Lane Loop
|Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve
|Tranquil paddling, sightseeing (Long Tail Point Lighthouse), launch site at Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve.
Embrace the call of the water and journey into Green Bay’s kayaking wonderlands. Unveil the secrets of the serene Fox River as it twines through the heart of downtown, a bustling juxtaposition of urbanity and tranquil waterways. From the vantage of your kayak, absorb the city’s historic essence alongside the lush, verdant woodland tapestry that adorns the riverbanks. Indeed, it’s a paddler’s delight, promising a harmonious blend of urban and rural escapades.
Few spots rival the allure of the East River, a hidden gem often overlooked even by locals. From its bustling cityscape to the vibrant wilderness of Allouez, the East River presents an array of launch sites that cater to every paddler’s preferred adventure. Here, feathered residents, including blue jays, cardinals, and kingfishers, add a captivating charm to the journey.
For a family-friendly excursion, Deerfield Docks Park, a quaint 3-acre haven, awaits with its boardwalk trail, picnic area, and offshore fishing facilities. Navigate the marshy waters of Duck Creek and the untouched beauty of Peats Lake, where an array of smaller passages and ponds unfurls a world waiting to be explored.
For the thrill-seekers, the exhilarating whitewater rapids of the Peshtigo River present a formidable challenge. Spanning a riveting 5-mile run, this waterway is home to a range of wildlife, including beavers, otters, and white-tailed deer.
In the heart of the Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve, a 920-acre sanctuary, a sense of tranquility pervades the air. Nestled on the western shores of Green Bay, this kayaking spot offers a unique bonus – the Long Tail Point Lighthouse. Though abandoned and almost decimated, the ruins of this 1847 lighthouse stand majestically on the lake’s sandbar, a sight best appreciated from the water.
6. Potawatomi State Park in Door County
Potawatomi State Park, an expansive tract of 1,200 acres, is a veritable haven for wilderness aficionados and water enthusiasts alike. Nestled on the shores of Sturgeon Bay in southern Door County, the park is steeped in rich history, named in honor of the Bo-De-Wad-Me tribe – or “keeper of the fire” – that once inhabited Green Bay’s shores and islands.
The park’s terrain is an entrancing tapestry of gently rolling uplands, steep slopes, and rugged limestone cliffs. Kayaking within the park provides an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in this pristine environment, where over two miles of shoreline offer an abundance of picturesque views and recreational prospects.
|Shoreline Boat Launch
|Located within Potawatomi State Park, this site serves as a base for various water activities, including boating, canoeing, and kayaking. It’s nestled in Sawyer Harbor, a sheltered inlet at the mouth of Sturgeon Bay. The site does not provide a swimming beach due to its rocky shoreline, but canoe, kayak, and paddleboat rentals are available at the park3.