Opening the Door Wider to Kayakers

With its ample shoreline and waterways, Door County makes for a natural destination for paddle sport enthusiasts. From Cave Point to Kangaroo Lake and from the Sturgeon Bay canal to the Mink River, Door County holds wonderful treasures for those who like to explore the great outdoors via canoeing and kayaking. In fact, the kayaking page on the Web site of the Door County Silent Sports Alliance (DCSSA) states that “from beginner to expert thrill seeker, Door County is THE place to kayak.”

The DCSSA site continues:  “With its warm, calm waters of Green Bay, dotting of islands and a myriad of

Photo courtesy of the Team Leadership Center.

Photo courtesy of the Team Leadership Center.

environments to paddle in, it’s easy to see why Door County has become a prominent Midwest kayaking destination. Door County has placid bays on the Green Bay side that are almost always semi-calm. For that matter, head over to Lake Michigan during a strong west wind, and, voilà, calm waters. The fact that you can almost always find calm, warm water is a heady reason to paddle in Door County.”

Summer 2010 will bring a new business venture to Door County that will directly cater to silent sport adventurers and eco-tourists, and provide them with the vessels, gear and knowlegde to safely explore the waters of the peninsula.

Kayaking Adventures Door County will open its door this year to offer a full range of services to paddlers and kayak enthusiasts of any age and skill level. The new venture is located one half mile south of the village of Egg Harbor at the Door County Outpost, just off Highway 42. The new company is an offshoot of the Team Leadership Center, located on the east side of the peninsula north of Sturgeon Bay, that was established in April of 1995 by founder Tim Pflieger.

A Sevastopol High School alum who was raised in Door County, Pflieger started the Team Leadership Center after he looked out the back door of his family’s Door County farmhouse in 1994, gazed at the barn and said to himself, “I have an idea.” A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Pflieger had worked at St. Norbert and Ripon Colleges in student activities and leadership development programs. He was ready to bring his skills and experience back to Door County.

The Team Leadership Center, billed as “Door County’s Adventure Center,” provides a wide variety of team-building and communications programs, training seminars and workshops using an adventure education curriculum, solution-finding activities, low and high ropes challenge course, outdoor adventures and kayaking to suit the training needs of corporations, schools, youth groups, athletic teams, community organizations, government agencies and families. The Team Leadership Center offers the only privately-owned ropes course in the state of Wisconsin.

“Kayaking has been a part of what we do [at the Team Leadership Center] since the beginning,” say Pflieger. The center really doesn’t cater to the traveling public, though. The activities offered at the center are geared to private groups, although they did begin offering a Family Fun Day once a week in 2009. “After 15 years away from the tourist industry,” Plieger said, “it was time to open our doors in a strategic way.”

For the past 15 seasons, the Team Leadership Center has provided coastal sea kayaking tours, workshops and trips as part of its curriculum. Now, Kayaking Adventures Door County will feature those tours, instructional workshops and multi-day trips. All programs will be guided and taught by American Canoe Association-certified coastal seadclv08i01-outside-in-door-kayak-sunset kayak instructors.

They will also offer Door County’s only shop dedicated exclusively to paddling. Customers will find expertise in the sale of gear and Prijon kayaks and expert local guides to assist paddling the waters of Door County.

For beginning paddlers, recreational kayak tours are offered throughout the paddling season. These are three hours in length and include kayaking gear and certified instruction. Additionally, Kayaking Adventures Door County can provide private lessons custom designed to meet a variety of needs and abilities.

For those who are interested in learning about the basics of coastal sea kayaking, there is an introductory workshop offered on Saturday, June 5, 2010 which will include equipment orientation, basic paddling strokes, trip planning, and open water judgment and safety skills.

For more advanced paddlers wanting to learn more about the sport, try the Coastal Sea Kayaking Adventure on Saturday, June 26, 2010. Participants will learn paddle strokes, maneuvering, open water skills and assisted rescues.

Kayaking Adventures can also provide kayaking trips for organized groups interested in team building as well as seasonal trips open to all paddlers. The company can custom-design an adventure for any size or type of group. Already planned for 2010 are two Women’s Sea Kayaking & Camping Trips to Rock Island on June 24th through 27th and September 2nd through September 5th.

For those who are ready to brave the open waters that surround the peninsula, Kayaking Adventures can host one of two four-hour Coastal Sea Kayak Crossings. The Chambers Island Crossing features an open water crossing from Tennison Bay boat launch in Peninsula State Park to Chambers Island and back. Participants will have the opportunity to develop open water paddling skills while passing through the Strawberry Islands.

The Cana Island Crossing features open water paddling along the coastal shoreline to the lighthouse on Cana Island. Paddlers will discover the rich history of this active lighthouse with a stop on the island for an optional tour of the house and grounds.

Photo courtesy of the Team Leadership Center.

Photo courtesy of the Team Leadership Center.

The goal of Kayaking Adventures Door County is to “create a true paddle shop in Door County,” says Pflieger, “a place for people to take a tour or a class, and a place to handle boat, apparel and gear sales. We want to help people become lifetime paddlers.”


Door County Silent Sports:

Web site:

Door County Kayaking:

Web site: