Used Gear Sale

The time has come for us to renew our fleet of kayaks for next season! We are selling our used gear in October for great savings!

Single and tandem kayaks are available. Gear is well-loved (AKA used), so kayaks have scuffs and/or scratches, but are in good working condition and will still be able to take a continuous beating for years to come.

Here are some details for those interested:

• Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 (Single) – MSRP: $600 – Sale: $400
• Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL (Tandem) – MSRP: $900 – Sale: $600
• TRY BEFORE YOU BUY! If you are thinking about buying but want to test the gear first, you can rent a kayak for 2 hours and if you choose to buy it, the cost of the rental will go towards the purchase of the kayak. (Note: this applies only to the rental rate – rental delivery charge cannot go towards buying the kayak.)
• Rate includes kayak and seat. Paddles and PFDs are not included.
• Supplies are limited, so order early! We are currently accepting orders, and gear will be ready for pick up in early October (need to get through this season with it first!)

If you have any other questions feel free to contact us!

Heritage Hill State Historical Park

We recently experienced a rainy, windy day and were looking for a new adventure. So we took a quick drive to Green Bay to visit Heritage Hill State Historical Park. For those of you who have never visited Heritage Hill, it is a living history museum! It is home to several “communities” – groups of buildings from various eras of Wisconsin history (some original, some rebuilt). You can visit a classic fur trade cabin, see businesses from the mid-19th century, and even experience what it was like to be a school student in the Fort Howard community. Below are some fun photos of our visit!

Visit the Heritage Hill State Historical Park and see what life was like on the Fox River between 1672 – 1940!

Heritage Hill State Historical Park entrance.


Interior of a fur trade cabin.


Franklin Hose Company: A volunteer fire department.


A short class in a traditional classroom!


A proud officer with his musket!

Rapid Classifications

RAPIDS!! Ahhh, they can be so much FUN!!! But you don’t want to just jump into it – moving forward prepared and aware is best! Otherwise you may end up at the hospital instead of grabbing pizzas. Staying safe, knowing the route one will be paddling is smart, and classification of rapids helps with this understanding.

Classifications for varying rapids helps in reading the water ways! Before we get into that though, we would like to state: Most of our set guided routes are cozy calm, with a side of peaceful, and sprinkled with awesomeness.
Before we define the different classes review this insightful picture below:

As you can see, starting with Class 1 being the calmest, we follow the flow of the river and see the class levels rise as the water gets rougher and more hazards present themselves.

To get a more in-depth understanding of rapids check out the outlined definitions here:

These classifications are great for understanding any water way! If this is your first time looking at this, no worries! It is simply another way of understanding and clearly communicating water flow.

Share this with your kayaking friends and stay safe out there!

Kayaking World Record

Short and sweet – we recommend getting on the edge of your seat and check out this 3+ minute video!
This kayaking world record is a massive undertaking by professional kayaker Tyler Bradt living life to the fullest!!
This paddling world record was set on April 21st, 2009 in Washington’s Palouse Falls State Park at an amazing drop height of 189 feet!!
PS – Rest easy, we are not taking a route like that on the Fox River.

Guest Blog – American Cancer Society 2018

This week we are excited to give the spot light to our local chapter of the American Cancer Society! On July 20th we will be supporting them with a fundraiser excursion – check out the poster to learn more or click the ‘Book Now’ button below to join the fun! Enjoy their article to learn how we can all make a positive change in our local community!

Book online now!


How can you help reduce your risk for cancer?

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it impacts everyone – mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, grandparents, neighbors, and friends. It is a terrible, destructive disease that wreaks havoc on the lives of those we love and care about, and something must be done to stop it.

The American Cancer Society is fighting cancer on every front; standing shoulder to shoulder with cancer patients and those supporting them. Funds raised help the American Cancer Society attack cancer in dozens of ways, each of them critical to achieving a world without cancer – from developing breakthrough therapies to building supportive communities, from providing empowering resources to deploying activists to raise awareness.

This year there will be an estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases and 609,640 cancer deaths. Did you know you can reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking? For most Americans who do not use tobacco, the most important cancer risk factors that can be changed are body weight, diet, and physical activity. The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that about 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the US are related to body fatness, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition, and thus could be prevented.

Although our genes influence our risk of cancer, most of the difference in cancer risk between people is due to factors that are not inherited. Avoiding tobacco products, staying at a healthy weight, staying active throughout life, and eating a healthy diet may greatly reduce a person’s lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer. These same behaviors are also linked with a lower risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

Although these healthy choices can be made by each of us, they may be helped or slowed by the social, physical, economic, and regulatory environment in which we live. Community efforts are needed to create an environment that makes it easier for us to make healthy choices when it comes to diet and physical activity.

American Cancer Society events are an opportunity for the community to come together, get active and raise awareness and funds for cancer research and patient services. Each year we have events held all throughout Wisconsin ranging from galas, walk/runs, relays, pet events, paddle events, and much more! At these events we celebrate those who have battled cancer, honor loved ones lost, educate the community about ways to reduce the risk and empower communities to join the fight. To check out all the fun ways you can get active and support the American Cancer Society in the Fox Valley CLICK HERE. For our fun 2018 events in Brown County CLICK HERE.

We are so excited to be partnering with Fox River Kayaking Company to create a paddle event to give people the opportunity to get active on the water.  Join us on July 20, 2018 for a guided sunset paddle with Fox River Kayaking Company.  All skill levels welcome and a portion of the proceeds from each registration fee will be donated back to the American Cancer Society! Reserve your spot today by Clicking Here.

Together we can make healthy, active lifestyles the “new normal” and help reduce your risk for cancer and the risk for future generations!

Book online now!

A Magical Wonder: Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini (1874 -1926) stands in chains at the edge of a pier ready to dive into the water.


A magical wonder, great escape, and beautifully entertaining; although this describes the Fox River very accurately, today we are talking about our local legend – Harry Houdini!
A world famous escape artist, Harry Houdini inspired wonder and imagination in a time before TVs, cell phones, and modern cynicism.

Although born in Eastern Europe in 1874, he later proclaimed that his true home was always in the Fox River Valley! Originally documented as an immigrant from Hungary, his passport would later state his birth place as Appleton, Wisconsin.

Harry Houdini lived only a short walk away from the Fox River and today everyone knows his old home as the Houdini Plaza! His family roots are in Appleton, but he built his legend across the world in various cities performing daring escapes in the sky, on the stage, and even in the water!
Today we can learn more about Harry Houdini by visiting local museums, reading biographies or simply exploring his old stomping grounds in the Fox River Valley!


MARVEL: The Great Lakes Avengers

Stop day dreaming about being Spider-man. Move over Tony Stark – the real Avengers are around the Great Lakes!

Most might not be aware of this Marvel super-hero dream team, but check them out!

The GLA team is made up of four heroes:


Mr. Immortal (Craig Hollis)

Dinah Soar (Dinah Soar)

Big Bertha (Ashley Crawford)

Flatman (Dr. Val Ventura)



The Great Lakes Avengers aren’t as popular as other Marvel heroes, but we like that fun, quirky charm. Read the comics and have a few laughs!

Fourth of July Fireworks Paddle

We are excited to announce our second annual Fourth of July Fireworks Paddle!

Check out the following details about the event:

Start Time: 7:00 PM

End Time: Shortly after the fireworks, around 10:30 PM

Meeting Location: Nicolet Boulevard Beach

More Info: We will be enjoying a full Sunset Paddle prior to relaxing and enjoying the beautiful Riverside Park fireworks show from our kayaks! [We plan on alternating between the Neenah and Menasha fireworks shows each year] After the show, we will exit the water at Doty Park and shuttle you back to your car. Total time spent on the water will be ~2.5 hours.

Safety: As this event takes place at night, we require that everyone brings a flashlight or lantern at a minimum. Our kayaks will have string lights to help light them, but the more light and visibility to other boaters, the better! Also, as fun as 4th of July partying can be, please do not drink before the event or bring drinks with you while kayaking.

This is a popular event and we recommend booking early! If you have more questions, please email, call, or text us directly!

Book your Fourth of July Adventure TODAY!

Book online now!


Guest Blog – Local Author Alissa Cottrill with ‘A is for Appleton’

We welcome guest blog appearances from all walks of life. We are happy to feature artists, adventurers, writers, and anyone with a story to tell!

This week we are excited to give the spot light to Alissa Cottrill! The author who created a fun local themed children’s book titled ‘A is for Appleton’! We were happy to support this project with some fun photos! Read on for insight on the origins of this local project!

Heads-Up: Alissa will have a booth at tomorrows [May 19th] indoor farmers market Downtown Appleton! You can also reach out to purchase a book through email =



A is for Appleton made its first debut as a gift for my sister-in-law, Katie, and my, then soon-to-be, sweet nephew, Archer. The content of the book came from her love of all things local. As I was creating the gift I imagined her reading to her new babe telling him all about the ABCs, their wonderful community, and her experiences had. After the original was gifted, my family encouraged me to publish the book. Two years of debating and lots of internal pep talks later, I took the first step.

When starting out I had zero exposure. It was intimidating and exhilarating at the same time. I began to contact the local businesses to ask their permission and to share my book project with them. With my husband and son in tow, we visited many of the places throughout the book and we took pictures – lots of them! It was a great time spent engaging with and supporting our community. The conversations had and the family time spent out and about are moments I wouldn’t trade for anything. Next came the search for a printing company, book layout, page design, business set-up, and a bunch of other legal requirements I never would have known how to navigate through without the assistance and support of so many. One of the very best perks of this book project was the time spent with my sister, Gayle Cottrill. She, patiently, walked me through InDesign and Photoshop (neither of which I had ever used!), she was a sounding board for pretty much every decision, and she let me hang out at her kitchen table – a lot. In my opinion, these moments had already made this project a success.

Which brings me to now, with the published work in hand and excitement for phase two: Sharing! I’ve just begun and already know it’s going to be even better than imagined. My first customer interaction, at the downtown indoor farm market, was incredible. As he began to page through he shared a few stories of how he could relate to the images. My favorite was him recalling walking to school, as a young boy, and being able to stop at the previous Manderfield’s location along the way. It brought back his memories of picking out a cookie or doughnut before school and, as we talked, I realized this conversation was exactly the type of positive interaction I hoped this book would create. I’m looking forward to others I will be able to meet and talk with but I am also excited for the community support that A is for Appleton has imbedded throughout its pages.

Interaction is a powerful thing and, when it happens to take place in our immediate surroundings, with those who are part of our same community bubble, it can create positive waves from one to another. I hope A is for Appleton can encourage us to continue to support, talk with, and experience our days with those we live among. Please enjoy and after reading, take it to the next level and attempt the Appleton scavenger challenge: Can you visit each local place, from A to Z?

Happy exploring,
Alissa Williams

Book Report: Paddle-to-the-Sea

Book Title and Author: Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling Clancy Holling

Main idea of story: A young boy carves a wood paddler in a canoe and sets him off on a voyage through the Great Lakes to reach the Sea! Follow Paddle’s adventure as he visits a new location on every page!

Main characters in the book:

  • Paddle to the Sea – A wooden carving of an Indian figure in a canoe
  • Young Boy – The creator of the wooden carving who sets him on his course
  • Plus dozens of friendly supporters he bumps into along the adventure

Something unique and interesting about the story/book for readers to know: The art work on every page is vivid and beautiful!

Favorite part of the story/book and why: Paddle’s exciting journeys in sometimes risky situations keep you on your toes! You are exposed to the true nature of wilderness adventures – beautiful, life-changing, and even a bit scary!

Was this book entertaining, educational, amusing, etc?: Paddle to the Sea is a fun and entertaining story – you will find yourself rooting for him to make it through the Great Lakes all the way to the Sea! Along the way, learn about the communities, wildlife, and industries throughout the region.

Would you recommend this book?: Absolutely! This book is great for young or old and anyone in between!


Also, Check out this fun activity recommended in the book for families and/or students!



“Here is geography presented with freshness and originality and imagination. Younger children respond to the idea of the small canoe making its long voyage to the sea, older readers are delighted by the fine sweep of country the book shows them.”

The New York Times

“Striking at first sight, compelling attention to the last, this is more than a bright colored picture book. It carries a cargo of information and moves with a purpose. The little traveler will…teach many children many things.”

The New York Herald Tribune