Woods & Waters
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Closed until May 15, 2024

Woods & Waters

Woods & Waters
5
Bike ToursEco ToursGear RentalsStand Up PaddleboardingKayaking & Canoeing
Temporarily closedClosed until May 15, 2024
About
ADVENTURE OFTEN — with us! Woods & Waters® has been taking people like you on nature-filled adventures since 2002 in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, specializing in Lake Huron's Les Cheneaux Islands and the eastern UP. We believe that everyone has the most fun when they’re in the middle of nature, and by adventuring with us you'll experience an area like nowhere else in Michigan! • 36 islands with miles and miles of Lake Huron shoreline to explore • Both protected and "big water" paddling to suit all skill levels • Nature preserves and public forests offer hiking and biking trails • All-season community just 30 minutes from the the Mackinac Bridge • We also rent kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, and bikes! • Retail store selling quality outdoor gear, art, and good chocolate. Open mid-May through early October.
Hessel, Michigan

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Travelers talk about
(10 reviews)
(6 reviews)
(4 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles86 reviews
Excellent
83
Very good
2
Average
1
Poor
0
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0

Alyssa G
Lancaster, OH1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
My boyfriend and I were in St. Ignace for a weekend getaway and really wanted to kayak. We looked at several places around the area, and Woods and Waters seemed to be the most affordable and located in an area of the lakes that is a bit more secluded with calmer waters. The staff was so responsive and answered all of our questions when we called. They even opened early for us, so that we could get started in the morning. We felt so catered to and cared for, as they explained the ropes to us. They transported the kayak to the water front and helped us push in. Afterwards we were able to leave it in the same beach area. It was so easy. The area is beautiful. We visited several of the islands and explored the inlets. What a relaxing activity. We so enjoyed our time out on the water and would definitely recommend Woods and Waters.
Written September 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We love treating people how we like to be treated! We also love hearing how your time spent in the islands was relaxing and enjoyable — exactly how we feel when spending time outside. We hope to see you again!
Written September 2, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

dablakes
Grand Rapids, MI479 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
My husband and I took the full day tour with Sue (owner/guide) and it could not have been a more perfect day! We had spent the previous days hiking but are glad we splurged for a day of kayaking as you need to be on the water to have a full appreciation of the area. We were a little concerned that a full day would be a bit much but Sue let us set the pace and the full day allowed us to see more and gave us time to find a quiet resting spot midday to watch the passing boats and shimmering blue water while enjoying the included lunch. Sue is very personable & knowledgeable of the area and it was a joy to spend the day with her. For the inexperienced kayaker, no fears as it is obvious safety is the top concern as Sue gave us good instruction and was well prepared for any scenario. We highly recommend!
Written July 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
It was a perfect day for me too! I loved all the conversation and relaxed paddling — hopefully you can think back to that day anytime you need to reset. Hope to bump in to you in GR or see you again in the LCI!
Written August 16, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

gramrun
Chicago, IL10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
My husband and I took a guided tour this past weekend with Sue, the owner. Sue makes the trip so enjoyable. As other reviewers have mentioned Sue is so attentive to safety. In addition, she shared her love of Les Cheneaux islands through the stories she told as we kayaked. I highly recommend Woods and Waters kayaking to anyone who wants to truly experience the area! This was our first visit to the UP and based on Sue's warm hospitality we want to go back.
Written August 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We hope you do come back to the UP :-) And thank you very much for the kind words. I'll have more stories ready for you on a future trip as I tackle more readings every winter. My nightstand is already groaning under a pile! Happy adventuring until we meet again.
Written September 16, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Monica G
Lansing, MI3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
I called Woods & Waters when planning a Drummond Island vacation, asking if anyone had hiking recommendations. Sue offered to visit the island for an 8-mile hike to Marble Head, an area she hadn’t hiked but had hoped to explore sometime. We picked an early September day and all I needed to do was show up! She had mapped the route, packed lunches and provided me with a pair of adjustable walking poles that made all the difference. She seemed prepared for any eventuality. I appreciated her knowledge of the area’s wildlife, topography and history. When leaving Drummond a few days later I stopped at the picturesque Hessel headquarters to learn about other outdoor adventure possibilities. I’d highly recommend Woods & Waters when planning a northern Michigan get-away. They make it easy and fun!
Written September 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks again for being my fellow adventurer that day! Hoping that perfect late summer day lives on in your memory as the weather changes to fall. If you return to the EUP, would love to get you out on the water — or someday to Isle Royale. Take care!
Written September 16, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

HCrowder
Chester, VA832 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Solo
From the welcome greeting to the farewell send off by Sue Bakkila, owner, and Tim Keen, partner guide, my week long experience of paddling and hiking Isle Royale could not have been any better! Sue and Tim’s passion for what they do permeates and is infectious, and their desire for you to have The Best experience possible is evident in their thoughtful planning, preparation and attention to detail. They were attentive to individual quirks, skill levels and strengths — matching our itinerary accordingly and paired with the weather we were handed.

The team of Sue and Tim were complimentary, often educational/instructional offering tweaks to improve techniques and easy the effort required.

I could not have hoped for a better trip. I would love to go with Sue and Tim, Woods & Waters again!!
Written August 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks so very much Harold for the kind words — you made that last trip on ISRO special too with your willingness to try, and try again. You grew as a paddler over those days and witnessing that was wonderful!
Written March 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Carolyn W
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
The BEST experience! Was nervous about kayaking on Lake Superior, but Sue and Tim made the entire adventure amazing. They handled all the logistics, provided top notch gear and guidance and made sure we felt comfortable throughout the entire 5 day trip. We saw sooo much more with their guidance than we would have seen on our own. If you want the full Isle Royale experience, I highly recommend Woods & Waters. Sue and Tim are amazing, knowledgeable and FUN!
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Having fun people with us helps make everything more fun — so thank you as well for all the positive attitudes. We look forward to seeing you again in the Les Cheneaux.
Written March 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Amy Y
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Words cannot begin to describe the adventure we had on Isle Royale. We could not have seen or done what we did without the guidance and knowledge of Woods & Waters. Our guides, Safety Sue and Tim (the man, the myth the legend) were simply the best. I adore them. They skillfully had us moving about on our kayaks day 1 and always made sure we were comfortable and safe when on water and when on land. We look forward to scheduling a kayak trip next year with our kids and Woods and Waters will be who we will contact.
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We look forward to meeting the whole gang on a family vacation sometime in the future. We expect it will be full of big laughs and smiles. Thanks for a great trip on ISRO too!
Written March 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SubyRexus
Highlands Ranch, CO8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
I was looking to rent a gravel bike for my trip to Cedarville/Hessel. After inquiring about renting the Rocky Mountain Gravel 30, Sue was quick to respond and make sure the bike would be available by the time I arrived. The bike was assembled and tuned correctly, with no issues during my rental period.

The staff was extremely helpful, recommending some excellent riding options in the surrounding area.

If you need to rent anything (bike, kayak, SUP, etc) for your trip, Woods and Waters is a great option.
Written July 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Happy to hear that the Gravel 30 met all your expectations for exploring the area on your vacation (and glad it arrived in time!). We'll look forward to helping you on your next vacation too.
Written March 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Teresa OKANE
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Sue and her husband went the extra mile to make sure we had a good experience.

Woods and Waters rents bicycles and kayaks in Hessel, Michigan, in the Cheneaux Islands, one long block from the Hessel Marina.

We rented bikes to visit the excellent Maritime Museum in nearby Cedarville. Helmets and a lock were provided as was helpful information on the surrounding area.

Recommend highly.

Teresa O’Kane
Author
Safari Jema, and My Life with Ndoto
Written August 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks Teresa for stopping by and sharing about your adventures in your boat — maybe we will see you again on your Great Loop. Safe travels!
Written August 16, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lisa E
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Business
We had a great, relaxing trip exploring the Les Cheneaux islands. Sue, the owner, took us out and she made sure we had boats that fit properly. Sue was informative and personable. We recommend a trip with Woods and Waters if you want to get out and enjoy being on the water.
Written September 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Glad nature worked its "miracle" of delivering relaxation! And thanks for taking the time to review — it's appreciated. I look forward to our next adventure together!
Written October 3, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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