A Superior view: Kayak tours at Presque Isle offer a new sight-seeing perspective of the peninsula

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Trinity Carey

To Marquette locals and tourists the Presque Isle Park loop is a go-to destination to catch the sunset or to see Lake Superior’s expansive horizon. The park offers a scenic drive, walk, long- board or bike trip through the trees atop the Presque Isle peninsula and overlooking the water. Many stroll through the park daily, but few get to take in the view of the cliffs below. Superior Kayaking Co. offers guided sea- kayaking tours around Presque Isle.

The company, founded by Alexandra Jarvis and Anders Ahlberg, began offering kayak tours at Grand Island near Munising last summer.

“Part way through last summer, we were just thinking about where else we would want to offer and Presque Isle here in town is a beautiful spot and really not that many people get out on the water to see it, so we thought we would like to offer that service,” Ahlberg explained.

Recently the company began working to establish a relationship with the Parks & Recreation Department and the Presque Isle Park Advisory Committee to get better access for its guided trips around Presque Isle, Ahlberg said.

“There’s no regulations of businesses operating there or individual people obviously, but we wanted to be active in seeking out that relationship because we feel it’s important to get input from the community that we’re operating in,” he said.

The company’s kayak trip around Presque Isle navigates the whole peninsula and typically takes about two hours.

“You can drive around Presque Isle and see the sights from land, but it’s a totally different experience there and anywhere else when you get out on the water and look back at the land,” he said.

While Superior Kayaking Co. doesn’t have a set storefront, the owners have nine tandem kayaks and provide all the equipment needed for customers on their tours, even the camping equipment, except for sleeping bags, for their overnight trips at Grand Island.

Jarvis and Ahlberg have previous experience in kayak and backpacking guiding experience. Both these Northern alumni are also first aid certified and American Canoe Association certified.

“That training is in kayaking and kayaking rescue operations,” Ahlberg said. “If a kayak is to tip or anything, we take training for that and just for safety procedures in those cases.”

The two can take groups of up to 18 people and also offer individual tours. The Presque Isle tour is $59 per person and group rates are done on a case by case basis. No previous kayaking experience is necessary to partake in their tours.

“Try it because any new experience is valuable. You’ll never really know how much you’ll enjoy something until you do it,” Ahlberg added.

The advantage of a guided tour at Presque Isle is the length of the tour, he said.

“It’s shorter than anything you’d see over in Munising. If they don’t want to spend a whole day or if they don’t feel like may- be physically they could paddle for six hours, it’s a more laid- back trip,” Ahlberg said. “You still get to see great cliffs and experience being on Lake Superior, but you’re not stuck with a full day of paddling.”

Ahlberg finds kayaking a peaceful way to get exercise and to see things from a new perspective. Being on the water, level with the lake allows him to feel more in touch with nature, an activity he hopes to share with others.

While unsure if more tour lo- cations are in their future, Superior Kayaking Co. hopes to see growth within the business over the next few summers, he said.

“We obviously have hopes that the business becomes sustain- able for us in the sense that we are profitable and that we are able to enjoy doing it and also provide for ourselves through the business.”

For more information regarding Superior Kayaking Co. or to set up a kayaking tour, checkout superiorkayaking.com.