Norton Shores Nature: Let’s Go Kayaking

Norton Shores has six miles of Lake Michigan coastline, as well as access to numerous smaller lakes and bodies of water, making it one of the best places to come for adventure on the water in Michigan. Kayaking is one of the water sports that attract the most people to our area, since Norton Shores doesn’t lack opportunities for kayakers to enjoy the beauty and fun of life on the water.

Two Kinds of Kayaking in Norton Shores

Technically, kayaking falls into three broad types—recreational kayaking, sea kayaking, and whitewater kayaking. Since Norton Shores and surrounding areas don’t have class two river rapids that provide whitewater conditions, kayakers can enjoy either recreational kayaking or sea kayaking.

Sea kayaking is done on large open bodies of water like oceans, bays, and lakes. When doing this kind of paddling, you have to make sure you have the right kind of boat. Either tandem kayaks or sea touring boats are preferred by most paddlers, though some inflatable kayaks will also allow you to kayak safely on Lake Michigan in the right conditions.

The kind of kayaking most paddlers do in Norton Shores is recreational kayaking, which is done on slower-moving rivers and lakes. This is the type that is best for those who are just learning to kayak, as well as fishermen, photographers, and those who just want to enjoy a day on the water because the size and stability of recreational boats offer greater comfort.

Where to Kayak in Norton Shores

There are several places to launch your boat in Norton Shores, whether you want to paddle on Lake Michigan or one of the smaller lakes in our area.

  • Black Lake Park has a public boat launch on the southern boundary of Norton Shores between Wood Rd. and the eastern edge of Little Black Lake.
  • Mona Lake has a public boat launch at 411 Lake Shore Blvd. and a member-only launch on the other side of the lake at the Mona Lake Boat Club at 4200 Vineyard Lane.
  • If you want to paddle on Lake Michigan, you’ll want to consider starting at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, which has over three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.

As with any water sport, before you go out on the water, make sure you take the proper safety precautions by knowing your abilities and wearing a flotation device. Thanks to the miles of Lake Michigan coastline and the other points of water access, Norton Shores is a great place to be in the summer. Grab your boat. Let’s go kayaking!



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