2020 Apostle Islands Trip

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May 27 update – The National Park Service has canceled all overnight camping on the Apostle Islands for all of 2020. Therefore, this year’s trip has been canceled.

We intend to pick up where we left off in 2021 and will offer the 2020 participants “right-of-first-refusal” for the 2021 trip. However, we will have to start all over picking trip dates and entering the January 2021 lottery for a group camp permit.  

NEWP club trips provide an opportunity for experienced paddlers together with newer paddlers to safely enjoy a few days of great paddling and camping in the beautiful Apostle Islands. For many participants over the years, our club trip has been a “first” experience paddling extensively in the Great Lakes, and often also for camping with only the equipment and supplies that can be packed into a kayak. Destinations and even group campsite locations are selected to offer a variety of paddle destinations, hiking and other activities to provide options in response to inclement weather or challenging paddle conditions. Ken Braband produced a short video clip from our 2019 trip to Sand Island, that can be viewed on YouTube HERE. And here’s the LONG VERSION which includes interviews with participants. For more information on the Apostle Islands, click HERE.

2020 Trip Plan Information

Plans for our 2020 trip to the Apostle Islands are underway. We have confirmed reservations on Oak Island, Group Campsite B, for Thursday August 13, Friday August 14 and Saturday August 15. Currently, we have more people interested in this trip than we can accommodate on a single group campsite. Since people’s plans and availability change over the course of several months, we maintain a wait list and will adjust the participant list accordingly.

Trip Timeline: August 12 – 16

  • Drive to Bayfield, WI on Wednesday, August 12th and stay in local or camping accommodations. We’ll plan to purchase any last minute paddling or camping needs at the local Trek and Trail store, then meet at 6:30 PM meet for dinner at Greunke’s First Street Diner (or other TBD).
  • Thursday morning (August 13) breakfast (Manypenny or other) drive to Legendary Waters Resort and Casino in Red Cliff for a 9:30 AM launch to Oak Island group campsite B. Set up base camp, share dinner and enjoy island life!
  • Friday and Saturday (August 14-15) – Visit Raspberry Island lighthouse, Manitou Island Fish Camp; possibly Stockton Island or other local attractions. There is also extensive hiking available on Oak Island.
  • Sunday (August 16) – Load up and return to Red Cliff Marina; pack up and drive home.

Wednesday Night Lodging: As in past years, we’ll identify some lodging options and attempt to coordinate lodging for those that wish to share a room. We’ve had good experience with the Harbor’s Edge Motel in Bayfield, WI, and other local lodging establishments. 

Apostle Island Group Campsite (Oak Island Site A) Information: Click the LINK to view information on the campsite. Note that well water is not available at this site, so we’ll have to filter our own water supply.

Participant Qualifications: To ensure participants meet fitness qualifications and equipment requirements, all participants must complete at least one 2 hour group paddle. This will:
  • Expose the participant to the physical requirements of an extended crossing. We will plan on staying in the kayaks for the full 10 miles.
  • Test participant’s ability to make the trip.
  • Verify that the kayak and equipment are suitable for a Lake Superior trip.

Practice/ test paddles will be scheduled!

  1. Saturday June 20: Caldron Reservoir trip as part of the Peshtigo Paddle weekend, 10 AM launch
  2. TBD: Manitowoc Blue Rail to Two Rivers round trip, 9:30 AM launch. To get to the Blue Rail Beach – navigate to the Manitowoc YMCA and continue north on Maritime Drive just past the marina. You’ll see a parking lot on the right for access to walk the pier to the lighthouse, along the “blue rail.” We’ll launch, paddle one hour toward Two Rivers, and return. That should have us back to the parking lot at about Noon.
  3. TBD

Trip Leaders:

Trip Leaders are Jeff Mazanec and Ken Braband

  • Trip leaders will have authority over all participants on water trips or activities.
  • If the trip leaders believe that due to weather or water conditions it is unsafe to proceed with a trip or activity, they may restrict or cancel that trip or activity.

Water Crossings, Trips and Activities:

  • No solo on-water crossings, trips or activities will be allowed.
  • All on water activities will be done in groups with designated lead paddlers. Groups must be five or greater paddlers.


  • Trip leaders have final approval of all kayaks and equipment.
  • All kayaks, equipment and clothing must be suitable for Lake Superior paddling. Recreational kayaks and those with only one bulkhead are not suitable.
  • Kayaks must have flotation or bulkheads, deck-lines and be fitted with spray skirts. If the kayak does not have bulkheads the use of and knowledge of how to use sea socks is required.
  • Inflatable PFDs are not acceptable for this trip.

Pre-Trip Preparation:

  • Paddle as often as possible prior to the trip.
  • Attempt to participate in the two hour group paddles
  • Encouraged to be regulars at the Two Rivers Monday night paddle, Elkhart Lake Sunday morning paddles and other paddling opportunities.

Safety equipment and training:

  • Practice self and group rescues; review the video Cold Water Boot Camp.
  • Acquire and become familiar with safety equipment such as paddle floats, radios, tow ropes, spare paddle etc.
  • While no night paddling is planned, paddlers should be prepared to do so. Coast Guard rules require everyone to have a visual light source such as a laser flare or three traditional flares, a sound source (whistle) and a white light source (head lamp) to display in the presence of moving boat traffic.

Paddle Clothing – Lake Superior is COLD!

  • Bring suitable cold water paddling gear, wetsuit, dry suit, splash jacket, gloves, etc.
  • Dress to confidently function in cold weather and in case of cold-water immersion.

Alcohol and Drugs


Meals and Camping:

Participants are responsible for their own camping and cooking. However, we will coordinate “group cook” dinner each night for those that wish to participate. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are on your own. Meal plan for dinners:

  • Thursday dinner – TBD
  • Friday dinner – TBD
  • Saturday dinner – TBD

Black bears are active in the Apostle Islands and occasionally present a problem. Do not put any food, toiletry or clothing that smells of food in your tent. Steel bear boxes are provided at the group campsite and must be used.

Individuals are encouraged to share tents. All Park camping rules must be followed. Specifically no burning of garbage, cigarette butts or other waste is allowed in the fire area.

Trip Goal: The trip goal is to have a fun, safe outing. Because of the nature of Lake Superior, safety will be the primary factor. Due to possible weather and wind conditions on Lake Superior, there is no guarantee that events or activities will happen as planned. Participants must be flexible and be prepared for changes in events and timing. The trip leaders are in charge of this trip and will have final authority over trips, activities, participants and equipment. If a participant’s ability, kayak or equipment is deemed not suitable for Lake Superior, the person will not be allowed on the trip.All participants must have and wear a PFD (personal flotation device) while paddling.

* Training Tip! Water jugs can be filled with water and put in your kayak to give the feel of paddling a loaded boat as training for local paddles. Start saving empty milk cartons and other plastic liquid containers of all sizes. One gallon of water weights approximately 8 lbs. Nominal water will be carried during the trip to personal preference. Purified water from Lake Superior is recommended to replenish water reserves during the trip.

Park Rules: All Apostle Island National Lakeshore rules must be followed. All participants will be expected to follow the “Leave No Trace” practices.Questions? Contact Ken Braband at KenB@WisconsinPaddlers.org or Jeff Mazanec at JeffM@WisconsinPaddlers.org.

Trip Registration Forms

Trip event form – 2020 Apostle Islands

AI 2020 Registration Form

ACA Adult Waiver

Mail the completed form to:

NEWP Treasurer
1247 E Shady Ln
Neenah, WI 54956

Participants Must:

  1. Be a current ACA and NEWP member.
  2. Have taken a NEWP class or be known by one of the lead paddlers to have the requisite skills and training for the planned trip.
  3. Complete the event form, waiver and submit the $20.00 event fee.
    1. The fee will cover event expenses and purchase of trip safety equipment.
    2. In the event a participant cannot make the outing and a qualified replacement is willing to take their place, the $20.00 fee will be refunded.
    3. If the event is cancelled due to conditions beyond our control, any remaining funds after paying expenses will be refunded proportionately. The participant can choose to donate their refund to the club for the purchase of safety equipment.

2020 Trip Participants

  1. Jeff Mazanec, Appleton, WI (JeffM@wisconsinpaddlers.org) 
  2. Bill Merrick, Appleton, WI (BillM@WisconsinPaddlers.org) ?
  3. Andrew Long, Appleton, WI (spunkandrew@gmail.com) 
  4. Ken Braband, Green Bay, WI (KenB@WisconsinPaddlers.org) 
  5. Chris Olson, Neenah, WI (ChrisPOlson51@gmail.com) 
  6. Matt Ashauer, Grand Chute, WI (MAshauer20@gmail.com) ?
  7. Greg Ramsey, Appleton, WI (gsramsey500@gmail.com) 
  8. Scott Oftedahl, Kewaunee, WI (gobadgers04@gmail.com) ?
  9. Mike Stone, Green Bay, WI (TheStoneGroup@hotmail.com) 
  10. Abby Ledvina, New Franken, WI (abledby@gmail.com) 
  11. Will Joll, Cedarburg, WI (whjoll@yahoo.com) ?
  12. Diane Christel, Brussels, WI (dkchriste@gmail.com) ?
  13. Dean Wegner, West Bend, WI (deanwegner@yahoo.com) 
  14. Michael Jordan, Oshkosh, WI (mdjordanddml@gmail.com) 
  15. Mary Downs, Appleton, WI (spunkandrew@gmail.com) 
  16. Allison Willman, Menasha, WI (alliw719@gmail.com) ?
  17. Aaron Pynenberg, Appleton, WI (iceman9108@yahoo.com) ?
  18. Dan Dallich, Green Bay, WI (OnGreenBay@gmail.com) ?
  19. Renee Dallich, Green Bay, WI (drdallich@gmail.com) ?
  20. Bill Burton, Sheboygan (BillB@WisconsinPaddlers.org) ?
  21. Luann Burton, Sheboygan ?

Wait List: 


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