Have you ever wanted to explore an old shipwreck from your kayak, canoe or paddle board?

On Lake Michigan just north of Two Rivers, in the recently established Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary, under the crystal-clear water, you can gaze into the past.

Designated in 2021, this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sanctuary covers the waters just offshore from southern Kewaunee County down the lake to Port Washington. This area of the lake holds the remains of many ships that went down during bad weather or misfortune while hauling people and freight during the 1800s through to the early 1900s. It is our fortune, however, that several of the wrecks can be viewed in shallow water, easily accessible by paddleboard, kayak or canoe. And without the need of SCUBA equipment.

Get ready to launch your next amazing paddling experience at Rawley Point in Point Beach State Forest.  Imagine as you launch your vessel from a sandy beach, conditions are perfect for the hunt — sunshine glints and sparkles off the still, glass-like surface of the lake. Wave action has been low to none for a number of weeks, allowing the ever-shifting sediment to settle and clear out the water column. The area of the lake in and around Two Rivers holds a quicksand-like bed, ever-shifting, ever exposing wrecks, but also continually covering them back up again. This lakebed material shifts with the tides and storms; guarding, protecting and preserving the history of this great lake.

Searching for and visiting these known shipwrecks off Rawley Point, Point Beach State Forest and around Two Rivers has become much easier this year. This spring, buoys were placed at six of the known shipwrecks, making paddling to them a breeze. This fascinating world of archeological explorational and the search through history is not just for daredevils or those with expensive equipment.  Paddlers with basic equipment and experience will be rewarded with an amazing experience just beneath the water’s surface.  Imagine paddling the length of a long-lost shipwreck and finding yourself transported back in time.

For those who may not be ready to paddle the waters of Lake Michigan or if lake conditions do not permit a safe opportunity, you may also explore the East and West Twin Rivers. These delightful rivers will wind you through an urban setting into some of the best bird watching and natural areas in Northeast Wisconsin including Woodland Dunes Nature Center & Preserve.

Visit sanctuaries.noaa.gov/wisconsin/ to learn more about Wisconsin’s Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

For Point Beach State Forest hours and how and where to launch your kayak, canoe or paddle board visit dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/pointbeach.

Visit exploretworivers.com to plan your paddling adventure today!

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