Door County Kayak Tours, llc.
Home > Door County Kayaking Map > Mink River Estuary

Door County Peninsula Kayaking Locations

Mink River Estuary
Fast Facts
Location Names

Mink River Estuary

Mink River Nature Conservation

Sand Bay Beach Park launch

Rowley's Bay




Sister Bay

Ellison Bay

Tour Info:

Kayak Tours of Mink River Estuary with Gravity Trails

Destination Info:

"Waters from the Mink River and Lake Michigan combine to form this freshwater estuary. The visitor will enjoy a habitat almost identical to that witnessed by the Potawotami Indians, who lived here more than 100 years ago. A leisurely kayak trip from Rowley's Bay to the spring-fed headwaters of the Mink River provides a great opportunity for bird watching. The diverse vegetation in the estuary features communities from white cedar swamps to wild rice marshes. Bird Watching-This is a critical migration site for birds: More than 200 species may pass through the area annually. These include the following: * Bitterns * Black-crowned Night Herons * Black Duck * Black Terns * Blue-winged Teal * Common Loons * Great Blue Herons * Herring Gulls * Marsh Hawks * Wood Duck. In late summer and fall, it's possible to see double-crested cormorants and red-breasted mergansers. And evidence exists of habitation by the bald eagle and sandhill crane. Lowland forest, dominated by white cedar, surrounds the edges of the marsh." Taken from the Nature Conservancy- Mink River Estuary




Newport State Park

Driving Directions

Paddling Access:

Travel 2 miles north on 42 to County Hwy Z Turn east (right) on County Hwy Z and go to the on Rowleys Bay Resort. Launch from the Boat Launch. Follow the shoreline north to reach the mouth of the Mink River.


Hiking/Portaging Access:

From the intersection of Hwy 57 and Hwy 42 in Sister Bay:

  • Follow County Hwy ZZ east 3 miles, then north for 2.25 miles to County Hwy Z.

  • Take Z east (right) 0.5 mile to Mink River Road. Go north (left) on Mink River Road about 1.5 miles to the preserve parking area on the right (east) side of the road.

  • From Ellison Bay, travel east on Hwy 42 about 2.25 miles to Newport Drive. Take Newport Drive south (right) 1 mile to the Conservancy parking area on right side of road. Arrows mark some trail junctions.

Kayak Launch:

The Launch from The Rowleys Bay Resort is now a public launch! Thank you Jewe at Rowleys Bay Resortl! Please respect the local area and clean up after yourself. There is a specific kayak launch next to the Gravity Trails Zip Line and Kayak business, feel free to use that launch, but please do not leave kayaks there for an extended period of time. The Sand Bay kayak launch is a little farther of a paddle if you are looking to make it a longer paddle. Look for the Kayak Launch sign at Sand Bay Beach Park.

Launch/Landing Fee

Rowleys Bay Launch has a launch box, If you launch from Sand Bay-Free.

Kayaking Precautions:

The wind can pick up and make the return trip much harder.

Fishing Tips:

Great bass fishing in the Mink River Fishing licenses and Great Lakes stamps can be purchased online. With the shallow delta of the river, it can make it a challenge, sometimes requiring you to zig, zag back and forth to enter or even portage.


Grandmas Swedish Restaurant located in the Rowleys Bay Resort and Sand Bay Beach both have facilities.



Calm Paddling

If there is any wind out of the south, Do Not Go.

Surfing Spot Name


Surfing Conditions

(S, SW, SE, W) greater than 20 knots

Inns, Lodging, Hotels Motels, Camping

The BluffSide

Newport State Park

Eateries, Restaurants, Food, Ice Cream

Grandmas Swedish Bakery Pecan Rolls and bread pudding! Rowley's Bay Restaurant-A full fresh buffet as well.

Possible Downwind Location Trips

It is a long kayak haul out of the Nature conservancy by foot. Newport State Park

Tips, Things To Do, Secret Spots

Make a day of this trip, with a lunch and some reading time, or bird watching. Peaceful area.

About Us | Privacy Policy/Disclaimer of Liability | Contact Us | Jobs | Our Neighbors
©2014 Door County Kayak Tours, llc.
David Rack
Making Door County the #1 Midwest Eco-Tourism Outdoor Recreation Vacation
A Door County Kayaking Outdoor Recreation Activity Adventure Outfitter in Door County Wi.