Back to Blog

7 reasons Mud Lake is a beautiful spot to kayak tour

Cave Point in Door County, Wisconsin

This past Wednesday David, my friend Jack, and I went for a paddle down Mud Lake at the Ridges Sanctuary.

The weather was gorgeous, but the water temperature was a tad chilly at 40 degrees F.

During the trip we saw a variety of birds, frogs and fish. The Ridges Sanctuary is known for a large variety of flora and fauna in the wetlands area and boreal forest. We heard the potent call of the small spring peepers. Although we didn’t see any, they were very audible. Frogs are indicator species, which means they are the first to be affected by pollution and changing habitat conditions. With this said, it was quite a joy to hear such an ample amount of these frogs. Besides the Spring Peeper, we heard the Western Chorus Frog, and possible echoes of the faint but resonant call of the American Toad. Also, I have included some short audio clips of the frog calls. They’re pretty easy to hear once you know what they sound like.

Mud Lake Kayak Tour highlights

  1. Spring Peeper
  2. Western Chorus Frog
  3. American Toad
  4. Peregrine Falcon Cardinal Sucker Fish
  5. Spawning Salmon
  6. Easy entrance and exit
  7. Peaceful and easy paddle

We also thought we saw spawning salmon, only to realize that they were in fact, “large lipped” sucker fish.

As we were returning from our paddle, Jack and I decided to take the “easy” exit, while Dave decided to brave the ominous tunnel rapids. We were mystified as he flew through the spider- infested tunnel towards Moonlight Bay.

Overall, we all had a marvelous time and learned a lot. I even got to drive the kayak bus for the first time. And let me tell ya, backing up is surely an art that takes a lot of practice!

Another Mud Lake Tour Guide experience by Erin Fenlon

So the meteorologist predicted a day full of thunderstorms….and instead it turned out to be a fantastic day of kayaking. The fog rolled in this morning with a bit of a drizzle, and while crystal clear sunshine days are fun, this weather turned out to be ideal for kayaking at Mud Lake. The fog gave our kayak tour an even greater sense of adventure and the perfectly calm water created beautiful reflections of the reeds, water lilies, and shoreline. The water lilies are just about to bloom and in a few days the bright bursts of yellow will make Mud Lake an even more scenic paddle. Mud Lake is a State Natural Area that boasts a large variety of plant species and the DNR says it “has a truly wild character to it.” Enjoying a really fun paddle at Mud Lake sure beats the stay inside sort of day the weatherman predicted!