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The towns along the river are historic and beautiful, boasting centuries old Tudor and brick houses. If you are lucky, you might even get a driver in a traditional costume. The female version is pretty impressive and reflects the strong cultural heritage that is kept alive in this region. Cruises on traditional punts are offered all over the Spreewald. Paddling can burn a lot of calories, especially if you try to cover a lot of distance as we did.

Besides pickles, there are a couple of local specialties that you should also try. A typical Spreewald delicacy: cream cheese with linseed oil, various types of onions, pickles and parsley potatoes.

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And on my last trip, we almost ran over a totally relaxed beaver-like animal which would not make it into the next Colgate advertisement with its bright orange teeth. A beaver-like animal hiding in the grass on the side of the river. If you look up the roofs of the houses of the many small villages scattered over the Spreewald during the right season, you may see some storks and their offspring.

The Spreewald river system is connected by many locks to regulate water height and improve navigability. I promise, we tried it!

Make sure you have a Schleusengroschen with you about 50 ct to reward them for their work. One trip here that is still on my bucket list is to do the whole length of the Spree from its origin to bustling downtown Berlin!

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Hello Michaela! You seem very knowledgeable about paddling in the Spreewald area and I just had a few questions. Would you recommend renting in advance or being able to rent on the spot for 2 kayaks or a canoe? Not sure what the rental place hours are on a Sunday or prices as well so any info or links would be much appreciated.

Hi Jake, go for it — the Spreewald is definitely a great place to get your paddling fix! They usually open at 9 am all week long, and I would recommend booking in advance for a weekend rental. Have fun, Michaela. Hi Michaela, Thanks for the response. Take care, Michaela. Can you recommend anything in particular or a link to rentals? Any help is much appreciated.

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Thank you kindly, Christine. Hi Christine, awesome, sounds like Jake had a good time in the Spreewald!

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Unfortunately it only shows in the German version — if you switch to English, there is no content. Just select your arrival and departure date in the yellow box and you should get a good selection of all kinds of accommodation types. Hope this helps and I wish you a great time there in May! Thank you for replying!

I thought I subscribed to the comments but never got an alert on your reply. We went paddling in Sister Bay that very day. In the past I had been uncomfortable as I tried to get used to borrowed boats, but with the consistency of my own, I quickly gained confidence.

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Tim and I started exploring different launch spots in Door County each weekend. I have learned that seeing the peninsula from the water is to be reintroduced to it. In a kayak I have degree view of land and lake. The water is close, and I see it right next to me; I can put my hand in it.

Near shore I can see all the way to the bottom and can spy bass zipping and carp sauntering along. I get weird chills when a shipwreck looms up under me, as is common on all sides of the peninsula. The water is immense, and I can tear my gaze from the world underneath it and look out over it to the horizon.

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Some days it is clear and the horizon is defined, and on others the clouds are the same color as the water and it is impossible to see where the lake ends. The water is noisy, and where it meets the land there are often rocks and bluffs for it to crash against. Even on a calm day, the view from my kayak always includes the sound of water. The weather, season, time of day, and water level will always ensure that I have a unique experience. I love the view from the small limestone bluffs on windy days when the waves are crashing in.

The view from water level is even more impressive, and on a calm day I can paddle right into some of the caves. Tim and I launch from Lakeside Park in downtown Jacksonport. Straight out from the launch is a perfect view of a shipwreck just below the surface. We drift over it for awhile, marveling at the history preserved below.

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We paddle south to Cave Point, where we linger, taking in the view of the turquoise water and maneuvering our foot boats carefully in and out of the caves. Truly, shorter boats than ours would be better suited to cave exploration, but we make do. We round the point and head for Whitefish Dunes State Park.

We land on the beach and get out to stretch our legs and eat lunch.

The entire paddle, including lunch, takes a half-day, once we paddle back to Jacksonport. To shorten the trip, there is a launch at Schauer Park south of Jacksonport. Most towns in Door County have public launches that kayakers can use. Public beaches and roads that dead-end on the water are also ideal launch sites. From there we can easily paddle south to Sister Bay or north to see the Ellison Bay Bluffs from the water. The views there are different, involving plenty of wildlife like deer and birds. This event was ideal to watch from the water, as downtown Ephraim was jammed with people on shore.

Equipped with headlamps and lights, we launched our boats at about in the evening.