Taking his two sons kayaking on a stretch of the Waupaca River left Tim Lencki wondering why he did not encounter more people making the same trip.
“I was surprised nobody was out there,” he said. “The stream is fairly easy paddling with some stretches of rapids.”
This summer, Lencki is helping people discover the river through his new business, Waupaca Kayak Adventures.
Waupaca Kayak Adventures offers a 7.5-mile, self-guided trip on the Waupaca River.
The trip begins at Cobb Town Road and County Trunk Q and ends at Brainard’s Bridge Park in the city of Waupaca.
This year, the home base for his business is at Health and Fitness Headquarters on State Highway 22. Trips depart from its parking lot.
Lencki’s customers find the 15-passenger van he calls “Big Red,” equipped with a trailer to transport them and all the necessary equipment to Cobb Town Road.
Once arriving there, Lencki talks about how to paddle, what to expect and what to look for as far as wildlife.
One thing he tells those making the trip is that there “are parts of the river that split and it’s OK to go either way because they come together.”
Lencki also explains where the rapids are and how to get through them.
“I give them instructions. I help them feel comfortable. I encourage them and send them on their way,” he said.
On average, it takes most people about three hours to kayak the 7.5-mile stretch.
He and his wife Jill have enjoyed the trip with their sons, Noah, 10, and Owen, 5.
“Noah did a great job on the kayak. He was in a separate kayak,” Lencki said. “Owen sat with me. It’s fun a stretch to be on – lots of green and some sandy spots where you can get out and do a bit of swimming and wading.”
On this portion of the Waupaca River, the water averages a couple of feet.
He said it is not a whitewater rafting type of experience and points out that recently, a woman in her mid 60s did the trip with her grandson.
“They had a nice trip,” Lencki said. “She came back fairly dry.”
Lencki has a total of eight kayaks: six are singles and two are tandems.
Those under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Children under age 10 must ride with a parent or guardian.
Trips depart daily at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The cost is about $40 per kayak and includes the kayak, paddle, life jacket and transportation to and from the river.
Reservations are required; to reserve a trip, call 715-281-5564.
Lencki recommends bringing aqua shoes or old tennis shoes, sunscreen and bug repellant.
He says the kayak route lends itself well to about a three-hour trip, and the nice part about ending at Brainard’s Bridge Park is that children can play there after they get out of the water.
A driver meets everyone at the park, and once everyone has completed the trip, returns them to the Health and Fitness Headquarters parking lot.
Trips began this spring and will continue into the fall.
In the future, he wants to offer guided trips.
“I have a couple people who have shown interest in being a guide. Maybe we will do some special trips this year and then next year, make it part of what’s always offered,” he said.
For Lencki, who is also a personal trainer and fitness motivational speaker, this venture combines his love of the outdoors and his background in fitness.
“I’ve always loved the outdoors, especially the water,” said Lencki, who has been a member of the Chain Skiers for 27 years.
Kayaking is a great way for people to be active, he says, describing the stretch of the Waupaca River that his business takes people on as one that is beautiful and peaceful.