Those looking to have some fun on the Wolf, Little Wolf or Embarrass Rivers near New London, Wolf River Paddle Sports can help you find it.
Wolf River Paddle Sports is a family owned business operated by Jeff and Kelli Sommer.
“We are proud to be a family-oriented business,” said Jeff. “We want to bring families together by paddling together. We hope to allow other families, friends and groups to enjoy this great treasure in our own back yard.”
Jeff first became interested in paddle sports after a trip down the Wolf River with his father, Bob.
“It was a beautiful summer morning-slightly overcast, and very relaxing,” said Jeff. “As we encountered countless species of wildlife-such as leatherback snapping turtles, and Osprey-we developed an even greater respect for Mother Nature.”
After their trip was over, it dawned on Jeff that no one else was out there. Wolf River Paddle Sports was created in Jeff’s mind at that very moment. He thought about nothing else and was determined to make this dream a reality.
After taking a class at the local technical college through the Venture Center, he developed a business plan, became an American Canoe Association (ACA) canoe instructor, and worked through a few years of planning to make the business a reality.
Wolf River Paddle Sports offers a variety of paddling trips, including a 5-hour Wolf River trip, 2.5-hour Little Wolf trip, and 2.5 hour Wolf River trip through the downtown area and along the Sturgeon Trail. Paddlers can be shuttled to their drop in location with a 15-passenger van and specially made canoe and kayak trailer. A fleet of 28 canoes and 10 kayaks are ready and waiting to take paddlers down the river. Kayak trips start at $25, while canoe trips start at $30. A special “Embarrass River Run” trip is available Monday through Friday at 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. for those who want to change up their exercise routine by doing a up and down the river paddle. This trip costs $10, and must be booked in advance.
“We’re sure that we can find the right paddling experience for anyone,” commented Jeff. “We also have an ‘all day fishing pass’, which provides one of two canoes specifically made for fishing and outfitted with rod holders. Just bring your poles, tackle, fishing license, and other gear and we’ll drop you off so that you can fish all day.”
Float trips will be offered through mid-October, and interested parties are invited to attend an open house on any Wednesday afternoon from 2-7 p.m. at 320 E. North Water Street. Attendees can try out a canoe or kayak for free.
Jeff said he hopes to expand the business in the future to offer expanded routes and possibly a few overnight trips.
Wolf River Paddle Sports is open seven days a week and has a trip schedule available on their website at www.wolfriverpaddlesports.com. Trips can be booked at the website or by calling 920-538-5198. To learn more about the business, visit their page on Facebook.