Date Published: December 22nd, 2015
Publication Name: Record-Eagle.com

TRAVERSE CITY — Visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will be able to take guided tours along the scenic shoreline next summer.

Jeff Gagie received a commercial use authorization from the National Park Service for his company, All About Water, to provide the tours.

“I had to apply to do this and describe what I intended to do,” Gagie said. “They considered all the impacts that my commercial operations would have on the park.”

Gagie started All About Water in 2014 as an online kayak and paddle board rental company operating during the summer. The company delivered to waters as close as downtown Traverse City and as far as Bellaire.

“I would see the beautiful Lake Michigan water and I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to see the shoreline from a unique perspective,” Gagie said.

Customers can choose from tour routes going around Pierce Stocking, Pyramid Point or Good Harbor Bay.

Each guide will be trained by a credentialed American Canoe Association instructor.

“The authorization I got has a number of restrictions and requirements concerning safety,” Gagie said. “I have tremendous respect for the water and I want people to have a safe and fun experience.”

Gagie hopes to begin the tours mid-June to allow time for the lake waters to warm up. Vouchers are already available at www.allaboutwaterusa.com for $60 per person. Cost includes the kayak rental and other necessary equipment like life jackets, paddles, dry bags for personal items and wet suits for cold weather.