Since 2008 I’ve been leading snowshoe classes at the Clearing in Northern Door County. The Jenson Schoolhouse provides a warm and cozy space to meet. The class, “Discover the Clearing on Snowshoes,” is meant to help beginners get comfortable and gain some basic skills on their snowshoes. During this workshop I discuss types of snowshoes, anatomy of the snowshoe, history, utilization as a tool, changes of materials throughout the years, and current use & design. Often, one or two participants bring their own snowshoes and we are able to view the differences in current styles. Sometimes, participants are completely new to snowshoeing. This year I had a participant all the way from New Mexico!

After covering all the basics of the snowshoes themselves, we focus on how to walk and move in snowshoes. We talk about racing, climbing, side stepping, balance, and gait. Before heading outside, we strap our snowshoes on and learn another critical skill: how to fall and get up! We practice until everyone is comfortable, and then head out into the sparkling snow.

We didn’t have much snow this year, but it was just enough to protect our snowshoes from damage. I lead participants along a beautiful trail through the woods. We walked for a while and found ourselves in an area that used to be a clearing. Today, Northern yew, a beautiful evergreen, has overgrown much of the clearing. A large wood-chip pile allowed us to practice how to ascend and descend with different steps on the slopes. We used a herringbone step, kick steps, and more! After practicing all of our steps, we moved back into the woods and walked among the maples and hemlocks adorned with snow. We were lucky enough to flush out a rough grouse from his log and it was an incredible sight to see!  After watching him fly off, we continued on our trek and began to make our way back to the schoolhouse.

By this time in our afternoon, everyone’s balance and movement had really improved!  With a faster pace, we moved down to the cliff edge to overlook the beautiful Bay of Green Bay. It was a breathtaking sight and certainly one of the most memorable parts of our journey.   

I’m honored to be a part of this class every year & even when the ground isn’t covered in as much snow as I hope for, my time in the woods with these folks is always memorable.  I look forward to seeing what next year’s workshop will behold!

-Tim Pflieger

 

 

The new year is here! If your new year’s resolution is to try something new or to reach new heights then you may want to check out Door County Adventure Center’s newest renovation! In 2016 the team tackled the project of increasing height, routes, and challenge in our indoor rock climbing gym!


The first step we took was to expand our former initiatives wall. This wall reached 14 feet high, so we added another 11 feet to reach the ceiling of the barn.  Building as high as we could without knocking out the roof we were able to increase to a 25 foot wall.

 

Next we added “bump-outs” to add some incline, challenge, and fun edges for climbers to work around. We chose an overhang, diamond, and box for the wall, putting one shape on each route.

 

The third step was to add a ton of paint! We used the same color as the rest of the climbing walls, but decided to add a little splash for the bump outs. Canyon red and royal purple were chosen for the space, and add a nice pop of color!

Lastly we drilled holes and placed hand holds. This included a lot of talking through the wall and trying to describe placement by poking wrenches through existing holes. Finally, we measured some rope, tested out the routes, and made adjustments where they were needed. The wall features 3 anchors to climb from and an additional 5 routes to challenge even skilled climbers. We’re excited to announce that in 2017 our new addition to the rock wall is open!

The original rock wall is still open so you don’t have to be an expert to climb with us! We have indoor routes for youth & beginners as well, and feature one of the few silo rock climbing walls in the state! This silo is built for beginners to learn the basics of climbing and challenge their new skills, complete with a cow bell to ring at the top!

 

Our full set of rock walls are utilized with team building and leadership development groups that we work with year round including sports teams, schools, and corporate teams but the wall is open to the general public, by appointment only.   Simply give us a call at 920.746.9539 or send us an email at adventures@teamleadership.com. We’ll find the time you’re looking for and have a staff member ready when you arrive!

 

When you join us for a climb in 2017 we will have certified professionals help you gear up in harnesses, helmets, and rock climbing shoes. We’ll go over basic climbing information, then get you hooked up to the ropes and climbing! We’ll start off on the smaller routes and build our way to the higher challenges. Once you’ve finished climbing we’ll de-gear and send you on your way (unless you chose to add on with a zip line experience afterwards)!  Climbing days are in high demand now that the new wall is open so don’t wait!  Call today!

For more information you can check out our rock wall page at http://www.dcadventurecenter.com/tours/recreational-rock-climbing/!

 

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When I say the word “winter” you probably think about sitting by a fire inside with a cup of hot cocoa, a fuzzy blanket, and a good book. For me the word winter means chilly days filled with all kinds of outdoor adventures!  I work at an adventure company that offers winter zip lining, which means that on any given day I might get a call from some crazy adventure-child wanting to go zip lining even though it’s snowing and 20 degrees outside!  It’s my job to take them but I’m happy to do so because if they’re willing to go freeze their butt of 41-feet above the ground for an hour then by-golly I’m going to make it a fun hour!   

When we get people who are want to zip in the cold, we have to spend the first ten minutes of their experience stuffing giant winter jackets into harnesses and figuring out how to work around the extra inches of padding. After helmets and gear are all finally in place we start our ascent only to find out how hard it is to climb a few stairs in snowpants and a snow jacket with the extra padding with weight! From the top of the first zip it’s hard to ignore that it’s really really cold!  Eyes watering, lips frozen into a smile, and hands un-moving in a death-grip around their lanyard, participants immediately rejoice in their awesome decision to go zip lining in winter because it’s an incredible, memorable adventure that not many people are willing to brave in Wisconsin’s extreme cold.

The second zip is the fastest, and also the most scenic. Flying through the 750 foot long zip, participants try to get a view of the wetland as they pass over. In the spring there are fawn in the grasses, but this time of year you’re greeted by the lovely chickadees who are winter residents. ZOOM. Then in an instant you’re gone and up onto the next platform.

Taking a few steps up, participants complete the last zip in the winter wonderland, reach the ground, take off all of the gear.  Abundant thank yous are shouted as everyone rushes to get inside to warm up their rosey faces, watering eyes, and cold fingers. Once all of the adventure gear is put away I take a seat at my desk with a cup of steaming hot cocoa from the secret trail stash.  I look out the big, front window and watch the crazy adventurers drive away, smiles still frozen in place. I sure do love my job…even in the winter.

Sincerely – your favorite winter zip line guide!

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Door County Adventure Center does a lot of trips. We lead school retreats, women’s retreats, couples trips, and Girl Scout trips. One of the many popular locations we take people is the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.  Aka: Kayaker’s paradise. If you love serious kayaking, this is the place to be. However, it takes a bit of skill, talent, and stubbornness to truly kayak around the Apostle Islands.

The first time I co-led a multi-day trip for the center we were outfitting and guiding for a group of Girl Scouts. I was co-leading the trip with our seasoned guide, Sue, who knew the area like the back of her hand. Knowing my co-guide was awesome, experienced, and had a whole slew of back-up plans for bad weather was great! But going into this trip I was still a bit nervous, and therefore over-prepared. We were car-camping, so I took the opportunity to pack so many layers I was ready to summit a mountain and go surfing in the tropics all on the same trip. I brought along so many water bottles I could have supplied two troops of scouts. I packed snacks for an army of squirrels. I checked and double checked gear. I got up to the campground (about 5 hours from base camp) and I realized that I brought a single spray skirt the wrong size. A spray skirt keeps water out of your kayak and is absolutely essential for kayaking the area and the skirt I had wasn’t going to fit any of the boats we took along.

On a normal trip, this would be pretty bad. I’d be running around to all of the local kayaking shops and hoping that one of them had a spray skirt that fit my boat. Which would probably have been a long shot. Thankfully, the owner of the company, Tim, happened to be up in the same area leaving the next day after finishing a couple’s retreat in the Apostles and he happened to be using a spray skirt that would fit my boat. Tim says he doesn’t believe in luck. I’m pretty sure that luck was the only thing that kept me from having a real nightmare that first day of my trip.

After that crisis was solved, I met up with Sue, who was coming from Nebraska, and we had dinner and chatted about the trip. The next morning the scouts arrived, set up camp, and we got the group out to the paddle location. When I asked who had kayaked before every girl raised their hand. It was kayaking on a small inland lake, which is pretty different than Lake Superior, but it’s a start!

We got the girls paddling after an on-land lesson, and worked on maneuvering before moving to wet-exits (getting out of your kayak when it tips over) to conclude the day. The girls all did very well, and I was looking forward to the next day on the water when we would have an opportunity to go see the caves.

The next day paddling to the caves was great. We moved boats down some steps and onto the beach, maneuvered around a couple of day-tour kayakers, and got onto the water pretty swiftly! The first bit of the paddle was pretty rough! We had 1 foot waves or more which was a challenge for the girls. But they were determined to see the caves and did a great job! We were able to get into one cave right away and a few more later on in the trip once the waves died down a little. On the paddle we had a couple of seasick girls which is curable by water and ginger candy (pro tip!) and a little mental toughness! The girls powered through and I managed to help out my two first sea-sick participants.

The following day the weather called for 4 foot or higher waves on Lake Superior so we moved to a sheltered little bay where we were blocked from the lake but still had a great paddle! We started out rough, a boat got stuck in some very shallow water but I managed to get them out even with the wind working against us! We didn’t make it out to an island like we wanted, but we explored some unique ecological areas and had an easy paddle. The girls loved the easy day and the cool scenery!

Overall this trip was a great success. The girls had a blast, developed amazing paddle skills, and had the chance to learn about their own capabilities while enjoying the natural beauty of the Apostles. The massive caves, cool lake, and sunshine make the Apostles a unique paddling destination. We’re always looking to bring new paddlers out to the Islands, and I personally look forward to spending more days out on the water!

The end of summer in Door County is fast approaching as we return to school and the weather gets colder. However, the end of summer doesn’t mean there isn’t still time for adventure! Although our rentals will eventually subside, kayak tours, zipline tours, and programming are available all year round per request!

 

Colorful Kayak Tours!

Join us in the fall for a brisk kayak tour along the beautiful coastlines of Door County. The fall colors and calm water provide the perfect paddle.

Winter Zips!

Experience Door County’s winter wonderland from above! Join us on our adventure zipline for some winter zipping fun.

Programs!

Door County Adventure Center offers programming for corporate groups, schools, and non-profit organization all year long. Programming focuses on personal growth, leadership development, and team building and is designed specifically for each group!

Check out our end of season sale!

Door County Adventure Center’s end of season sale takes place over labor day weekend and we hope to see you there! All SUPs, kayaks, and paddles will be available for purchase at our Egg Harbor Beach location, first come first serve! We offer incredible prices and high quality equipment. For more information please call (920) 746-9539 or visit one of our locations!

– Abbey Pomeroy, Marketing Intern

Being born and raised here in Door County, I thought I had seen it all. I had been to all the state parks, climbed all the bluffs, I had even been out on a boat before. But everything changed when I kayaked Door County for the first time.

I had never previously had a reason or opportunity to hop on a kayak; I assumed it was just like boating but with more work involved. When my sister took the job of a kayak guide, she urged me to paddle along on one of her tours. I hesitated at first, but a close friend of ours desperately wanted to try, and needed a buddy to join her on the tour which used tandem boats. So I gave in, threw on my life jacket, and went for a paddle.

Physically, our kayak tour was rough. My friend and I could not keep our kayak from turning right, we were both exhausted midway though, and I got a sun burn that still haunts me to this day. But I will still remember this day as the best day of my life, because it was magical! We kayaked alongside the cliffs at Peninsula State Park and passed by Eagle Tower, which I had climbed many times before, and new the scenery by heart. But seeing the cliffs from the kayak gave me a whole new perspective. After this experience, a passion grew in me to be out on a kayak again.

A few years later when the job opportunity arose to work at Door County Adventure Center arose, I jumped at the chance. During our orientation, we kayaked all of our tour locations to get an understanding of what our company offered. I immediately fell in love with the Mink River Estuary, located in Rowleys Bay. With its pristine water, tranquil scenery, and abundant wildlife, I couldn’t help but feel like a true adventurer.

Seeing the peninsula from a kayak is like being reintroduced to it. You can experience the water like never before, put your hand into it, and let it take you on a magic carpet ride. On clear days you can even see one of the many shipwrecks that are sprinkled around the shores up close.

Even when launching from the same location multiple times, it’s always a different experience. Everything changes dependent on the season, weather, water levels, even the time of day. Every kayak adventure is a unique and unforgettable experience.

So if you think you’ve seen all that Door County has to offer, join us on one of our kayak tours and discover a whole new world! We offer a variety of kayaking services around the county from guided tours to rentals, and our staff is eager to introduce you to its waters.

-Amanda Bagnall-Newman, Marketing Intern

This blog post is devoted to why you should try Stand Up Paddle Boarding- if you haven’t already!

I have worked down at the rental stand at our Egg Harbor Beach location throughout most of the summer, and I have seen a lot of people interested in paddle boarding. Most of the customers that are interested in Paddle Boarding give themselves a hard time saying, “Nah, I’m too old” or “I will never be able to stand up on the board” this is where I come in and say “YOU CAN DO IT!” Seriously, anybody young or old can do paddle boarding! It looks way more difficult on land that it actually is on water!

With all our rentals we offer a paddle lesson before heading out on the water so that everyone feels comfortable with paddling. During this lesson we also go over safety instructions and boundaries. A lot of customers are thankful for this quick lesson because it ensures our renters that it will be a safe experience on the water. For the first time paddle boarders we go over how to stand up on the board, board safety, and the best ways to balance on the board. After everyone feels comfortable we head down to the water where the board is then placed into the water. We let everyone know that it is easiest to start off by kneeling on the board and then when you feel comfortable you can try standing. This is my favorite part- seeing all the customers who said they couldn’t do it actually paddle boarding!

I love giving people encouragement to try something new! It definitely makes my job rewarding seeing so many happy customers after conquering the water on a stand up paddle board. I hope this blog gives you the courage to try something new! And don’t forget to come visit us, Door County Adventure Center, down at the beach!

-PS. If you have never tried zip lining before be sure to check out both of our zip line locations, you don’t want to miss out on this thrilling experience! It is always fun and rewarding to try something new!

-Courtney Passon, Marketing Intern

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a kayak guide? Well wonder no more, because we have the inside scoop on a day in the life of a guide. I sat down with one of our guides, Evan Freimuth, and he told me all about how his days usually go.

“Every day is pretty similar, with little things that make each trip unique. You get to experience the outdoors, not just on the perfect days but in all of its different forms. This leads to a work experience that it really variable and enjoyable because it’s not monotonous. You get to meet a lot of cool people and you get to meet them in their own element; they don’t have a wall up, they are on vacation, having fun and you get to hear their stories because they are living in the moment. It’s fun to come to work and know exactly what you’re going to do, but not exactly how you’re going to get from A to B until it happens. In a lot of ways you let the group lead you and you just follow along giving some direction. All in all it’s a really good experience to be able to work where you’re just trying to show people a good time.”

I think it’s interesting to get the point of view of a guide because their presence & personality really enhance our guest’s experience on the water.  At Door County Adventure Center all of our guides attend an extensive American Canoe Association training in the Spring & receive their certifications in the fall after a season of paddling.  It’s one of the things that sets us apart and really helps us ensure the highest level of safety and water management on our kayak tours.

Door County Adventure Center has numerous paddling locations in Door County and Evan is a guide at all of them.

  • Whitefish Dunes State Park offers an incredible paddle on Lake Michigan with a shipwreck, bluffs and caves! It’s our most popular tour and certain to be an adventurous paddle!
  • Kayak tours that depart from the Stone Harbor Marina in Sturgeon Bay head to Bay Shipbuilding to get an up-close view of some of the amazing 1,000 ft ships docked on site.
  • Looking for a romantic way to enjoy the sunset? Join us on a stand-up paddle board tour at the Egg Harbor Village Beach!  It’s a beautiful and memorable way to enjoy one of the most amazing sunsets in the county.
  • In addition, we offer a kayak tour of the Mink River in Ellison Bay, departing from the Rowleys Bay Resort, and they are arguably the most scenic and peaceful tour in the county. A Mink River paddle allows you to see a side of Door County you couldn’t otherwise experience.

Next time you’re in the area join us for a paddle and maybe you’ll get lucky and have Evan as your guide.  No matter which site you choose to paddle at, Door County Adventure Center promises a fun & memorable experience for everyone!

-Jacob Shields, Marketing Intern

It’s the heat of summer in Door County, WI which means it is the perfect time to visit the beach! Door County Adventure Center has five locations, one of which is at Beach View Park in Egg Harbor, WI. In addition to DCAC’s kayak and paddleboard rentals, Beach View Park also offers a great beach, pavilion, and playground area.

1. Paddleboard and kayak rentals.

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Our Egg Harbor location is open from 10am to 6pm daily, which gives you plenty of time to check out our rentals! Paddleboards and single kayaks start at $20/hour and tandem kayaks at $25/hour. Our affordable rentals come with a quick lesson and tons of fun! We also rent out Sportbrellas to protect you from the heat of the summer.

 

2. Beach toys and accessories.

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It wouldn’t be a day at the beach without some swimming and sandcastle fun! Try out one of sandcastle buckets, floaties, or fun beach games! Our Egg Harbor location also offers hands-free Drinking Buddies for our adult beach goers!!

 

3. Delicious snacks.

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Looking for some delicious treats after a day in the sun? Try our tasty ice cream treats! We also have a variety of other snacks including chips, soda, and water.

 

4. Beautiful sunsets.

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Door County Adventure Center offers Sunset Paddleboard tours every day of the week. Tours are led by one our amazing guides, $50 per person, and feature some of the most incredible sunsets in the world! Make reservations online, at any of our locations, or call (920) 746-9539.

 

5. Friendly and fun staff.

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If you’re not convinced that a day with DCAC is the plan for your next beach day, our amazing staff will surely convince you. Come hang out with us down at the beach, we’re looking forward to meeting you!

-Abbey Pomeroy, Marketing Intern

Door County Adventure Center is such a diverse operation that it is hard to sum up everything we offer in one name. We have five sites in Door County that offer a wide variety of activities including team building, leadership development, zip lining, a high & low ropes course, paddleboarding and kayaking. Our company growth over the past 25 years has resulted in several name changes.

Door County Adventure Center, formerly known as the Team Leadership Center, was founded by Timothy L. Pflieger in the fall of 1994. His family invested in his vision by approving the use of the Pflieger property in the town of Sevastopol.  Together they turned a turn-of-the-century dairy barn into a team building facility and the outside grounds into a high & low ropes course.

In October of that year, renovations began on the building to convert the structure into a useable space for adventure-based learning. Jon Pflieger, Tim’s younger brother, was hired as a general contractor for the renovation project. A.B.E.E., Inc. was contracted for the construction of the high-low ropes challenge course. In January of 1995, Team Leadership Center was incorporated.

The Team Leadership Center’s acronym, TLC, was the inspiration behind its name. Its marketing tag line stating, “Is it time to give your team a little TLC?” Originally, the Team Leadership Center exclusively worked with corporate programs and incorporated kayaking and its ropes course into those programs. A year later, after a demand for kayak tours arose, we expanded and opened a branch of the business called Kayaking Adventures.

The company later added its gravity zip line, which gained attention quickly. An interest in zip lining arose from the general public, and we opened our course to visitors. The name Kayaking Adventures became irrelevant, so the company rebranded itself in 2011 as Door County Adventure Center. Our company now offered more than just kayaking, and our name had to accurately reflect this.

The main reason Team Leadership Center changed to Door County Adventure Center was the company’s move to service the tourism market. For years one of The Team Leadership Center’s taglines read “Door County’s Adventure Center”, so when the task of changing the company’s name arose the tagline was adopted.  We continued using “The Team Leadership Center” to reflect the corporate programming portion of our business and “Door County’s Adventure Center” was used to market the pay-for-play aspect of the company.  Needless to say using two names got a little confusing and after doing so for several years we’ve decided that it’s time to make a change one last time.

This 2016 season, we are rebranding to “Door County Adventure Center” to encompass all aspects of our business. We have partnered with Arketype, a Green Bay based marketing company, to develop our new brand standards. We are striving for consistency in an attempt to solidify who we are and who we want to be. Door County Adventure Center offers a variety of activities as a company that no other name could quite describe.  With that being said, we didn’t abandon “The Team Leadership Center” completely.  We now use that as a description of one of our locations ~ Door County Adventure Center at the Team Leadership Center site.

Join us for one of our many adventures at one of locations in Door County!

  • Door County Adventure Center at the Team Leadership Center site in Sturgeon Bay
  • Door County Adventure Center at the Egg Harbor Village Beach
  • Door County Adventure Center at the Stone Harbor Marina
  • Door County Adventure Center at the Whitefish Dunes State Park
  • Door County Adventure Center at Rowleys Bay Resort

-Amanda Bagnall-Newman, Marketing Intern