Frequently Asked Questions

Main Location
Open 7 days/week

Located in Jerry’s Docks
318 SOUTH Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204

Our main location is located on the south side of the river, in the Harbor District, across from the Historic Third Ward. You can see the Hoan Bridge when launching from the end of our dock.

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Schlitz Park Location

Open Saturdays + Sundays

1555 North RiverCenter Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53212
(414) 301-2240

Our Schlitz Park location is located upriver from our Main Location and is located in the Schlitz Park parking lot across from the North End Apartments. Look for our gray shipping container set up near the river.

Visit our Find Us page for map and directions.

Milwaukee Kayak Company
MAIN LOCATION

318 SOUTH Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Current Hours (after Labor Day weekend):
Monday-Friday 10am-7:00pm
Saturday + Sunday 9am-7:00pm
* all boats due back by 7:00pm
* all boats due back by 6:30pm starting Monday, September 13th
* all boats due back by 6pm starting Friday, October 1st
* we plan to stay open for the season through Sunday, October 17th 🙂
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Milwaukee Kayak Company
Schlitz Park location
*currently closed for the season
*see you next Spring!

1555 North RiverCenter Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53212

We recommend making reservations to ensure boat availability. Please click on the "Book Now" button on the bottom right corner to check availability and to make a reservation. You may also call or text us with any questions. Thanks!

Our fleet of boats includes mostly single person kayaks that fit one person (age 12+). We also carry tandem kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards. Our tandem kayaks fit two adults OR one adult and one child. Our canoes fit two adults OR one adult and one small child. All paddlers need to be 12+ to paddle their own kayaks. There must be an adult in a tandem kayak or canoe with a child present (child = under the age of 18).
Boat Rental Rates:
Single kayak: $35 / 0-4 hours
Tandem kayak: $65 / 0-4 hours
Canoe: $65 / 0-4 hours
Paddleboard (SUP): $35 / 0-4 hours
The cost to rent a single person kayak or paddleboard is $35 for up to 4 hours. The cost to rent a tandem kayak or canoe is $65 for up to 4 hours. When you make your reservation, we will block off 4 hours for you. You can return your boats whenever you’d like during those 4 hours – some paddlers stay out for an hour, some stay out for 4 hours – it’s all up to you!
We recommend making reservations to ensure boat availability, especially on the weekends. Please click on the "Book Now" button on the bottom right corner to check availability and to make a reservation. You may also call or text us with any questions. Thanks!
Beginner and experienced paddlers are welcome! Our rental fleet consists of recreational kayaks which are ideal for slow moving rivers and inland lakes. We advocate for our rivers and recommend that paddlers renting from MKC stay on our rivers and do not venture out past the Hoan Bridge to Lake Michigan (we do not carry sea kayaks).
Experienced paddlers equipped with sea kayaks and proper safety equipment are more suited for large bodies of water, such as Lake Michigan.
All kayakers must launch and return to our dock and need to enter and exit their kayak from our dock. We are not located on a beach where you can push off from land or sand. All of our paddlers must know how to swim and be able to pull themselves up onto a dock if their boat capsizes.

Our kayaks do not fit everyone. The maximum weight capacity for our most stable recreational kayak is 275 lbs. depending on river and weather conditions.

If you have any questions or concerns about weight limits for our kayaks, please give us a call or stop over to talk about kayak options that may work best for you. We are not able to fit all paddlers so if you have any concerns, please call or visit before making your reservation. Thank you.

Yes, we do offer gift certificates. Click on the "Book Now" button on the bottom right of our website to purchase a gift certificate. You can also stop by and purchase one in person through this same process. If you'd like a postcard and stickers to go along with your gift certificate, please let us know and we can mail out to you.

Main Location:
Parking is available on the street or within the gravel area located directly outside of the main entrance gate. We may have parking inside the boatyard too. Please look for our directional signage outside of the boatyard. Please keep all goods locked in your trunk. We have a limited supply of dry bags that you can borrow to protect your belongings.
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Schlitz Park location:
Parking is available in the Schlitz Park parking lot near our dock.

What should you bring:
• You!
• Water bottle filled with water
• Small coolers okay
• Snacks okay
• Dress for the weather – consider bringing a windbreaker (do not wear jeans or heavy cotton)
• Camera
• ID
• Towel(s) to sit on

What should you wear:
You will be paddling, so you may get a little wet while enjoying a great day in the sun.

You should dress for the water temperature (not weather). We recommend wearing lightweight, synthetic, quick dry clothing. Do not wear jeans or heavy cotton clothing. Wear thin-soled shoes or sports sandals. Do not wear boots or thick-soled shoes.

Consider bringing a rain jacket to protect you from wind and other elements. You can always store it in the boat with you.

Please be sure to bring a water bottle filled with water.

The maximum weight capacity for our most stable recreational kayak is 275 lbs. depending on river and weather conditions. Our kayaks do not fit everyone so if you have any questions or concerns about weight limits for our kayaks, please give us a call or stop over to talk about kayak options that may work best for you.
Please know that you must launch from our dock and return to our dock. You must also be able to pull yourself up to a dock if you were to capsize.

All paddlers need to be 12+ to paddle their own kayaks.

Paddlers under the age of 12 can share a tandem kayak or canoe with someone age 18 or older.

All paddlers under the age of 18 need to have their parent/guardian approval, and must have their parents/guardian sign the waiver.

Please call Beth with questions (414) 301-2240.

All of our boat rentals include a life jacket and paddle. All renters must wear a life jacket when near or on the water. We will outfit you when you arrive and have jackets to fit children, youth and adults.

All of our kayaks, canoes and paddleboards must launch and return to our dock, located on our rivers in Downtown Milwaukee. When you paddle with us, you will be paddling on our rivers.

Our main location in Harbor Yards/Jerry’s Docks is located on private property and unfortunately, we cannot launch personal watercraft from this location, only MKC boats. We are all about safety, however, and would never separate one person from another or one person from a group of people renting kayaks/boats from us. Please call to chat and when making a reservation, we will make a note that someone may be bringing their own kayak(s) to launch… it’s very helpful for us to know. Thanks!

Please note that our Schlitz Park weekend location is a public launch and you can launch from there.

Below is list of many great public launches. The first four listed are close to our main location in Harbor Yards/Jerry’s Docks. Our Schlitz Park weekend location is a public launch and you can launch your personal watercraft from that location when we are open. For a complete list, please visit the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail Map on the Milwaukee Riverkeeper website.

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Marine Terminal Lofts – Milwaukee River across from our main location
Directly across from our main location dock on the corner of Erie and the Broadway Street Bridge. Park on the street, walk to the river and look down. You’ll see a dock and a small black kayak launch. Sometimes the gate is locked and sometimes the kayak launch has been removed so please don’t count on this launch but know that it’s there. You can always give us a call to see if we know the status.

Between Hansen’s Landing & Harbor Point Condos – Milwaukee River across and just downriver from MKC
This is a good and close option. It’s located just downriver and across from our main location. This public dock is between Hansen’s Landing and Harbor Point Condos in the Third Ward on Erie Street. Parking is available on the street. This dock is very convenient and is a nice low dock with public access. The closest intersection is E. Polk Street and E. Erie Street – walk down to the river, between the buildings and you’ll see the public launch.

Riverfront Boat Launch – Milwaukee River/Milwaukee Harbor
Another close public launch is the Riverfront Boat Launch at the end of Bruce Street a few blocks down river from MKC directly in line with the Hoan Bridge. There may be a fee to launch from this spot. Please note that this launch can get busy with motorized boats, especially on the weekends. Closest intersection is Bruce Street and South Water Street. Address: 600 S. Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

Harbor View Plaza – Milwaukee Harbor
Located at the east end of Greenfield Avenue in front of the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences. Very kayak friendly dock, just make sure you’re prepared for the weather as it is located in the inner harbor which can be very windy at times.

Emmber Lane – Menomonee River
The Emmber Lane kayak launch on the Menomonee River is a great place to launch your kayak or canoe. The launch is very close to Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful‘s office. Closest intersection is Emmber Lane and Mt. Vernon Avenue on the Menomonee River – launch is on the northwest corner of the bridge.

Kiwanis Landing Boat Launch – Milwaukee River
One of the best places to launch your kayak or canoe is the new Kiwanis Landing Boat Launch near the River Revitalization Foundation offices located on the Milwaukee River near the Humboldt Street bridge. This is very close to the old North Avenue dam. Closest intersection is Humboldt Avenue and Riverboat Road.

Pere Marquette Park – Milwaukee River
Pere Marquette has a nice public dock located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. You may have to park, unload your kayak and then find a parking spot on the street. There are parking structures close by too. This launch is located off N. Old World 3rd Street between W. Kilbourn Avenue and W. State Street. Address: 900 N. Plankinton Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Please call us if you have any questions. – Beth @ MKC

Weather:
Weather is hard to predict, so please come prepared to paddle or give us a call to check in on conditions. We will be in contact with you if we think weather will be an issue as well. Rain, stormy weather, wind and river conditions are all factors when it comes to safe paddling conditions.

Refunds & Cancellations:
We understand that life happens and things come up. We also know that this is a sensitive time for everyone due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. If you need to cancel your reservation for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible and we will provide you a full refund. You can also reschedule for a different date and time – it’s up to you.

If we are closed due to weather (or any other issue), and cannot send you out on our rivers at your scheduled date/time, you will receive a full refund.

If you do not show up for your reservation, you may not receive a refund. We are cool and typically do not have issues with cancellations so give us a call and chat, thanks!

Questions? Please give us a call at (414) 301-2240

We reserve the right to refuse rentals to anyone who may be under the influence of alcohol or for any other reason. Safety is our top priority.