About Us


Uncommon Philosophy

Life is short. We want to help you make the most of it. We depend on the wild places of this planet for water, air, and a good dose of sanity. Positive wilderness experiences lead to a personal investment in their survival. Uncommon Adventures wants to help you realize your dreams while cultivating the preservation of that big, beautiful world out there. We apply our craft through activities that are fun, self-propelled, and offer various degrees of physical challenge, from mild to wild.

All experience levels are encouraged to join these trips — we enjoy sharing skills taught by the very best instructors available.

Uncommon Adventures specializes in kayak tours, certified kayak instruction, instructor training, corporate retreats and backcountry fly fishing in fresh and saltwater environments. Since 1984, expert guides and professional workshop leaders have made Uncommon Adventures a good find for individuals, small groups and corporations.

We do not strive to be a large tour company offering “cookie cutter” experiences to all corners of the world. Our focus is to offer excellence in a few very special locations that we know well, or we partner with local guides for the best local knowledge couple with our own high standards. Uncommon Adventures does not offer “seen that done that” kinds of experiences, but rather programs that are instructional in nature. You’ll walk away with new skills, feeling more of an intimacy with the waterscapes traveled within.

Mission Statement

“We live in a highly developed nation, with very specialized jobs, packed schedules and to-do lists that rival the roll in the bathroom. It is the beginning of the 21st century and we have never been more divorced from the planet that gives us life. I’ve developed these programs to address a screaming need for us all to get our hands dirty, our feet wet and breathe the musky aroma of earth back into our lungs. Put down that cell phone, go off-line, get out of the race…come outside and play.”

— Michael Gray, Director

Travel and Industry Awards

  • Cover story 2004 Kayak Touring Magazine
  • Featured in Canoe and Kayak’s 2004 Destination Guide
  • Presenter at over 140 Sea Kayak Symposia nationwide
  • Selected to teach Outdoor Cooking at Nelson, New Zealand’s polytech
  • Featured in NatGeo, Sea Kayaker Magazine, Ocean Paddler, Men’s Journal, Traverse Magazine and others


  • American Canoe Association
  • British Canoe Union

Organizations We Have Partnered With

  • Chippewa Nature Center, Inc
  • Whirlpool Corporation, Dunrovin Center
  • National High Adventure Programs, Boy Scouts of America
  • Venture Scouts
  • Camp Timbers
  • Michigan Travel Writers Tour
  • Crossing Latitudes
  • The Northwest Passage
  • The Adventure Company