Solitude Sports is where you will find real world reports and gear reviews of quiet sports like bicycling, kayaking, backpacking, hiking, cross country skiing and more.


Northern Lights at the Sleeping Bear Dunes

This past weekend, the Northern Lights or properly, the Aurora Borealis, were predicted to be visible in much of Northern Michigan. Having been fortunate to have seen the Northern Lights on a few occasions and having been lucky to photograph them last year, I gathered my camera gear and headed out to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to try my luck. As it turned out, the geomagnetic storm peaked during the daylight hours and they were barely noticeable. The Milky Way turned out to be the real show for the evening. A few hours alone, in an obscure location in the dunes was very peaceful – crickets, wind rustled leaves, and the howl of a few coyotes kept me company.


Things to see on North Manitou Island

(Updated May 13, 2018) North Manitou Island is a popular backpacking destination due to its easy access and being one of only a few designated wilderness areas in the Midwest. Many backpackers who visit North Manitou try to hike as…

Things to do on North Manitou Island

North Manitou Island is located eight miles off the coast of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. To get there requires a ferry ride, an overnight stay, and planning. With that in mind, visitors often ask, “What are the things…


Ritchey Ultra Mountain Bike Review

Tom Ritchey builds good bikes. Seriously. The Ritchey Ultra is however beyond good. It should be, as Tom has building mountain bikes since the dawn of mountain biking. The Ultra is the newest distillation of Ritchey’s more than 40 years…


Upcoming 2019 Michigan Kayak Symposiums

Symposiums are a great way to learn kayaking skills. Taught by experienced paddlers, typically, ACA or BCU certified coaches; one can learn an incredible amount of useful information in a fun, safe, hands-on environment. 30th Annual WMCKA Symposium Montague, MI…

NRS Freestyle Wetshoe Review

My Valley Nordkapp RM has little spare room for big feet. In the summer, this hasn’t been too much of a problem but during dry suit season, finding footwear that can accommodate the extra bulk of socks and the dry…

The Famous Blue IKEA Bag

Stuff. Lots of stuff. Kayaking involves plenty of stuff. Carrying all this stuff from your car to your kayak and vice versa can be a logistical juggling act that even Tenzing Norgay would subcontract out. Since Sherpas and kayaking don't…
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