Pure Michigan River Voyages

Pure Michigan River Sports - Courtesy of Midwest Living MagazineRugged outdoor enthusiasts take to our rivers and streams to enjoy the many ways and wonders of a Pure Michigan summer. So, grab your canoe paddle, kayak, life jackets, fishing gear as well as your camping equipment and head to a Michigan river for a back-to-nature summer getaway. Of the 120 major rivers in Michigan, The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has designated 16 as Natural Rivers to help preserve, protect and enhance the finest systems for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations. Among them are the Two Hearted River and the Fox River, both located in the Upper Peninsula.

In the Lower Peninsula the Au Sable River provides excellent canoeing and kayaking, as well as wildlife viewing, not far from Interstate 75. Pitch a tent and make the Alcona Canoe Rental & Campground in Glennie your base for exploring the wilderness along the Au Sable between Grayling and Oscoda, or enjoy primitive camping along the river.

This stretch is the site of the longest non-stop canoe race in North America, the 120-mile Weyerhaeuser Au Sable River International Canoe Marathon. As trained teams expertly paddle for 14 hours through the night, hoards of spectators race along the banks of the river to follow the action. The 68th annual event and related festivities take place July 25-26.

If you're in need of a guide to help you maneuver the rivers and streams of Michigan, contact one of these outfitters:

For additional information on Michigan's lakes and streams, visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.