Wherever you stand in the Michigan you’re within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes, and an inland lake or stream is no further than six miles away. With that kind of access to waterways, stop standing; step into a canoe, row boat, or kayak and start paddling!
Michigan has over 11,000 inland lakes and 3,200 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. Plus 36,000 miles of streams and rivers—although not all of them are navigable.
Some Michigan state parks provide the best canoeing opportunities. Tahquamenon Falls State Park, in the Upper Peninsula, has canoes and row boats available for rent from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Be sure to consult a park ranger about the water course and the falls.
At the Seney National Wildlife Refuge, in the central Eastern Upper Peninsula, canoeing is permitted on three of its rivers and one creek. Enjoy an exhilarating day trip as the refuge does not offer overnight camping options. Watercrafts can be rented in the nearby town of Germfask.
Nestled in the Huron-Manistee National Forest, west of Cadillac, the family-owned and operated Pine River Paddlesports Center in Wellston offers a mind-boggling array of canoes, rafts and kayaks for enjoying the Pine River, (designated a Natural River) and the Big Manistee River.
In another corner of the forest, Baldwin Canoe Rental claims to have the largest and most complete canoe, kayak and raft fleet in the state. Its 12-hour paddle is popular, but you can choose a three-hour excursion or a five-day trip to take you all the way to Lake Michigan.
For a complete list of Michigan canoeing and kayaking destinations, click here.