Northern Michigan Vacations: Summer Paddling and Boating in Little Traverse
Northern Michigan Vacations: Get out on the water this summer in Little Traverse!
Jun 14, 2013 Matt Crisimmi
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Bear River Valley Recreation Area’s recent $2.4 million facelift included returning a spectacular stretch of the Bear River to its natural wild state. Dams were removed, industrial areas were cleaned, and the result is one of Michigan’s few true whitewater experiences, with challenging drops and rapids to thrill experienced paddlers. Bonus: You won’t have to travel far to find it; the park is just steps from downtown Petoskey
. Find the park’s main entrances off Lake and West Sheridan Streets. petoskeyarea.com
Bear River Canoe Livery
For a slower journey down the Bear River, rent canoes or kayaks through this laid-back livery, which offers one-, two-, and four-hour paddling trips along a quiet stretch of the river. Perfect for new paddlers and families with young kids, with lots of scenery and wildlife sightings along the way. 2517 McDougall Rd., 231.347.9038.
The meandering, 40-mile Inland Waterway is the state’s largest interconnected chain of lakes and rivers, stretching from Pickerel Lake, east of Petoskey, all the way to where the Cheboygan River empties into Lake Huron. Round up your friends and rent a pontoon for a leisurely day trip of fishing, swimming, and sightseeing; Windjammer Cove & Marina in Oden has rentals and can point you to the best spots for exploring along your trip. 231.347.6103, windjammermarina.com
Shepler's Lighthouse Cruise
The company whose name you might recognize from the Mackinac Island
ferry docks also offers cruises around the Straits, where passengers can get close-up views of some of the area’s most remote lighthouses. Each trip includes narration about Great Lakes maritime history, shipwrecks, navigation methods and other cool facts. Cruises range between three and five hours each; reservations strongly recommended. 231.436.5023, sheplersferry.com