Kayak the Upper Chain of Lakes

With plentiful put-in sites and easy paddling up or down stream on these six lakes—Hanley, Ben-Way, Wilson, Ellsworth and St. Clair—this is a trip you can tailor to your schedule. There are no canoe or kayak rental shops along the Upper Chain, but Jordan Valley Outfitters in East Jordan can outfit you. 231-536-0006. JVOUTFITTERS.COM.


  • In Six Mile Lake, put in at Echo Township Park (SIX MILE LAKE ROAD, 231-544-6644).
  • In Ellsworth, put in at the St. Clair Lake-Six Mile Lake Natural Area, two miles east of Ellsworth on C-48; GTRLC.ORG. Or the Ellsworth Village Park (6625 BRIDGE STREET, 231-588-6382).
  • In Central Lake, put in at Intermediate Lake and paddle into Hanley (231-544-6854, CENTRAL-LAKE.COM).


  • The Wooden Shoe Park in Ellsworth is at the junction of Ellsworth and St. Clair Lake (6625 BRIDGE STREET, 231-588-6382).
  • Wieland’s Whistling Pines is on Ellsworth Lake (7314 RUSHTON ROAD, 231-544-6348).
  • In Central Lake, Thurston Park has 47 sites (231-544-6854, CENTRAL-LAKE.COM).

More Links to Fun in Boyne City, Charlevoix, Elk Rapids, Torch Lake and the Chain of Lakes Region!