4 RIVERS, PLENTY OF WAYS TO PADDLE

Bring the whole family and enjoy the 4 rivers in Manistee County.

Boat, float or play.

HOW DO YOU WANT TO PADDLE?

Take on one of our rivers & have one of our rental liveries handle all the details. All you need is your swimsuit, snacks and your best friends! – or – go at your own pace and explore our inland lakes

RIVERS & RENTALS

Bring your own boat, or rent from one of our liveries and explore one of our 4 awesome rivers.  Read about each one, find your match, and let’s go on a river vacation!

THRILLING ADVENTURES ON THE PINE

With a little bit of White Water!

Blessing the southeast corner of Manistee County, the Pine River is one of Michigan’s top recreational rivers. While the current varies on different stretches, the awe-inspiring beauty is a constant. Meandering through miles of National and State Forest, you can experience the undeveloped riverscape and deep river valley on a stretch of lower-gradient, mild current, or opt to go for the gusto on a more spirited stretch of river enjoying the Class I rapids for which the Pine is famous.

“The Pine River is regarded as the best paddlesports river in lower Michigan”

– Pine River Paddlesports, Local Rental Livery servicing the Pine and Big Manistee Rivers

Rentals & River Trips on the Pine

Pine River Paddlesports Center
9590 M-37 | Wellston 231-862-3471 www.thepineriver.com

Facilitating full-tilt family-fun on the magic of the Manistee and Pine, Michigan’s premiere paddlesport rivers. From rafts to SUP’s, canoes and kayaks, we are uniquely positioned to fit you to craft that are both size and experience appropriate.

“The high banks offer incredible views as you paddle!”

EASY FLOATS ON THE BIG MANISTEE RIVER

The Big Manistee River is wide, and smooth flowing with no rapids or tight corners to navigate. Much of the river is about 2-5’ deep with a few deeper spots at the switch-backs.

IDEAL TRIPS: Two ideal trips on the Big Manistee River are Hodenpyl Dam down to Red Bridge, and Tippy Dam to High Bridge. These are perfect for families with kids and large groups on kayaks, canoes, rafts or tubes. These stretches also offer plenty of sand bars, so you and your group can get out and stretch your legs. If you want to spend an entire day on the water, continue from High Bridge to Bear Creek.

Rentals & River Trips on the Big Manistee

Manistee Paddlesport Adventures
231 Parkdale Ave. | Manistee 231-233-3265 | www.instalaunch.com/paddlesports

Offering family oriented Canoe, Kayak, & Tube trips on the lower section of the Big Manistee River and more challenging Canoe & Kayak trips on the Little Manistee River.


Pine River Paddlesports Center
9590 M-37 | Wellston 231-862-3471 www.thepineriver.com

Facilitating full-tilt family-fun on the magic of the Manistee and Pine, Michigan’s premiere paddlesport rivers. From rafts to SUP’s, canoes and kayaks, we are uniquely positioned to fit you to craft that are both size and experience appropriate.


Wilderness Canoe Trips
6052 Riverview Rd. at M-37 Bridge Mesick, MI 49668 | 231-885-1485 www.manisteerivertrips.com

Big Manistee River floats north of the Hodenpyl Dam by canoe, kayak, raft or tube for beginners or experienced. Two- to five-hour trips, daily or overnight up to 7 days. Sand bars, wildlife sanctuary, picnic and camping areas on the River’s beautiful, ever-changing landscape. Build your own trip. Hodenpyl Dam to Red Bridge trips not available at this time.

QUICK FLOATS ON THE LITTLE MANISTEE

Swift flowing and plenty of fun

The Little Manistee River is a much smaller river when you compare it to the Big Manistee, but we still consider it an easy to moderate river to paddle depending on which section you choose.

If you are a beginner and armed with a tube, canoe or kayak, we recommend staying below the Manistee Weir. An ideal float is the Weir down to Old Stronach Bridge. It is great for an afternoon with a stop for a snack and conversation. If you continue down to Stronach Park, be prepared to paddle. The current slows to a creep just below the Stronach Bridge, so save your energy, because, even though you are only about 1/4 of a mile to your pull-out, it will require you to really paddle to get there.

Intermediate paddlers and beginners who are feeling adventurous will enjoy 6 Mile or 9 Mile Bridge down to the weir. The higher on the river you go, the more difficult. The river is narrow and will require some tight turns. It isn’t too deep though averaging 1-3’ so you can always get out if you need to.

“The Little Manistee River is for the more adventurous and experienced paddler.”

– Jim Baldwin, Manistee Paddlesports

Rentals & River Trips on the Little Manistee River

Manistee Paddlesport Adventures
231 Parkdale Ave. | Manistee 231-233-3265 | www.instalaunch.com/paddlesports

Offering family oriented Canoe, Kayak, & Tube trips on the lower section of the Big Manistee River and more challenging Canoe & Kayak trips on the Little Manistee River.

“Perfect for any experience level with beautiful scenery all around”

QUIET ADVENTURES ON THE BETSIE

The Betsie River, found on the northern edge of the County, is ideal for beginner to intermediate paddlers looking for a relaxing float. The current is smooth, but upper portions of the river offer tight switch backs and some downed obstacles to navigate. You can also rent a canoe or kayak at Crystal Adventures.

Rentals & River Trips on the Betsie

Crystal Adventures
17227 Vondra Rd at M115 Thompsonville, MI 49683 231-378-2831 | crystaladventures.com

ATV, Kayak and Snowmobile rentals. Paddle the Betsie River, ride the beautiful, groomed Manistee/Benzie trails, Park & Ride/Sled & Bed lodging packages available.

DROP IN & GO

When people come up north for vacation, they often bring one vehicle with the whole family. With that, you lose the second car for staging a vehicle on a river. No problem, bring your boats and drop-in where you don’t need to stage a vehicle and worry about getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ on any schedule.

The Manistee Lake to Lake Michigan Paddle: The paddle is easy, as the river is fairly wide and free flowing – however, if the wind kicks up, it will make you work a little harder to get to Lake Michigan or back to the Manistee Lake depending on the direction. If you are lucky, you will also catch a freighter moving through the channel, or the sounds of a free Roots on the River concert.


 

Bear Lake offers a great launch at Hopkins Park where you can rent watercraft at Bear Lake Marine (next door). Also enjoy their music on the water summer concert series.


 

Portage Lake has two launch sites where you can enjoy a paddle in the lake to Lake Michigan and also stop at Lahey’s Pub at the Portage Point Resort. You can also rent a SUP or kayak from Papa J’s.


 

Arcadia Lake has an ADA launch site with access to the Arcadia Marsh and Shipwreck sites along the shores of Lake Michigan.


 

 

BY AIR OR LAND, IT'S EASY TO GET HERE

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