Michigan Paddling

It rains in Michigan. Said rain drains into streams and then into hundreds of rivers and thousands of lakes. And this means there is an abundance of great paddling across the Mitten State.

Want to learn about the various watersheds? Check out these resources:

Michigan has a lot of water trails to paddle: has a lot of useful information for planning single- and multi-day trips:

And of course there are many useful general guidebooks (loosely defined):

And some specific guidebooks:

And multi-state guidebooks:

If I feel ambitious later, maybe I’ll add rental outfits, guides, and retail outlets. Maybe. Until then, enjoy #PureMichigan.


Paddling in Southwest Michigan

A friend asked me where she could paddle in southwest Michigan. That question meant one thing: I would be writing a blog post. 🙂

First, here are my three favorite guide books for the state:

We used these three books to plan trips down the Manistee and Au Sable rivers (six days on each). Some of the information relating to campsites is really dated, so you need to verify details with the relevant DNR office or national forest office (e.g., Huron-Manistee NF).

I don’t know if the following books are helpful or not:

When planning for those Manistee and Au Sable trips, I also read trip reports at You can use the Locations page or the Trip Finder page.

For additional online resources, check out these sites:

And check out Third Coast Paddling in Benton Harbor. What other paddling shops do you appreciate? And local shops Wanderlust Outfitters and Third Coast Surf Shop have gear relevant for paddlers as well.

Paddling Pantheon

In the Pantheon of paddling greats, Michiganders have to know people like Verlen Kruger (more than 88,000 paddle miles; memorial) and Serge Corbin (18-time winner of the Au Sable River Marathon). As a side note, our family took 6 days to cover the same miles those racers paddle in less than 24 hours.

This weekend my dad introduced me to another paddler, Canadian Bill Mason. He made a number of films, and my dad shared one of them — Song of the Paddle:


|Prepare for Spring

It’s February. It’s cold and snowy in the northern regions. But spring is coming! That means it’s time to start thinking about kayaking again. Here are some websites with exercises to prepare for paddling:

|Camping in Mesick, MI

We drove up to Mesick on Thursday, spent the night, and got up early the next morning for the big day. Cleopatra waited with the boat at the Hodenpyl Dam while I drove the car down to Red Bridge. I then hiked back 11 miles so we could float the 13 miles back to the car (the Manistee River winds more than the trail does).

After we got to the car and took down our tent at Northern Exposure, we headed over to meet friends at Sleeping Bear Dunes. If you want to see the video from that adventure, send me an email.

None of the photos in this slideshow have been altered–no cropping or color altering. Clearly, they would benefit from work; just saying they’re quite raw.