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Here are some of the best places to kayak in Michigan

Two women kayaking.
Two women kayaking.

Across the state of Michigan we have many freshwater places to enjoy kayaking.

Here are some of the best places to go kayaking in the state:

Pictured Rocks

The pretty blue water and rainbow-colored cliffs might is what you can find at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It is the south shore of Lake Superior and you will be able to see sea caves, arches, cliffs, and the vertical bands of color on the cliffs.

Mackinac Island

Makinac Island is one of the best places to kayak due to the stunning sunsets and sunrises. You can explore the natural rock formations, wildlife, and lighthouses of Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, Round Island, and Bois Blanc Island.

Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness Area

The Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness Area is a National Wild and Scenic River, that has red and white pines, sugar maples, and birches with a beautiful sandstone cliffs. The cliffs can be 300 feet high and there are three Sturgeon rivers in Michigan and this one is in the Upper Peninsula, south of Houghton.

Crystal River

To see some dunes you can ride the Crystal River, flowing from Glen Lake through sections of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. This river is good if you are looking for a day trip and the river has lots of pines trees and wild life.

Isle Royale

Isle Royale is accessible via four ferries and one seaplane which leave from Houghton, Mich., Copper Harbor, Mich., and Grand Portage, Minn. You can also paddle the interior lakes of the eastern half of the island and it’ll cost you seven dollars per person, per day for an Isle Royale pass. The Isle also has it famed wildlife of moose and wolves.

Huron River Whitewater

Located near Ann Arbor, the Huron River has class I and II rapids which is perfect for getting started with whitewater kayaking or canoeing before tackling bigger rivers.

Chain O’ Lakes

Surrounding Lake Bellaire, the Grass River, Torch Lake, and more, the Chain O’ Lakes in Antrim County gives you lots of options. The upper lakes have less foot traffic and fishing, while the lower lakes has more beaches and a social scene. It’s most notable lake is Torch Lake which has been compared to the waters in the Caribbean with their blue colors.

Turnip Rock

Turnip Rock is a eye catching place to kayak with a turnip like rock! You are able to explore cliffs, sea caves and Thumb Nail Point, the geographical tip of Michigan’s thumb. The journey to Turnip Rock is through shallow waters where you can see eagles and other wildlife.


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