Canoeing & Kayaking on Michigan's Lakes & Rivers

WestMIGuides Stock Photo

West Michigan Offers Many Great Waterways for Canoeing or Kayaking

The West Michigan area is a popular location for paddle sports. With so many small lakes and rivers, there are numerous exciting places to explore on the water. Experience breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, views of dunes, wetlands, blue skies, and many forms of wildlife. What better way to spend your day than floating down the river or exploring the edges of the lake? You’ll see all kinds of critters, including many species of birds, fish, turtles, deer, and so much more. Here are some great places to start exploring:

Ludington State Park on Hamlin Lake

The Ludington State Park is a favorite park of the area, thanks to the abundance of natural resources. Over 5,000 acres of land including wooded area, marshland, rivers, shoreline, and dunes make up the Ludington State Park. Explore Hamlin Lake and the surrounding waterways, starting from the State Park canoe and kayak trails.

River Run Canoe Livery
Pere Marquette Expeditions

Canoe or Kayak the Pere Marquette River

The Pere Marquette River near Scottville is a favorite fishing, canoeing, and kayaking destination for locals and visitors alike. The moderately fast current, clear water, and low degree of stream bank development have all helped to make this river a mecca for those who canoe or kayak. 64 miles of river twist and turn all the way from Lake County south of Baldwin to Pere Marquette Lake and into Lake Michigan.

Explore the Lakes and Rivers of Pentwater

The quaint harbor town of Pentwater has a variety of waterways to explore. Paddle the forks, estuary, and the head of Pentwater Lake on a canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board. Didn’t bring a vessel? No problem. Pentwater area businesses offer kayak, canoe, or SUP rentals! 

Hamlin Lake Area Canoeing and Kayaking

A favorite vacation spot for locals and visitors, Hamlin Lake is a wonderful destination for boating, fishing, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. Since the lake is much smaller than Lake Michigan, Hamlin Lake typically has much warmer water temperatures. Hamlin Lake offers so many neat areas to explore on a canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board, including upper Hamlin Lake and three different bayous. Grab your vessel and start exploring! If you don’t own a canoe or kayak, there are businesses on the lake that rent them.