Muskegon River

Houghton Lake, Michigan

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2 Reviews
2 out of 5
A sleepy section of Michigan’s second-longest river that is ideal for family camping trips. The Muskegon River is the friendly giant of Michigan rivers. It is the state’s second-biggest river (next to the Grand), snaking its way for nearly 230 miles through the green forests of the northwestern Lower Peninsula before discharging into Lake Michigan. But despite its great size—it ultimately drains a watershed of more than 2,300 square miles—the Muskegon is a placid and peaceful waterway that doesn’t want to make trouble for anyone. Instead, its mild current delivers paddlers through miles of quiet woodlands bursting with deer, otter, beaver, and assorted waterfowl. This is especially true in the stream’s upper sections, where it runs through large tracts of state forestland.
Paddling Michigan

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Paddling Michigan

by Kevin Hillstrom & Laurie Collier Hillstrom (Falcon Guides)

A sleepy section of Michigan’s second-longest river that is ideal for family camping trips. The Muskegon River is the friendly giant of Michigan rivers. It is the state’s second-biggest river (next to the Grand), snaking its way for nearly 230 miles through the green forests of the northwestern Lower Peninsula before discharging into Lake Michigan.

But despite its great size—it ultimately drains a watershed of more than 2,300 square miles—the Muskegon is a placid and peaceful waterway that doesn’t want to make trouble for anyone. Instead, its mild current delivers paddlers through miles of quiet woodlands bursting with deer, otter, beaver, and assorted waterfowl. This is especially true in the stream’s upper sections, where it runs through large tracts of state forestland.

©  Kevin Hillstrom & Laurie Collier Hillstrom/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Houghton Lake
Distance: 85
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 26 - 30 hours
Class: Class I
Season: Best May to October
Local Contacts: Au Sable State Forest, Pere Marquette State Forest
Local Maps: USGS Meads Landing, Houghton Lake, Merritt, Moddersville, Cooperton, Prestle Creek, Temple, Lake NE, Sears, Evart
Topo Map: Muskegon River Topographic Map
Guide Book: Paddling Michigan Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

6/29/2012

This guide is completely inaccurate. The hazards of deadfall are throughout the entire length of this map. Not just a few trees down, it's that are a few places that are not blocked by full sized trees blocking the entire river. After nine hours fighting for my life ( I nearly drown) we were lucky to be rescued by ORV campers. This is not a safe area for families. Further down river, from M-51 to Big Rapids is a beautiful, nice river. But between Cadillac road and Leota, forget it.

7/24/2008
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