Whitefish River

Rapid River, Michigan

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This attractive river mixes light rapids and slow water as it winds through unspoiled countryside teeming with wildlife. The Whitefish River is a great destination for springtime canoeists looking to shake the rust off after a long winter of paddling inactivity, for it features both a nice variety of water and the sort of scenery (a pretty mix of marshland and low-lying cedar, pine, and hardwood forest) that is guaranteed to bring smiles of satisfaction. The Whitefish’s upper reaches are characterized by quick water that produces significant riffles and standing waves as it races over the rocks and stone shelves that predominate throughout the river, while its downstream sections mellow into an extended float that will give you plenty of time to practice your J-stroke and watch resident bald eagles wheel and soar overhead. The presence of numerous good camping spots along the low-lying shoreline further add to the river’s allure. But perhaps the best reason to explore the Whitefish’s cool waters and handsome shoreline during the spring is that the stream punishes summertime paddlers with clouds of insects and low water volume that makes canoeing all but impossible. So check out the Whitefish in late April or May (June at the latest), before the river’s mood turns sour.
Paddling Michigan

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Paddling Michigan

by Kevin Hillstrom & Laurie Collier Hillstrom (Falcon Guides)

This attractive river mixes light rapids and slow water as it winds through unspoiled countryside teeming with wildlife. The Whitefish River is a great destination for springtime canoeists looking to shake the rust off after a long winter of paddling inactivity, for it features both a nice variety of water and the sort of scenery (a pretty mix of marshland and low-lying cedar, pine, and hardwood forest) that is guaranteed to bring smiles of satisfaction. The Whitefish’s upper reaches are characterized by quick water that produces significant riffles and standing waves as it races over the rocks and stone shelves that predominate throughout the river, while its downstream sections mellow into an extended float that will give you plenty of time to practice your J-stroke and watch resident bald eagles wheel and soar overhead.

The presence of numerous good camping spots along the low-lying shoreline further add to the river’s allure. But perhaps the best reason to explore the Whitefish’s cool waters and handsome shoreline during the spring is that the stream punishes summertime paddlers with clouds of insects and low water volume that makes canoeing all but impossible. So check out the Whitefish in late April or May (June at the latest), before the river’s mood turns sour.

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

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Rapid River
Distance: 16
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 4 - 6 hours
Class: Class I
Season: Best April to June, September to October
Local Contacts: Hiawatha National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Baker Creek, Poplar Lake, Rapid River
Driving Directions: Directions to Whitefish River

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Apr 2018