Best Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing in Michigan

This list represents the most popular whitewater kayaking & canoeing in Michigan. Use this list to plan your next Michigan whitewater kayaking & canoeing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

  • #1 Pine River

    0 Reviews

    Luther, MI

    Swift and strong, the Pine River has a North Country ambience and challenging runs that make it one of the Lower Peninsula’s top paddling destinations. The Pine River is one of the most appealing ...
    •  12 - 16 hours
    •  40 miles
    •  Guide

    Swift and strong, the Pine River has a North Country ambience and challenging runs that make it one of the Lower Peninsula’s ...

  • #2 Boardman River

    1 Reviews

    Williamsburg, MI

    A spirited, attractive stream that flows past conifer forests and northcountry cottages before emptying into Grand Traverse Bay. The Boardman ranks as one of the Lower Peninsula’s finest rivers ...
    •  6 - 9 hours
    •  20 miles
    •  Guide

    A spirited, attractive stream that flows past conifer forests and northcountry cottages before emptying into Grand Traverse ...

  • #3 Sturgeon River

    1 Reviews

    Wolverine, MI

    A fast and challenging river that promises great fun for experienced paddlers and great misery for beginners. The Sturgeon is the fastest-flowing river in the Lower Peninsula, and also one of ...
    •  6 - 8 hours
    •  17 miles
    •  Guide

    A fast and challenging river that promises great fun for experienced paddlers and great misery for beginners. The Sturgeon ...

  • #4 Pigeon River

    0 Reviews

    Vanderbilt, MI

    A beautiful trout stream with a wilderness feeling and an unpredictable character. The crystal-clear waters of the Pigeon River flow northward through the 98,000-acre Pigeon River Country State ...
    •  6 - 8 hours
    •  17 miles
    •  Guide

    A beautiful trout stream with a wilderness feeling and an unpredictable character. The crystal-clear waters of the Pigeon ...

  • #5 Brule River

    0 Reviews

    Iron River, MI

    A wild and picturesque river that serves as part of the border between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. The Brule River is an often-overlooked treasure of the North Country. ...
    •  15 - 18 hours
    •  44.5 miles
    •  Guide

    A wild and picturesque river that serves as part of the border between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. ...

  • #6 Sturgeon River

    0 Reviews

    Covington, MI

    An exciting whitewater run through the rugged and beautiful Sturgeon River Gorge. Not to be confused with the two other major rivers in the state bearing the same name, this northernmost Sturgeon ...
    •  12 - 16 hours
    •  27 miles
    •  Guide

    An exciting whitewater run through the rugged and beautiful Sturgeon River Gorge. Not to be confused with the two other major ...

  • #7 Escanaba River

    0 Reviews

    Gwinn, MI

    This swift and strong river flows through some of the Upper Peninsula’s most spectacular country. The Escanaba River sweeps through some of the Upper Peninsula’s most attractive and remote woodlands, ...
    •  15 - 20 hours
    •  47 miles
    •  Guide

    This swift and strong river flows through some of the Upper Peninsula’s most spectacular country. The Escanaba River sweeps ...

  • #8 Presque Isle River

    0 Reviews

    Marenisco, MI

    An exciting whitewater river that runs through a gorgeous section of Michigan northcountry. The Presque Isle is perhaps Michigan’s best-known whitewater river. Its river corridor is a beautiful ...
    •  15 - 18 hours
    •  22 miles
    •  Guide

    An exciting whitewater river that runs through a gorgeous section of Michigan northcountry. The Presque Isle is perhaps Michigan’s ...

  • #9 Paint River

    0 Reviews

    Iron River, MI

    An easygoing, scenic alternative to the brawling waterways that rumble through other areas of the western U.P. The Paint River ranks as one of the Upper Peninsula’s most family-friendly rivers. ...
    •  12 - 15 hours
    •  30 miles
    •  Guide

    An easygoing, scenic alternative to the brawling waterways that rumble through other areas of the western U.P. The Paint ...

  • #10 Ontonagon River, East Branch

    0 Reviews

    Houghton, MI

    Runnable for only a few weeks of the year, this river offers continuous whitewater thrills in a wild setting. The East Branch of the Ontonagon River is home to one of the most intense, sustained ...
    •  3 - 4 hours
    •  7.5 miles
    •  Guide

    Runnable for only a few weeks of the year, this river offers continuous whitewater thrills in a wild setting. The East Branch ...

  • #11 Ford River

    0 Reviews

    Escanaba, MI

    This lively U.P. river is an ideal springtime destination for winter-weary canoeists with an itch to scratch. The Ford River is a relatively unheralded but nonetheless delightful Upper Peninsula ...
    •  6 - 7 hours
    •  16 miles
    •  Guide

    This lively U.P. river is an ideal springtime destination for winter-weary canoeists with an itch to scratch. The Ford River ...

  • #12 Menominee River

    0 Reviews

    Norway, MI

    A short, scenic stretch of river that features one of the most challenging whitewater runs in the Midwest. For a brief but memorable 4-mile stretch, the Menominee River offers expert paddlers ...
    •  2 - 4 hours
    •  4 miles
    •  Guide

    A short, scenic stretch of river that features one of the most challenging whitewater runs in the Midwest. For a brief but ...

  • #13 Ontonagon River, Middle Branch

    0 Reviews

    Watersmeet, MI

    Canoeable throughout the summer, this river offers a mix of placid water and light rapids as it carries paddlers through scenic U.P. lowlands. The Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River is a pleasant ...
    •  8 hours
    •  23 miles
    •  Guide

    Canoeable throughout the summer, this river offers a mix of placid water and light rapids as it carries paddlers through ...

  • #14 Ontonagon River, South Branch

    0 Reviews

    Ewen, MI

    A rugged and scenic river that alternates between flatwater and rollicking class I–II rapids. On U.P. maps, the Ontonagon River’s many tributaries sprawl across the peninsula’s northwestern ...
    •  7 - 10 hours
    •  25.5 miles
    •  Guide

    A rugged and scenic river that alternates between flatwater and rollicking class I–II rapids. On U.P. maps, the Ontonagon ...