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.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Pine River


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 stre…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Luther, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 40 miles BestWhitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Boardman River


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 for pa…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Williamsburg, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 20 miles BestWhitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Sturgeon River


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 the most…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Wolverine, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 17 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Pigeon River


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 Forest…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Vanderbilt, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 17 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Brule River


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. The stre…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Iron River, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 44.5 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Sturgeon River


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 prov…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Covington, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 27 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Escanaba River


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,…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Gwinn, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 47 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Presque Isle River


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 one, c…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Marenisco, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 22 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Paint River


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. An imp…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Iron River, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 30 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Ontonagon River, East Branch


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 white…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Houghton, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 7.5 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#11. Ford River


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 river…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Escanaba, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 16 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#12. Menominee River


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 a challe…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Norway, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Ontonagon River, Middle Branch


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 st…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Watersmeet, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 23 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Ontonagon River, South Branch


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 hinterland…
From the guidebook "Paddling Michigan"
Ewen, MI - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 25.5 miles
Published by Falcon Guides