Dowagiac River

Dowagiac, Michigan 49047

Dowagiac River

Dowagiac River Professional Review and Guide

"A moderately paced, family-friendly river that winds under a shady canopy of shoreline hardwoods for much of its length. The Dowagiac is an attractive tributary of the St. Joseph River.

Shaded by overhanging hardwood trees (maples, oaks, beeches, poplars) for a good portion of its length, the narrow river flows at a generally relaxed pace. The stream is not a good choice for overnight trips, as much of the shoreline is privately owned. But the Dowagiac’s generally undemanding nature makes it a good option for families looking to venture out for a few hours of paddling."

Dowagiac River Reviews

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Good trip for beginners and families. If you are traveling in a Canoe, exspect about four spots where you will have to portage(two if you are kayaking). This information is based on a 6.1ft Stage taken from the St Joseph River (the river the Dowagiac flows into) at the Niles, MI Station. I recommend checking the NOAA website ( for hydologic information prior to your trip. Also beware that the banks are not very easy to trek through in those spots where the the river is inpassable (particularily for small children). As it flows through mostly wooded area and farmlands, the mosquitoes can be bad this time of year too. Other than those minor details, the Dowagiac is a wonderfully scenic way to spend an afternoon.

Dowagiac River Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Skill Level
5 - 7 hours
Class I
Best May to September
USGS Niles West, Niles East, Summerville, Dowagiac, South Bend, Benton Harbor
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018