rivers in MI or northern IN

Looking for a good river to canoe w/ a group of friends in MI or Northern IN. We don’t want to go to far North, because of gas prices. This is for a fun trip and we would like to find a river that is clean/sandy for some swimming and has spots that we can stop at for lunch or breaks. We have done the Pine River and Little Manistee and enjoyed both of them.

Lots of rivers
In the Lansing area the Grand River is a good choice. But there are lots of others. Why not check out the guide book for Canoeing Michigan Rivers.


Did the Huron west of Ann Arbor
several times, many years ago. There are some nice spots to stop along the way.

Posted by: jenneeann on May-05-11 5:07 PM (EST)

“we would like to find a river that is clean/sandy for some swimming”

In lower Michigan?!?! Good luck! What a cest pool! You need to come further north for that, unless you want to either “glow in the dark or need to take vaccine shots every day for the rest of your life”.

Try the Kalamazoo or the Grand, but I wouldn’t rely on “clean/sandy” or “swimming”.

Paddle easy,


Northern Lower
There’s not really any nice rivers or lakes in Northern Lower Michigan, your best bet is to stay away…

Clean and sandy for swimming
The Chippewa River in downtown Mt. Pleasant is clean and has a nice beach where people swim all the time. It also has a short class II rapid. Above the rapid the river is a slow float. So you can put in above the rapids, take out when you get to the rapids, and enjoy the beach.

huron river in Washtenaw county
Upstream of ann Arbor.

Pere Marquette is one of my favorites but it’s on the “southern edge” of northern mi.

Shiawassee River
The Shiawassee River starts in Holly and goes to Bay City



Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail Map


The water is clean, no issues wading in to cool off.

An annual race event drwing 100’s is now in it’s 7th Year