Upper Peninsula Canoeing

My wife and I are coming back to the UP for our second year in a row this september and wish to hike and canoe some more of the yoop that we missed last year.most of our canoeing last year was done at sylvania.I have very little whitewater experience and she has none so we want to basically stay on flat water.I can handle 1+ ripples maybe two but dont want to try it with a loaded canoe.I just bought a copy of canoeing michigan rivers by dennis and date thru the mail and was sad to find out they left the tahquemenon out.i was wanting info on the upstream end west of i think its newbury.looks like a huge swamp up there and i do like swamps.The book and aerial images have turned me onto a few possible creeks besides the tahq though.The fox river below seney looks nice and the book mentions the spreads which is visible on the images and looks like my kind of place.big cattail swamp the book says.also they neglected to report on the manistiques lower end below seney refuge but did say it has a lot of backwaters which i confirmed on the images.also indian river down near indian lake has spreads.one thing I found out from the images i can find nothing on at all is the west branch of manistique.it goes up the west side of the refuge and looks to have many nice beaches.could anyone giv info on the fox,lower manistique,west branch manistique and lower indian river,theirs very little info on the web and any other suggestions would be appreciated.We want isolated areas that have exploring potential on water or land with potential camping spots though swamps are cool too.

Thanks fo any help.


Paddling Michigan
In addition to the book you have, the book Paddling Michigan by Hillstrom has information on areas to paddle in the Upper Peninsula including Tahquamenon.

big two hearted
dan d and i did this river in september, in kayaks. about 26 miles are run-able. we split the trip into 2 days. the upper stretch is about 12 or 13 miles and there were at least 12 portages (dan will say more like 30). the lower stretch is about the same length but is kept clear for a more family friendly experience. the river and surrounding area are absolutly pristine. i don’t think we saw more than 3 cottages along the whole length. there is a primitive campground at the mid-point (the reed and green bridge on county road 412) and a nice state park at the mouth on lake superior. this is not a very fast, whitewater river but is a great wilderness experience.

we also looked at the fox, both upriver and downriver from seney. we decided to leave that one for next year.

while we were up there, we scouted the tahquamenon but it looked like there might be access problems above the upper falls unless we wanted to do about a 35 mile trip, with no good campsites along the way. this part of the river has been described as slow, flat and marshy. the stretch between the upper and lower falls would be do-able but would be only a 4 mile trip. the stretch from the lower falls to whitefish bay is about 15 miles and is also wide, slow and marshy. definetly family friendly but not my cup of tea.

paddling michigan
thanks for the reply.I have already ordered it and am waiting.



thanks for the info.

slow and marshy is just fine for me.with an aluminum open canoe I don’t want to tackle whitewater if i can help it.besides that big marshy area up by newberry looks like nice moose country.i am also looking for info on the west branch of manistique.it appears to have sandy beaches on every meander.their is absolutely no info on this stream on the web at all.may be in paddling michigan when i get it.it’s on the west side of seney.I also want to check out the mazy area on manistique just upstream from the town of manistique.


My wife and I paddled the Manistique from Germfask out into Lake Michigan (we have friends with a place on the lake just outside of the town of Manistique.) It would fit your bill for marshy bits. There are a lot of sloughs particularly in the lower stretch nearer to town. There are also plenty of sandy beaches for camping. We did the trip in 3 days in touring kayaks. 4 would give more time for exploring and a more leisurely pace. All flat water until below the dam in town. I would recommended taking out there anyway as the portage was a pain. Pictures are here: http://tinyurl.com/2qq5ab

Manistique Map
Here is a pretty good map of the river. www.northoutfitters.com/maps/rivermap4.pdf. DoctorJ and I are looking at this river for a possible fall run. Thanks detroitpaddler for the great pictures. Great hiking not to far away at Picture Rocks. DoctorJ gave a great description of the Two Hearted (I still think the upper section had 30 portages!). If you think you might visit the Two Hearted check out the wonderful folks at Rainbow Lodge. They hauled us around and gave us great info on the river and the area. www.exploringthenorth.com/twoheart/rainbow.html

the pics were awesome.i wanted a picture of the sand bars and river and you gave me many.i am thinking the manistique may be where i go.


thanks for the map.i was wondering how long the trip would take.it looks like i can do a two or three day trip.i still havent found any info on the west branch manistique.for all i know it may not be doable but it looks big enough on aerial photos.