Canoe & Kayak

Come explore our Rivers and Lakes!

Whether your taste in canoeing or kayaking is for a fast challenging current or a slow leisurely day on the water, we have what you’re looking for.

Plan your Stay in Benzie with a trip on the river or just explore one of our lakes. Again, you’ll find choices in liveries, rentals and gear to meet your needs.


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Vacation Trailer Park on the Betsie River

2080 Benzie Hwy.
Benzonia, MI 49616

Phone: (231) 882-5101
Web site:
Region: Benzonia

Fishing Tackle, Hunting Supplies, Licenses Canoe or kayak trips on the Betsie River.
Uncommon Adventures

6721 Grace Rd
Benzonia, MI 49616

Phone: (231) 882-5525
Web site:
Region: Benzonia

Paddlesport skills training and guided kayak and SUP tours throughout the region and the world. Adventure/Gourmet wi ...

2251 Benzie Hwy
Benzonia, MI 49616

Phone: (231) 882-7783
Web site:
Region: Benzonia

Eleven housekeeping cottageson the Betsie River with four acres and 1,000 ft.of river frontage;a perfect spot to pla ...
Conundrum Café

603 Frankfort Hwy
Elberta, MI 49628

Phone: (231) 352-8150
Web site:
Region: Frankfort / Elberta

Bike Rentals, Sales, Full service. Specialty coffee, beverages, Hawaiian shave ice and assortment of pastries. Sea ...
Beachnut Surf Shop LLC

1100 Main St
Frankfort, MI 49635

Phone: (231) 352-5249
Web site:
Region: Frankfort / Elberta

Bike Rentals, Sales, Service
Crystal Lake Adventure Sports-Frankfort

312 Main St
Frankfort, MI 49635

Phone: (231) 399-0329
Web site:
Region: Frankfort / Elberta

Specialty Outdoor Retailer featuring clothing from Kuhl, Patagonia, Prana, Dakine to name a few... along with SUP, K ...
Crystal Adventures

17227 Vondra Rd.
Thompsonville, MI 49683

Phone: (231) 651-9648
Web site:
Region: Thompsonville

Where your Up North Adventure Begins! Canoe and Kayak Adventures Snowmobile Rentals! Ice Fishing Trips with a shan ...
Riverside Canoe Trips

5042 Scenic Hwy.
Honor, MI 49640

Phone: (231) 325-5622
Web site:
Region: Honor and Lake Ann

Honor Trading Post

8294 Deadstream Rd.
Honor, MI 49640

Phone: (231) 325-2202
Web site:
Region: Honor and Lake Ann

Canoe, Kayak, Tube Rentals. Convenience Store located between Little and Big Platte Lakes. Beer, Wine and Liquor ...
Tipsy Canoe Rental & Brew, LLC

10187 Honor Hwy
Honor, MI 49640

Phone: (231) 651-9260
Web site:
Region: Honor and Lake Ann

Canoe or Kayak rental and/or guided tours on Platte River. Beer brats. Call for reservations. Seasonal - open 7 day ...
Crystal Lake Adventure Sports-Beulah

214 S Benzie Blvd
Beulah, MI 49617

Phone: (231) 882-2527
Web site:
Region: Beulah

Crystal Lake Adventure Sports, located in Beulah is Northern Michigans premier source for Sales, Service and Rentals ...
Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak

10228 W Front St
Empire, MI 49630

Phone: (231) 326-9283
Web site:
Region: Empire

Northern Michigan's 1st full service surf shop ~ established 2004! LESSONS, RENTALS & SALES Surf, Stand-up Paddleboards, Bikes, Skate, Kayaks and lifestyle clothing! Live the Freshwater Life!

Betsie River

Difficulty: Varies from Easy to Moderate

Canoeing the Betsie River on a spring morning

Betsie River has a steady, swift current to keep you moving. It is a very crooked river with many overhanging trees. There is one designated portage (about 200 feet long) which is Homestead Falls. The Betsie River is a state designated wild and scenic natural river. From Thompsonville down to Fred’s Landing the water depth averages 2-3 feet. This same stretch of river is bordered by hardwood-covered hills which drop off to the river bottom of conifers. The river drops down into Manistee County for a few miles, then enters Benzie county again at County Line Road #602.

Many small streams run into the river where the trout like to feed, and hide in the log jams from the old logging days. Trout are easily fished by canoe or from shore. From Fred’s Landing to Homestead Dam (now known as Homestead Falls) the river has been altered from floodwaters of the past hydro elastic dam and some sand bars may occur. The river from Homestead Falls to the second bridge on River Road becomes deeper and wider. This section is the easiest to canoe. From second bridge on River Road to Frankfort the river passes through a wildlife sanctuary and some open marsh to the mouth of the river.


Upper and Lower Platte River

Difficulty: Lower is Easy, Upper is Moderate.

Upper Platte: Much faster than the lower Platte River.  It is not white water or rapids but very exciting. More oriented towards the experienced canoer. The river on average is between 2-3 feet deep with tight turns, fast current, low hanging branches, and underwater obstacles. A lot of wildlife can be seen including deer, ducks, loons, bald eagles, fish, otters.. just to name a few. This section of the Platte river is exceptionally scenic with limited places to stop along the way. Total trip time is about 3 1/2 hours and ends on Deadstream Road.

Lower Platte: Gentle flowing river with easy gradual turns. As you head down the river you will come into a small lake called Loon Lake. This is part of the lower Platte River, you simply paddle along the right hand side and you will pick the river back up again. This takes approx. 20 minutes to get through. You will also pass through the State of Michigan’s Fish Weir. This is a contraption over the river that has gates that can be lowered to stop the migrating Salmon from going up stream in the fall. The weir is in operation from the middle of August until October. During these months portaging around the weir is necessary. What a great time to see a lot of fish! River depth on average is between 2-3 feet deep with a few holes that are deeper. This is a great trip for the whole family or the beginning canoers. It truly is for all ages and abilities. Total trip time takes 2-21/2 hrs and ends at a sandy beach on Lake Michigan with a beautiful picnic area and modern restroom facilities. You will get out of the river well before it dumps into Lake Michigan.

The Lower Platte River Trip is in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore; therefore, a Park Pass is required for recreating on the river. The Lower Platte River Trip is in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore; therefore, a Park Pass is required for recreating on the river.