Popular Kayaking Spots in Michigan
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Michigan is a prime destination for kayakers of all skill levels. With its varied landscape of rivers and lakes, the Wolverine State offers a wide range of thrilling kayaking experiences.

From the bracing waters of Lake Superior to the shallow rapids of the Huron River, Michigan is a kayaking paradise. Kayakers can explore secluded coves, admire the picturesque shorelines, or even take a leisurely journey down the Michigan River.

Whether you’re looking for a tranquil paddle or a thrilling ride, you’ll find the perfect spot to kayak in Michigan. With its stunning waterways, tranquil bays, and thrilling rapids, Michigan is a kayaker’s delight.

Popular Kayaking Spots in Michigan From Lakes to Rivers

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

The glistening waters of Lake Superior stretch for miles, inviting visitors to explore its vast shoreline. The pristine lake is home to a variety of unique wildlife, from majestic loons to playful otters. Visitors are often rewarded with the chance to observe these creatures in their natural habitat.

Pristine Waters

Moving on from the unique shorelines of Lake Superior, its pristine waters are also an incredible sight to behold. The lake is the largest, deepest, and cleanest of the five Great Lakes and is known for its crystal-clear waters, especially near the shore.

Despite being over 10,000 years old, the lake has managed to stay as clean as ever due to its lack of heavy industry and agricultural runoff. It contains some of the world’s most pure and fresh water, making it a true marvel to explore.

Its beauty is further enhanced by its vastness. Lake Superior is the largest of the five Great Lakes and the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. Its surface area spans over 82,000 square kilometers and contains enough water to fill all the other Great Lakes combined.

Its waters are so deep that it can reach depths of over 400 meters. The lake is so large that it can be seen from space, giving it a truly unique and unparalleled beauty.

Vast Shorelines

Towering above the vast expanse of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior stands out in its size and grandeur. Its shorelines stretch for thousands of miles, offering an impressive view of rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, and hidden coves.

On the Michigan and Wisconsin sides of the lake, a plethora of pristine beaches can be found. From the white sand dunes of Grand Marais to the sparkling shores of Marquette, there is a beach for every kind of traveler. Boaters can stop off at any of the hundreds of coves and inlets to enjoy a quiet day on the lake.

Nature lovers can explore the untouched forests that line the lake and find a perfect spot to picnic. No matter the activity, there is something for everyone along the vast shorelines of Lake Superior.

Unique Wildlife

The unique wildlife of Lake Superior is a sight to behold. An abundance of species thrive in the lake’s crystal clear waters, providing a glimpse into the natural balance of the world. From the mighty lake trout to the delicate blooms of the wild orchids, the lake’s many habitats are home to a variety of birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.

The lake’s vast shorelines offer a window into the wondrous world of wildlife, from the majestic bald eagle soaring overhead to the playful otter frolicking in the shallows.

During the summer months, the lake’s rocky coast is home to a variety of seabirds, including the majestic common loon. The lake also provides a home to the rare piping plover, an endangered species of shorebird. As each season brings a new set of wildlife to the lake’s shores, it is a veritable paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

The vast expanse of Lake Michigan offers coastal paddling surrounded by rugged cliffs and the most breathtaking sunsets. Paddlers can enjoy the tranquility of the lake while marveling at the picturesque views of the cliffs. \

As the day comes to a close, the sun sets in a blaze of orange and gold, painting a beautiful backdrop to the crystal-clear waters.

Coastal Paddling

Having explored the depths of Lake Superior, we now turn our attention to the soft, sandy beaches and clear waters of Lake Michigan. Perfect for coastal paddling, the lake’s shores are punctuated by cliffs, small bays, and rolling sand dunes.

The lake’s calm waters offer a unique opportunity for paddling, allowing adventurers to explore the area’s natural wonders at an unhurried pace. With its shallow depths, paddlers of all levels can explore the coastline, navigating around rocky outcrops, small bays, and coves.

As you paddle, you’ll come across small islands, some of which are home to common lake birds such as the osprey and the loon. In the deeper waters, you’ll spot schools of fish, while along the shore, you may be lucky enough to spot a muskrat or two. No matter what time of day, the lake’s serene beauty will captivate you.

Rugged Cliffs

Leaving Lake Superior behind, let’s journey to its smaller but no less majestic neighbor: Lake Michigan. This beautiful body of water is home to many wonders, including its rugged cliffs.

These cliffs are a stunning sight to behold, soaring high above the lake’s dark blue waters. Rugged and imposing, their jagged faces are a stark contrast to the calming lake below. They are formed of sedimentary rocks, layered in shades of brown, gray, and black. The sun’s rays light up the cliffs in a myriad of colors, from soft pastels in the early morning to vibrant oranges and reds at sunset.

Each of these cliffs has its own unique story, telling centuries of tales about the lake’s history. From atop them, one can look out across the lake and imagine the Native Americans and French-Canadian explorers who once sailed its waters. No matter the time of day, these cliffs are always a magnificent sight to behold.

Beautiful Sunsets

Moving from the majestic depths of Lake Superior to the warm waters of Lake Michigan, one can find a unique experience in the beautiful sunsets. The sky is streaked with pink, purple, and orange as the sun begins to set, painting an incredible canvas in the horizon.

The sun reflects off the lake’s surface, creating an iridescent display of color that’s simply breathtaking. The sky slowly darkens to a deep navy blue, and the stars come out in full force. As the night progresses, the moonlight graces the lake with a silver sheen, and the reflection of the stars creates a perfect mirror-like effect.

Nearby cliffs add a sense of drama and grandeur to the scene, making it a truly special moment. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a large family gathering, the sunsets of Lake Michigan provide the perfect backdrop.

Au Sable River

Au Sable River

The Au Sable River winds through ancient forests, inviting fly fishing and whitewater rafting adventurers. Rapids and waterfalls cascade down its course, providing a thrilling adventure for white water rafters. Its calm waters are also perfect for those seeking a peaceful fly fishing session with nature.

Rapids and Waterfalls

Leaving the majestic Lake Michigan behind, the Au Sable River provides a picturesque transition into a world of wild rapids and thundering waterfalls. The waters of the Au Sable River roar with life, winding through mystical forests and ancient

landscapes unlike any other. Boating along the river, adventurers will find themselves surrounded by a variety of breathtaking rapids and waterfalls, all varying in size and intensity.

From smaller slides and riffles to larger, class IV rapids, the Au Sable River offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a thrill-seeking whitewater rafting enthusiast or someone looking for a more relaxed float, the river has something for everyone.

The rapids and waterfalls along the Au Sable River provide a unique experience like no other, with mesmerizing views and a sense of adventure.

Fly Fishing

After the soothing sounds of Lake Michigan, the next stop on the journey is the Au Sable River. The river is known for its wild rapids and waterfalls, as well as its fly fishing.

Fly fishing in the Au Sable River is an angler’s dream. The river is home to a wide range of species, from brook trout to brown trout, and the waters are teeming with fish. The river is also known for its clear waters, which provide ideal conditions for fly fishing.

Experienced anglers can cast their lines in the middle of the river and observe as the line drifts in the current, while beginners can take advantage of the many inlets and eddies that provide a perfect spot for casting.

In addition, the ancient forests that flank the river offer plenty of shade to those who wish to enjoy a peaceful day of fishing. With its abundance of fish and its peaceful surroundings, the Au Sable River is the perfect spot for a fly fishing adventure.

Ancient Forests

From its source in the forests of the Huron Mountains, the Au Sable River meanders through the ancient forests of northern Michigan, its waters reflecting the rugged beauty of its surroundings. These ancient forests are home to a variety of wildlife and provide visitors with a glimpse into the past.

The forests surrounding the Au Sable River are composed of a mix of hardwoods, conifers, and understory plants that have been growing in this region for centuries. A walk through these forests reveals a diverse array of plants and animals, with deer, otters, and even river otters spotted along the banks.

The trees are so dense in some areas that a canopy of leaves forms a roof over the river, providing a cool refuge from the summer sun. In the fall, the multi-colored leaves of the trees create a magical landscape, and in the winter, the snow-covered branches of the trees create a winter wonderland.

The Au Sable River is an important part of Michigan’s natural heritage, and its ancient forests are a reminder of the beauty and history of the region. Taking a canoe or kayak trip down the Au Sable River is an experience like no other, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the beauty and serenity of these ancient forests.

Sturgeon River

Sturgeon River

The Sturgeon River is a paradise for kayakers and canoeists, boasting an array of tranquil paddling trails and exciting rapids and swirls. Adventurous visitors may even catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife that inhabits the area, providing an unforgettable experience.

Paddling Trails

From the tranquil waters of the Au Sable River to the rugged beauty of the Sturgeon River, paddling trails abound in the Northern Michigan region. The Sturgeon River is a paddler’s dream, with miles of winding river and plenty of rapids to enliven the journey.

Paddling trails along the Sturgeon River offer a variety of experiences for people of all skill levels. For the novice, there are calmer sections of the river where they can practice their technique and grow confident in their ability to paddle.

For experienced rowers, they can take on the rapids and swirls of the river, navigating the twists and turns while taking in the breathtaking views.

Along the way, paddlers can take a break and explore the riverbanks, discovering hidden creeks and inlets, or camping out along the banks of the river. With so many places to explore, there’s always something new to discover.

Rapids and Swirls

Stepping away from the Au Sable River, we come to the Sturgeon River, a seemingly tranquil waterway that is perfect for canoeing and kayaking. But don’t be fooled by its calm demeanor, as the Sturgeon River boasts rapids and swirls that will challenge even the most experienced paddlers.

As you make your way down the Sturgeon River, you’ll notice that the water begins to pick up speed. Around bends and dips, the water will bubble around rocks and toss your boat from side to side. You’ll need to pay close attention to the current and your own movements to keep your boat steady.

Don’t forget to take in the beauty of the river as you navigate its twists and turns. The rapids and swirls of the Sturgeon River make for an exciting and memorable journey.

Wildlife Viewing

Continuing on from the Au Sable River, the Sturgeon River is a haven for wildlife viewing. It features a variety of species that entice nature enthusiasts, from the majestic Great Blue Heron to the curious Red-bellied Woodpecker. The banks of the river are lined with tall cedars and hardwoods, providing a perfect habitat for these birds to nest and feed.

The Sturgeon River is also home to a wide variety of mammals, including White-tailed Deer, Coyotes, and Black Bears. On any given day, one can spot a family of deer grazing near the shore, or an inquisitive Coyote wandering the banks. In addition, the Sturgeon River is a great place to view a Black Bear; they often visit the river in search of food or for a refreshing swim.

The Sturgeon River is an ideal place to observe and learn about wildlife in their natural environment. From the birds that soar across the sky to the mammals that roam the banks, the Sturgeon River is the perfect place for a peaceful, wildlife-viewing adventure.

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore boasts a variety of outdoor activities, including paddling on the crystal clear waters of Lake Michigan, exploring the majestic sand dunes, and visiting historic sites with educational and recreational opportunities.

With its vast shoreline, visitors can kayak, canoe, and enjoy other watersports, plus climb the highest sand dunes in the state of Michigan. Historical sites, such as the restored Glen Haven and the Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station, are also available to explore.

Lake Michigan Paddling

Leaving behind the Sturgeon River, we travel to the majestic Sleeping Bear Dunes. Here, the beauty of nature reveals itself in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan. Lapping against the shore, these waters offer an exhilarating escape to adventurers seeking an unforgettable paddling experience.

With its unique combination of deep blue waters and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, Lake Michigan is the ideal place to explore by boat. The rocky coast provides a unique challenge to experienced paddlers, while sheltered coves make excellent resting spots for those who are just beginning.

With the sun glistening on the lake, paddling around the shore of Sleeping Bear Dunes is an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a beginner, the lake offers an array of opportunities to explore and enjoy.

Sand Dunes

Leaving the serene waters of the Sturgeon River behind, let us journey to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a unique and stunning landscape. Along the shores of Lake Michigan, some of the world’s grandest sand dunes await. Towering over the lake, these dunes provide incredible views of the lake and the surrounding area.

Dune climbing is an exhilarating activity, as the shifting sands offer ever-changing opportunities to explore. The dunes also offer a variety of habitats for a variety of wildlife, including the majestic bald eagle. Whether you’re exploring the dunes by foot or by car, there is something for everyone at Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Historic Sites

Leaving the tranquil waters of the Sturgeon River, our journey continues to one of Michigan’s most iconic National lakes, The Sleeping Bear Dunes. Here we can explore historic sites that offer insight into the area’s past.

The area has been home to humans for thousands of years, and the Manitou islands are said to have been inhabited by the Ojibwe people for hundreds of years. Evidence of these cultures, as well as early European settlers, can be seen in the form of preserved sites that have stood the test of time.

Visitors can explore the preserved Point Betsie Lighthouse, which has served as a beacon since the mid-1800s. Take a journey along the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, a 7.4-mile loop that allows visitors to explore some of the most beautiful vistas in the area.

Tour the D.H. Day Farm, a homestead portraying the life of farmers in the late 1800s with period tools, structures, and livestock. Or, explore the historic Glen Haven Village, an old port town that served the lumber industry in the late 1800s.

From the tranquil river to the historic sites, Sleeping Bear Dunes provides an experience that will stand the test of time.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is home to a plethora of natural wonders, such as colorful cliffs, majestic waterfalls, and stunning sandstone formations.

Visitors can witness the vibrant orange hues of the cliffs, cascading waterfalls streaming off the sandstone formations, and intricate patterns in the sandstone that are sure to take their breath away. The wonders of nature are truly awe-inspiring at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Colorful Cliffs

Leaving the Sleeping Bear Dunes behind, the next great Michigan outdoor adventure awaits at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Here, visitors are mesmerized by the colorful cliffs that tower over Lake Superior.

The cliffs are like an artist’s palette. Shades of red, orange, brown, and yellow appear on the cliffs in various patterns, making each one unique. These patterns are formed from the different types of iron and copper minerals that are found in the sandstone. The cliffs also contain quartz, mica, and other minerals.

The towering cliffs are an incredible sight, with a vast array of colors that change from morning to evening. During the day, the sun’s rays play off the cliffs in a dazzling display of hues. At night, the cliffs are illuminated with a soft light that casts a dreamlike atmosphere over the lake.


Leaving behind the majestic Sleeping Bear Dunes, the next destination on our thrilling journey is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Here, you’ll be enchanted by the sights of cascading waterfalls, each one more breathtaking than the last. These falls are created by the rain and snowmelt rushing down the colorful cliffs, spilling over the sandstone formations that make up the lakeshore.

The most awe-inspiring of these falls is the Miners Falls, which is the tallest at over forty feet. The falls’ powerful cascades roar as they plunge into the water below, creating a magnificent spectacle of white mist and shimmering rainbows.

The nearby Spray and Sable Falls are equally impressive, with the former being a thin ribbon of water and the latter a thundering curtain. Every waterfall in the area is a true marvel of nature, and you’ll want to stop and admire them all.

Sandstone Formations

Transitioning from Sleeping Bear Dunes to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, one can find incredible sandstone formations that have been carved and shaped by the power of the elements. These formations are unique and awe-inspiring, as they stand tall and proud against the backdrop of the lake and sky.

The sandstone formations at Pictured Rocks offer a sight to behold. They vary in shape and size, from small spires to towering walls. Everywhere one looks, there is another formation to explore. The texture of the sandstone is unique, with its rough exterior and smooth curves. The formations have been shaped by the power of wind and water, a reminder of how powerful nature can be.

Visitors can enjoy the sandstone formations from the beach or from atop the cliffs. From the shore, one can appreciate how the formations have been sculpted by the lake’s waves, while from the cliffs, they stand tall against the sky. Whatever the perspective, it is a sight that will stay with one long after the trip is over.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers a wealth of marine-based activities and sites to explore. For those who wish to explore the depths of the sanctuary, shipwrecks from centuries past create a unique and exciting experience. Those who prefer a more subdued exploration may take a kayak tour to view historic lighthouses and observe the vibrant marine life.


Leaving the colorful Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore behind, we move on to the otherworldly beauty of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Here, a captivating array of fascinating shipwrecks awaits the adventurous explorer.

From the ill-fated schooner Francisco Morazan, which sunk in a storm in 1865, to the sunken steamboat Oregon, there’s no shortage of underwater beauty to explore. Many of these vessels remain remarkably intact, making them a photographer’s dream.

The sun-dappled water, the shimmering ripples, and the diverse array of marine life make the perfect backdrop to explore and document these long-forgotten tales of maritime history.

Kayakers can explore these wrecks in relative safety and enjoy a unique perspective of the nautical remnants. On a clear day, it’s easy to imagine the brave men and women who sailed these vessels in a bygone era.

Historic Lighthouses

Leaving the majestic Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore behind, the next destination is the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This destination is home to a variety of shipwrecks, historic lighthouses, and kayak tours. Of these, the historic lighthouses are a sight to behold.

Standing tall and proud against the horizon, the historic lighthouses of Thunder Bay are a great reminder of the past. With their iconic red and white stripes, they stand out against the blue sky like a beacon in the night.

The lighthouses are a great way to learn about the history of the area and of the shipwrecks that found their way to the bottom of the bay. From the lighthouses, you can see the remains of many shipwrecks, both old and new. The views of the lighthouses are breathtaking and are sure to be a highlight of any trip to Thunder Bay.

Kayak Tours

Venturing even farther away from the rocky shores and impressive waterfalls of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to explore the vast underwater ecosystem of this beautiful area. One of the best ways to experience the sanctuary is by taking a kayak tour.

The kayak tours of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary offer a variety of routes, allowing guests to explore the area at their own pace. Guests can paddle through the warm waters of Lake Huron, admiring the stunning lake views and the unique wildlife along the way.

As they move through the sanctuary, kayakers can expect to see a variety of fish swimming shyly away, as well as large ships and other boats anchored in the bay. The best part of the kayak tour is that it allows visitors to get up close and personal with the sanctuary’s many shipwrecks. From the safety of a kayak, one can marvel at these historic vessels and the stories they tell.

Regardless of the route taken, kayakers will be mesmerized by the peacefulness and beauty of the sanctuary. With a kayak tour, visitors are sure to leave Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary with memories that will last a lifetime.

Grand Traverse Bay

Grand Traverse Bay

The majestic Grand Traverse Bay provides a wealth of opportunities to explore its beauty. From wildlife watching, such as spotting bald eagles and osprey soaring overhead, to visiting historic sites and taking in the breathtaking views, the bay has something to offer everyone.

Wildlife Watching

Moving east from the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Grand Traverse Bay offers a wealth of wildlife-watching opportunities. From the shoreline, visitors can observe birds of prey, such as osprey, soaring overhead. The beach itself is alive with activity, from the graceful herons wading in the shallow water to the sandpipers scurrying along the shore.

Further out in the bay, seals, porpoises, and even whales may be spotted, while a variety of ducks flit along the surface of the surrounding waters. The best time for wildlife viewing is during the warmer months of the spring and summer when the animals are more active and the days are longer.

Historic Sites

Stepping away from the sanctuary of Thunder Bay, Grand Traverse Bay is a popular spot for tourists to explore. Along the shoreline of this bay, visitors will uncover a variety of historic landmarks and sites with a rich history.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a popular attraction to explore the history of Grand Traverse Bay. It is home to many sites that were once inhabited by the Odawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi tribes.

The area is now a protected land, where visitors can explore ancient archaeological sites, learn about the local indigenous people’s history, and even see the remains of old settlements.

Other historic sites worth exploring include the Old Mission Point Lighthouse, which was built in 1870. The iconic brick lighthouse is still in use today, and visitors can take tours and even climb to the top of the tower.

The bay is also home to the Grand Traverse Light, which was built in 1858 and is still in operation. This lighthouse is open to the public, and visitors can learn all about its long and vibrant history.

Scenic Views

Leaving the sanctuary, the journey next takes travelers to Grand Traverse Bay. The wide expanse of blue-green waters offers stunning scenic views of vast stretches of sand and rocky shoreline. The azure waters of the bay are dotted with emerald-green islands, each with its own unique landscape.

The distant horizon is punctuated by the silhouettes of sailboats that dot the horizon, and the passing seagulls add a pleasant soundtrack to the already perfect scene. Even in the coldest of months, the beauty of the bay remains, as the snow-capped shores reflect the colorful hues of the setting sun.

Saginaw Bay

Saginaw Bay

Saginaw Bay offers a wealth of outdoor activities, from tranquil waters perfect for wildlife watching to plentiful fishing spots. The shallow areas of the bay make it a great place for bird-watching, and the abundance of fish makes it a popular spot for anglers. Kayaking is a popular way to experience the bay’s calm waters, with plenty of sights to explore.

Calm Waters

From the crystal-clear blue waters of Grand Traverse Bay to the serene tranquility of Saginaw Bay, Michigan’s shoreline provides an abundance of opportunities to witness the beauty of nature. The calm waters of Saginaw Bay are especially inviting, letting visitors explore the area in a peaceful atmosphere.

The waters of Saginaw Bay are incredibly still, allowing for peaceful boat rides and tranquil swimming. Seagulls dip and glide gracefully above the glassy surface, and the occasional fish may be seen jumping as they break the stillness of the water.

On a clear day, the horizon stretches endlessly, interrupted only by the occasional boat or distant island dotting the landscape. As the sun sets over the bay, the sky is awash in a myriad of colors, creating a breathtakingly beautiful experience that is impossible to forget.

Wildlife Watching

Leaving the crystal clear waters of Grand Traverse Bay, we now turn our sights to the unique and diverse wildlife of Saginaw Bay. Wildlife watching in the bay is a mesmerizing experience, as the bay is home to a variety of species, from birds to fish, and even the occasional otter.

The birds of Saginaw Bay can be seen gliding over the water, dipping to snatch up food before soaring back into the sky. Cormorants, pelicans, and gulls can all be seen searching for their next meal, and watching them in action is a captivating experience. For those looking to spot something unique, the sight of a bald eagle diving into the water for a fish is a must-see.

In addition to the birds, a variety of fish can also be seen in the bay. Schools of shiners, perch, and whitefish swim around the shoreline, and smallmouth bass and walleye are also commonly spotted. But the most exciting of all are the lake sturgeon, which can grow to be up to seven feet long! Watching these ancient fish swim through the water is a sight that will stay with you forever.


Extending from the warm waters of Grand Traverse Bay, Saginaw Bay offers fishermen a more tranquil experience. Anglers of all levels can find solace in the gentle waves and peacefully take in the surrounding scenery. With its vast expanse of water, there are endless possibilities to explore and discover.

The diversity of Saginaw Bay’s fish population is sure to tantalize the taste buds of any fisherman. Species such as walleye, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass, are all found in abundance in the bay’s deep waters. Additionally, the bay offers fishermen the chance to catch a variety of other fish species, such as white bass, white perch, catfish, and northern pike.

Whether one is a seasoned veteran of the sport or a newbie just looking for an idyllic spot to cast a line, Saginaw Bay is sure to bring a smile to any fisherman’s face. With its calming waters and diverse fish population, it is the perfect destination to enjoy a day of fishing and relaxation.

Detroit River

Detroit River

The Detroit River is a great place to experience the outdoors. With its abundance of wildlife, it provides fantastic opportunities to observe a variety of birds and waterfowl. Historic sites along the banks of the river make it possible to explore the area’s past, while recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming offer hours of fun and relaxation.

Wildlife Viewing

Traveling from the open waters of Saginaw Bay to the inviting inlets of the Detroit River, wildlife viewing opportunities abound. The Detroit River offers a unique convergence of northern and southern species, giving visitors a chance to observe some of the most diverse wildlife in the Great Lakes region.

Along the river’s banks, osprey and great blue heron can be seen fishing for their next meal, while the crystal clear waters provide the perfect habitat for smallmouth bass, walleye, and other freshwater fish. For those seeking a closer look at the local wildlife, there are plenty of kayak and canoe launch points, allowing visitors to explore the waters from within.

On a clear day, bald eagles can be seen soaring overhead, and visitors may even catch a glimpse of a beaver or otter. With so much to discover, the Detroit River is the perfect place to spend the day in search of the wonders of the wild.

Historic Sites

Leaving the vast expanse of Saginaw Bay behind, the Detroit River beckons, offering a range of historic sites steeped in the region’s rich maritime heritage. A popular spot for sightseeing and wildlife viewing, the Detroit River boasts several historic sites that visitors can explore.

One of the most notable sites is the Sainte Anne de Detroit Catholic Church, the first and oldest parish in the Michigan Territory. Built in 1701, this historic landmark stands proudly in its original location and is still actively used by the parish community today.

The church offers visitors a unique glimpse into the area’s past, including its unique and diverse cultural mix of French, British, and Native American influences.

Another popular historic site for visitors to explore is the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Built in 1930, this engineering marvel was the first ever underwater vehicular tunnel in the world and is still in operation today.

Its unique design allows visitors to get a close-up view of the river’s many colorful boats, ships, and barges. The tunnel is also home to a variety of sculptures and murals that commemorate the region’s maritime history.

Recreational Activities

Leaving behind the tranquil waters of Saginaw Bay, the Detroit River awaits those looking to explore its many recreational activities. Whether you’re an avid angler, a passionate paddler, or simply looking for a peaceful day of exploration, the Detroit River is sure to provide.

Fishing is a favorite pastime of those who visit the Detroit River. Boasting a large variety of fish species, including walleye, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, and lake sturgeon, the Detroit River offers a unique and rewarding angling experience. Those looking to explore by water can enjoy the Detroit River by canoe, kayak, or paddle board,

taking in the breathtaking views of the many birds and wildlife that call the Detroit River home. For those seeking a more leisurely experience, the Detroit River is lined with countless paths, perfect for a tranquil walk or bike ride. From the Riverwalk to Belle Isle, the Detroit River has something for everyone.


From the vast waters of Lake Superior to the serene Detroit River, Michigan has some of the best kayaking spots in the country.

The crystal clear waters of the Au Sable River are ideal for paddlers of all skill levels, while the jagged coastline of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers a challenge for seasoned kayakers.

The spectacular views of Sleeping Bear Dunes and the mysterious Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary will captivate even the most experienced paddlers.

With so many breathtaking destinations, Michigan is the perfect place for kayakers of all levels to explore.

23+ Best Places to Kayak in Michigan: Rivers, Tours, and Lakes