Kayak the Crystal River

Crystal River - Search Nearby - Added by Alex Harrison

What better way to kick off a summer afternoon than kayaking the Crystal River? Located in the heart of Glen Arbor, the river carries you peacefully past untouched pines and beautiful views around every corner.

Starting in Glen Arbor, Michigan, drive North on M-22 until you see W Crystal View Road. Take a right and head east on that road. The entrance will be on your right prior to Fisher Road where you can park and launch. Do not turn onto Fisher Road otherwise you will have missed the kayak launch. Coordinates for kayak launch: 44.900845, -85.955569

Once you have launched your boat enjoy the 6 mile trip. There are 3 portages to be aware of. Each portage is well marked and will have signs guiding you across the roads.The first one is .3 of a mile into your trip. The second portage is roughly 2.4 miles into your trip. On the second portage, you have will the option to portage or kayak down the drainage pipe. The drainage pipe will have three holes and you will want to go through the far left to avoid getting stuck. It is completely safe and is an added piece to the trip that you have the option to do. The third and final portage will be 3.6 miles into your trip. The last part of the trip will bring you right into Glen Arbor where you get out.

NOTE: (The river does get shallow at times and may be difficult or impassable to paddle. Check weather before going on your trip.)


Chillin, Kayaking, Swimming

Family Friendly

Nearby Lodging

Traverse City KOA

Buckley, Michigan

Petoskey KOA

Petoskey, Michigan

Gaylord KOA

Gaylord, Michigan

Higgins Lake / Roscommon KOA

Roscommon, Michigan

Community Photos

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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