This short route weaves outdoor adventuring with the Dutch culture prominent in Holland, Michigan.

Windmill Island features an authentic and operational Dutch windmill called "De Zwaan" (The Swan) as well as gardens planted with over 100,000 tulips. The windmill was built in 1761 and moved to Holland in 1964. Notably, this windmill is not only the oldest authentic, working Dutch windmill in the United States, but it is also the last windmill to ever have left the Netherlands. 

Begin your trip at the parking lot just before Unity Bridge on the downtown Holland side. Here, you can unload your kayaks or canoes and carry them down the path to the water. This is an out and back trip, so you will return to the same parking lot. Follow the river east (away from the bridge) and towards the giant windmill. You can go around the island either way, but note the channel on the south side of the island is a canal with a sluice gate so there may be times when it is closed. There are also a few low foot bridges over the canal, so if the water level is high it may be difficult to float under them. The current is minimal on most of this route so you will be able to relax and take pictures along the way. The water may be cold, but if you come in early May you can also enjoy the famous Tulip Time hosted in Holland! 

Please note: From April to October you must pay ($10 for adults, $5 for kids 3-15) to get onto the island, so barring any emergencies please do not land/dock on the island as you circumnavigate it. 

Pack List

  • Kayak/ Canoe and paddle(s)
  • Life Vest
  • Water
  • Camera
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Activities Canoeing, Photography, Kayaking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
River
Scenic

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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