The Best Kayaking in Michigan

Looking for the best kayaking in Michigan? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Michigan. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top kayaking spots in and near Michigan

  • Port Austin, Michigan

    Kayak to Turnip Rock

    5.0
    Only accessible by a kayaking adventure, Turnip Rock is a one-of-a-kind natural wonder.Although it is close to shore, all land surrounding it is privately owned and therefore not accessible by foot. Kayak rentals can be found in downtown Port Austin.Most of the trek is over shallow water. Upon ar...
    Read more
  • Free Soil, Michigan

    Camp in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness

    4.6
    The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area is located south of Manistee along an extremely isolated shoreline. Most hikers prefer to camp two nights along the shores of Lake Michigan, but some choose to call the dunes home for weeks at a time. This is an area of backwoods camping, where sites can be est...
    Read more
  • Eagle Harbor Township, Michigan

    Backpack Isle Royale NP's Greenstone Ridge Trail

    5.0
    35 mi
    Isle Royale National Park consists of Isle Royale, a fifty mile long and nine mile wide island in Lake Superior, and about 45 smaller islands around (and within) it. Remote and undeveloped, the shores can be visited by watercraft, but the only way to see the interior is to walk across it. Because...
    Read more
  • Shingleton, Michigan

    Hike Superior's Pictured Rocks Shore to Au Sable Lighthouse

    3.0
    26 mi
    This trip works best with two cars where the first is dropped off at the Twelvemile Beach Parking Lot), and carpooled over to the Miner's Castle Parking Lot. Both lots can be easily found in the Pictured Rocks National Seashore Map, or on Google Maps.Start your day at Miner's Castle by checking o...
    Read more
  • Shingleton, Michigan

    Kayak the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

    5.0
    The best place to start a kayak tour of the main section of cliffs along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is Miners Beach, located just outside of Munising. Miners Beach features a good size parking lot, along with a beautiful sandy beach that serves as a great launching point within sight o...
    Read more
  • Belding, Michigan

    Paddle the Flat River

    4.0
    12.5 mi
    This adventure starts as any kayaking trip does: the great car-kayak shuffle.  I’ll leave that planning to your group size, but I recommend a 2 car minimum, one left at the take out spot (Fallasburg Park or downtown Lowell behind the KDL Library) and the other parked at Whites Bridge Road.  If yo...
    Read more
  • Port Austin, Michigan

    Kayak Sea Caves on the Broken Rocks Trail

    Your paddle begins at Veteran's Waterfront Park in Port Austin. This is a beautiful sandy beach with plenty of parking. From here, paddle west. I like to stick close to shore to check out everything up close and to minimize the waves. Not far into your paddle, you will come across your first big...
    Read more
  • 690 South Broad Street, Michigan

    Paddle the Shiawassee Heritage Water Trail

    This adventure begins at Waterworks Park in Holly. There is a parking lot, pedestrian bridge, map, nature lookout, and designated launch at this site. From here to Storm Park in Fenton, it is 7 river miles and will take most paddlers 2-3 hours. The Shiawassee is a slow-moving, warm water river th...
    Read more
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Paddle the Argo Cascades

    5.0
    This adventure starts at Argo Park. Rent a kayak for $21 (including shuttle service back) or bring your own. Caution: parking can be limited on the busiest summer days, so be sure to check out the overflow lots and shuttles. Check the livery website for hours and additional parking information. ...
    Read more
  • Honor, Michigan

    Paddle the Platte River

    2.0
    Starting at Riverside Canoe Rentals (located near the intersection of M-22 and Lake Michigan Rd), or the small park across the river, this trip will take you roughly 3 hours to float, but shorter if you are paddling.  But beware, starting here will require you to cross a small lake - not very dif...
    Read more
  • Island Lake Pathway, Michigan

    Paddle the Huron River in the Island Lake Recreation Area

    Park at the Island Lake Picnic Grounds, also known as the Kent Lake parking lot.  Look for a spot on the west end of the parking lot and carry your kayak down to the river – but don’t worry, they have installed a nice little kayak slide to assist you as you walk down the river bank!  Simply, plac...
    Read more
  • Leland Township, Michigan

    Paddle Board Lake Michigan from Leland Harbor

    5.0
    For a day on the water, off the shores of Lake Michigan head to Leland. Park in the marina and load onto your paddle boards from the boat ramp. You'll quickly find your way out of the marina, in which you can head right, left or to open water. Either way you'll find accessible beaches and clear s...
    Read more
  • Holland, Michigan

    Kayaking Windmill Island

    4.5
    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 th...
    Read more
  • Port Austin, Michigan

    Paddle Next to Lake Huron Sea Cliffs

    Launch your kayak in the sheltered marina of Grindstone City County Park. Once you paddle past the break walls, paddle east along the shore. In less than a mile, you will come to huge rock faces. Some faces have beaches of rocks and sand. If it's wavy or windy, be careful not to get too close! A...
    Read more
  • Houghton Township, Michigan

    Hike to Lookout Louise

    2 mi
    Starting at the Tobin Harbor day use dock kayak/canoe northeast or out of the inlet towards Lake Superior. Stay on the left side of the inlet for roughly a mile. You will pass several small chains of islands so stay to the left. You will come upon another day use dock and you will want to get out...
    Read more
  • Waterford Township, Michigan

    Paddle the Headwaters of the Clinton River

    The total trip is approximately 2 miles, or 50-90 minutes. Your leisurely trip begins at the Waterford Clinton River Canoe Launch. While some paddlers go downstream and then back upstream to the start, I recommend staging a car or a bike where you end. The end point for this trip is the business ...
    Read more