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Old 03-30-2011, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,749 posts, read 65,567,547 times
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I want to bring whatever family members will come on a three or four day canoe trip this summer. Does anyone have suggestions about where may be the best place for this?

I went on a four day trip down the Huron in the 1980s, but it was mostly through cities and towns. Not very wild, and it was hard to find camping places. Plus crossing the lakes was no fun at all. Still it was a nice trip and we had some interesting adventures.

I know that the Ausable river is very popular for long canoe trips. If this is the best option what is a good starting and stopping point and where to camp in between?

My limited experience on the Ausable was that there is a lot of development along the river (kind of like the Huron, only not as dense). We are looking for something wildernessy. Is there a more empty section than others?

Years ago I canoed on the Taquamenon River, but it seemed like we were carrying the canoes more than paddling them. I think that we were often camping illegally when we stopped, but no one was there to care. Is there a stretch of the Taquamenon river that is better for Canoing? Can you still just stop and camp wherever you like?


Other suggestions?

THank you.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
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I think a great trip on the Au-Sable would be from the Mio dam pond to the Alcona dam pond. Or start in Grayling and head East. Here is a nice site that gives float hours from Grayiling to many spots. http://www.penrodscanoe.com/canoe.html
I know when you get closer to Oscoda...like 25 miles west or so, there are a ton of spots to just pull your canoe up the bank and camp. There are also some islands up near Glennie that people camp on above the dam. Of course if there is a better spot in the U.P...you cant beat that.

Last edited by michmoldman; 03-30-2011 at 05:54 PM..
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:40 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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I just have to plug my hometown favorite river, the Pere Marquette. From the m-37 bridge in Baldwin to the mouth on Pere Marquette lake in Ludington I believe it is about 100 miles. It is a national Wild and Scenic river where it flows through the Manistee national forest and you can camp anywhere along those stretches as long as you are 1/4 mile from the shore. There are also designated camping sites and campgrounds along the way as well. One of the campgrounds right on the river is the Scottville Riverside Park. Some of the tent sites are set apart from the main part of the campground and right on the river. From Scottville down to PM Lake is quite a stretch and only crossed by the freeway and by US-31 almost at the end. It is busy during the week-ends and also during the Spring Steelhead and Fall Salmon runs, but most trips down during the week are nice and quiet, at times it seems as though you have the entire river to yourself. Don't forget to bring your fishing rods, no metter if there is a run going or not, there is some great fishing the entire length (Just watch the upper sections where some portions are fly fishing only, or other restrictions.)

Plenty of put-in and take-out sited from Baldwin down to Scottville, from Scottville down to PM Lake there are no take-out spots.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Charlevoix
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The Pere Marquette, Manistee, Au Sable, Pine are all great rivers...the Jordan too.

We go on 3-4 day trips and camp on the river....great times.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:05 AM
 
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I'd second the AuSable for Mio dam to Alcona. I'm biased though, I used to work the river (hauled canoes) in that part. That was a popular run for overnighters. Not as much development as is the Grayling stretch. The Pine is beautiful but tough for novices...one of the fastest, if not thee fastest in the State.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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If you want a more wilderness trip think about the Manistque River & Fox River.
Manistique River Michigan - Map - Canoe - Kayak - Fish - lodging Germfask Michigan
Fox River Michigan - fishing - canoeing - kayaking - lodging - Seney Michigan

If you want just a rual type river give the Muskegon river a look see.
United States Canoe Association Selects Muskegon River for 2011 National Canoe and Kayak... -- LANSING, Mich., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ --

Al
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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Wow. Thanks.

Now I have more choices to sort through. I will have to poke around ont he internet and try to narrow it down. The Pine river might be fun, depending on who goes. I like fast moving water.

Are any of these rivers really shallow and/or full of fallen trees or other obstructions? We went canoeing on some river near Silver Lake dunes and it was misreable. Turn a corner, dodge a tree, get out and wade over a sandbar, turn a corner, paddle like mad agaisnt the current to get out of a tree, turn a corner, get stuck on a tree, wade over a sand bar, dodge a tree, portage around several trees. Not fun at all. Not really canoeing, more like dodgem canoeing. Good thing they were rental canoes. They took a beating.

I prefer rivers with few or no lakes to cross. Lots of alternate routes, twists, islands etc make a river more fun. Deeper areas to jump out and swim for a while are also nice. Above all else, we want to be away from houses, cities, crowds, cell phone service areas, etc. I have enough experience that I am not concerned about any rivers in Michigan. At least to my knowlege, there are no class 3-5 rivers here.

I have no problem with zero impact camping requriements as long as you are permitted to bury your wastes (not interested in carrying out bags of poo). Fishing does not really interest me all that much (no fun to gut the things), but my sons woudl love to drag a line behind the canoe. Can you really catch Salmon?

My wife and some of the kids may skip the canoeing and drive ahead and set up camp if the campsites are accessible, however it would be just fine with me if the campsites are only acessible by canoe. They can either come along, or stay at home. They will not mind. My wife tolerates camping but does not love it.

We may end up with as many as ten cnoes full of people, or it cold be just two. However, we should probably identify areas with camping that can accomodate 10-30 people. These things tend to grow once you do the planning, other people are happy to jump on board.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:26 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Fishing does not really interest me all that much (no fun to gut the things), but my sons would love to drag a line behind the canoe. Can you really catch Salmon?
Oh yeah, you can catch Salmon, Steelhead, Rainbow trout, Brown Trout, Northern Pike, and several others on the Pere Marquette (as well as the Muskegon, Manistee, and most others) depending on time of year.


Quote:
We may end up with as many as ten cnoes full of people, or it cold be just two. However, we should probably identify areas with camping that can accomodate 10-30 people. These things tend to grow once you do the planning, other people are happy to jump on board.
That sounds like a great time, relaxing and having a blast with friends and family. It sounds like it will be a good time no matter where you go.

I really can't say about the others that have been mentioned, but the PM does have some sweepers, but not a ton of them. We did have a huge wind storm in Oct and I haven't floated it after that sot here may be (probably are) some new ones. As for depth, 95% of the river isn't a problem at all at any time of year. There are a few shallow spots during the real hot, dry periods but I've never had a problem anywhere. There are a ton of twists, turns, and even different channels in sections that make it nice to poke around and do a bit of exploring.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
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I also hear quite a bit bout the Boardman River.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:41 AM
 
481 posts, read 854,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Wow. Thanks.

Now I have more choices to sort through. I will have to poke around ont he internet and try to narrow it down. The Pine river might be fun, depending on who goes. I like fast moving water.

Are any of these rivers really shallow and/or full of fallen trees or other obstructions? We went canoeing on some river near Silver Lake dunes and it was misreable. Turn a corner, dodge a tree, get out and wade over a sandbar, turn a corner, paddle like mad agaisnt the current to get out of a tree, turn a corner, get stuck on a tree, wade over a sand bar, dodge a tree, portage around several trees. Not fun at all. Not really canoeing, more like dodgem canoeing. Good thing they were rental canoes. They took a beating.
The Pine river is narrower so trees are more of a problem (simply less room to dodge them). Ausable from Mio to Alcona is pure river until you GET to Alcona, then you have to paddle across the backwaters to the pick up spot.
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