Explore the Pentwater River with Canoeing, Kayaking, or Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Pentwater kayak adventure

Michigan has an abundance of lakes and streams that are not only beautiful, but are perfectly tailored to the wonderful pastime of canoeing and kayaking. While in the Pentwater area, there are endless opportunities for "Being On the Water" with many lakes and rivers to discover. Bring your kayak or SUP (stand up paddleboard) for a fun outing that will keep you active and provide plenty of wonderful scenery! Your passion for the water will surely make your visit to Pentwater memorable and exciting.

Whether you like swift-moving streams with some action, or picturesque ponds and lakes for smooth gliding, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in the Pentwater area, paddling on the forks, estuary, and the head of Pentwater Lake.

There are so many options within and surrounding Pentwater to explore nature's beauty, and there's always a place to explore for any paddler's skill level. If you need a break from life, get on the water and relax by listening to the sounds of nature--bird songs, the waves of the water, fish jumping, deer running through the grass. So rent or grab your canoe, kayak, or stand up paddeboard and start exploring! This is an excellent way to experience the varied environments that make up the Pentwater river watershed.

Discover the State Game Area Estuary and Pentwater River

Pentwater water lily
Just off of Monroe Road, you can begin your Pentwater River trip at the launch area on the south side of the road just before the Pentwater River Bridge and before the Red Barn. This area has limited parking space with no storage facilities available, although it offers a put-in ramp intp the Pentwater River/State Game Area Estuary. You have an option of traveling south (or right) at the ramp downriver from the confluence of the north branch and south branch of the Pentwater River. From there you can paddle up the south branch turning south (or left) at the fork, or continue out the north branch to the head of Pentwater Lake. If you decide to head up the north branch of the Pentwater river, turning left once you're in the water from Monroe Road, you'll enjoy many turns and curves of a deciduous riparian environment vs. the grassland estuary of the lower north and south branches. All options boast many different species of wildlife. Although some of these options include going up-river, the current isn't usually strong enough to create much difficulty while paddling.

On the River...

Once on the river, there's a feeling of remoteness and seclusion. Tall grass creates a pathway on the river, and there isn't a house or road in site...just nature. White tailed deer, muskrats, fish, different species of birds including bald eagles, and many other forms of wildlife will accompany your trip up the Pentwater River.

About 45 minutes to an hour paddling upstream on the south branch, you'll see a large sand dune. It's worth the climb to take a break from paddling and take on the 100-plus foot sand dune to catch a view of the winding river and wildlife in the surrounding area. On the way back, enjoy a carefree ride downstream and let the river take you down its course.

One of the most beautiful times to go kayaking, canoeing or stand up paddle boarding is early in the morning and later in the evening, sometime during the sunrise or sunset. There is so much history involved with the rivers of Michigan. Way back when, rivers were a major way of transportation, and the people back then traveled by canoe, carrying all their belongings with them while heading to their next location which, many times, was unknown to them. Traveling the river of Pentwater in a canoe, kayak, or upon a stand up, can take you back and will be sure to help relieve some stress from everyday life. Make a day out of it, and travel the river, then head to Pentwater Lake, or just take a couple hours to enjoy your adventure. If you're on the water for a long period of time, be sure to take along some snacks, and water to stay hydrated in the sun.

Explore Pentwater Lake and Lake Michigan

If you're looking for a bigger area to explore, check out the Pentwater Lake, or even Lake Michigan from the Charles Mears State Park. There are several different places to start from when exploring the lakes. In downtown Pentwater, from the launch area at the South end of the Village Marina near Snug Harbor there is a small launch area. Parking is available at the marina. You can grab some lunch downtown, then head to the launch to get on the lake and start exploring. Another place to drop in is on Longbridge Road, just outside the Pentwater city limits. From the launch area on Longbridge road (south side of the Pentwater Lake at the 90 degree bend) there is a wide launch area with a dock. Limited parking is available. Once on the lake, enjoy the view of open water, and travel near the shore to get a different view of Pentwater houses and roads.

Paddling...Great Fun, Great Workout!

There are so many benefits to "Being On Water" on a kayak or paddle board. For starters, it's great fun, and you can catch some sun! It's also extremely beneficial to your body...it's a great workout, yet it's a fairly easy activity. Stand up paddleboards offer a great workout because the paddling motion while standing up is driven by your core. It's also a way to get killer arms! Depending on the effort being put into stand up paddleboarding, a person can burn between 225 to 800 calories an hour. That's broken down into 3 common categories of paddleboarding: recreational light, adventure touring, and competition racing. Recreational light takes the smallest amount of effort, and burns the least amount of calories. Competition racing is the most energy intense level, and can burn around 800 calories per hour. Kayaking can have the same benefits, depending on how much effort is being put into the movement.

It's one of the top activities on the list of things to do in Pentwater....being on the water....you can't beat that!

Discover More Area Lakes and Rivers to Explore via Canoe or Kayak...

Ludington State Park on Hamlin Lake -- Explore Hamlin Lake and surrounding waterways, starting from the State Park canoe and kayak trails.
Hamlin Lake Area Canoeing and Kayaking -- Hamlin Lake offers so many neat areas to explore on a canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board, including upper Hamlin Lake and three different bayous.
Canoe or Kayak the Pere Marquette River near Scottville -- The moderately fast current, the clear water, and the low degree of stream bank development have all helped to make this river a mecca for those who canoe or kayak.

For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:

West Michigan Map
Ludington Activities & Things to Do -- Play on a beautiful beach, take a tour at Historic White Pine Village, or explore the barn quilt trail, murals or sculptures in the county--Ludington offers many fun things to do for the entire family!
Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and riverwalk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe rentals.
Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced WestMichigan.MichBiz.com directory for our largest lists of Things to Do in West Michigan.
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Last Updated: 09-25-2020 11:22 AM ID: 1599