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Tahquamenon River Canoe & Kayak Trips
Canoe & Kayak Rentals for area Campgrounds
Tahquamenon River Camping Trip
Hello fellow paddlers,
Canoeing and camping often go hand in hand, so if your plans include camping at or near one of the many lakes, rivers or campgrounds in our area, you might also like to rent a canoe or kayak for a day or two of paddling. The Woods provides delivery service, or offers U-take for the do-it-yourselfer. You can enjoy some time alone, or with the family at one of the places listed below. If you're interested in taking a trip on the Tahquamenon River, we offer a variety of trips suitable for the family. All of the state campgrounds which are listed here have a public boat launch from which to launch your canoe or kayak; there is no charge to use the boat launches if you plan on paddling for the day. Because fishing is usually a big part of any camping trip, fish species have been included in the details below. Remember that you
must have a permit sticker on your vehicle windshield if you plan on parking within the Tahquamenon Falls, or Muskallonge Lake State Park boundaries. Enjoy your trip!
Andrus Lake -State Forest Campground located 6 miles north of Paradise via M-123, Whitefish Point Rd. and Vermillion Rd. Andrus Lake is 31 acres in size, and supports rainbow trout, panfish, and smallmouth and largemouth bass. As with most of the lakes and campgrounds listed here, this is a very secluded area. While you're in the area you should definitely check out Shelldrake Dam (very beautiful).
Bodi Lake, Culhane Lake, and Little Lake - In close proximity to each other, Bodi Lake and Culhane Lake are both state forest campground sites. Bodi Lake is 274 acres in size, and Culhane Lake is 99 acres. Both have regular type boat ramps. Culhane Lake is 30 miles NE of Newberry via M-123 and Co Rd 500, while Bodi Lake is 32 miles NE of Newberry via M-123 and Co Rds. 500 and 437. Fishing in these lakes is good for walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, and panfish. Little Lake is connected to Lake Superior for some "big lake" paddling along the shoreline (recommended on calm days only), and is 87 acres in size. It has a regular type boat launch, and an outhouse is on site, but no camping is available here. You can reach Little Lake via M-123 and Co Rds. 500 and 412. These lakes offer you a variety of north country paddling experiences in one general location.
Betsy Lake Wilderness, Link #2 - The Betsy Lake area is a series of 3 lakes; Betsy Lake, Clark Lake, and Sheepshead Lake. These lakes are located within the boundaries of Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and are accessible only by foot, or by canoe. A half mile walk will begin your trip at Clark Lake, with portage to Betsy Lake. Sheepshead Lake access is more difficult, being from the north side. Because of the remoteness of this area, you'll want to make sure that you come prepared with a map and a compass. Camping is possible along Clark Lake with the recent addition of a primitive campsite there; a camping permit is required from the Tahquamenon Falls State Park to use the campsite; call them at (906) 492-3415 to check for availability. Try your luck fishing for northern pike, or perch in any of these lakes. Maps of this area are available at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park Headquarters, or at The Woods Canoe & Kayak Rental.
Lake Superior - The scenery around Lake Superior is spectacular! If you go out on a calm day you can paddle along the shores of Lake Superior and enjoy mile after mile of unpopulated sandy beaches, and crystal clear water. Kayaking is usually preferred over canoeing on the "big lake" due to the ease of maneuverability when going up against wind and waves. This is also an excellent way to hunt for rocks in the shallow portions of the lake. Look for access points anywhere along the Lake Superior beach. Some common places to put in at are the Tahquamenon Rivermouth, Little Lake, and across from Muskallonge Lake. Take extra precautions when paddling on Lake Superior to not stray far from shore; this lake is known for its unpredictable weather patterns. You should also always be aware of where you are, and use a compass.
Muskallonge Lake State Park, Link #2 - This is a lake that you can do some "big lake" paddling on. Over 700 acres in size, Muskallonge Lake is a shallow lake with clear, pure water. Definitely one of the best lakes around for overall recreational enjoyment. If you like fishing, Muskallonge Lake has northern pike, smallmouth bass, walleye, perch, and panfish. Finding a campsite here is usually no problem, as there are 170 sites available; but just to be on the safe side you should call ahead to reserve a site at (906) 658-3338. You can get to Muskallonge Lake by following M-123 past Newberry about 4 miles, then turn left on Co Rd. 407 (4 mile corner). Follow Co Rd. 407 past Deer Park until you reach Muskallonge Lake State Park on your left. Lake Superior is located right across the road for some real "big lake" paddling (calm days only)!
Perch Lake, Link #2 - One of the many wilderness lakes located in northern Luce County. A State Forest Campground is located here, with easy access right off of Co Rd. 407. 125 acres in size, Perch Lake supports northern pike, musky, walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass, perch, and panfish. Perch Lake is 25 miles north of Newberry via M-123 and Co Rd. 407.
Pike Lake, Link #2 - A 23 site State Forest Campground is situated on this beautiful 292 acre lake. Unlike the other lakes on this page, a lot of the area around Pike Lake is privately owned; nevertheless this lake is excellent for paddling, wildlife viewing, and fishing. Fish species include northern pike, walleye, perch, largemouth bass, and panfish. Fishing around the island can be very productive for pike; especially in the morning. Pike Lake is located 29 miles north of Newberry via M-123 and Co Rds. 500 and 414.
Pretty Lakes Canoe Area Link #2 - A quiet place to paddle a canoe or kayak, with incredibly clear water; a great place to camp for a few days. 5 lakes are connected by foot paths for portaging from one lake to another, with campsites available. Each lake has its own character, and also holds different species of fish. Depending on which lake you're at, you can fish for walleye, perch, rainbow trout, or splake. If you're an avid "canoe camper", a trip to Pretty Lakes is well worth the trip. Pretty Lakes is located 28 miles NW of Newberry via M-123, and Co Rds. 407, 416, and 439. Pretty Lakes can be difficult to find without a map!
Shelldrake Dam - Definitely a shining jewel amongst the area's many paddling places. The campground has been closed for a couple of years now due to state budget cuts, but the lake is still open for recreational purposes. This area has been flooded to attract wildlife, and gives many places for the paddler to explore. Located nearby, Andrus Lake has a campground where you can pitch your home base. If you plan on doing some fishing, Shelldrake Flooding is home to northern pike, perch, and bluegill. Located 8 miles north of Paradise, you get to Shelldrake Dam via M-123, Whitefish Point Rd. and Vermillion Rd.
Kritter's Northcountry Campground & Cabins - This is a privately owned campground which is located 4 miles north of Newberry on M-123, just north of the Tahquamenon River. Because of its central location within the Tahquamenon Valley, Kritter's Northcountry Campground & Cabins makes a great home base if you plan on taking a canoe trip, or just doing some paddling on this part of the river. Larry and Kathy Bartolomucci go out of their way to provide good ol' northern hospitality to their guests. There are 4 access points located very close to Northcountry Campground; Dollarville Dam, McPhee's Landing, Natalie State Forest Campground, and the bridge at M-123. You can call them at (906) 293-8562 to make your reservation here.
Dollarville Dam - Most frequently used as the put-in spot for a short trip to the M-123 bridge, or for a longer trip down to McPhee's Landing. The country in through this area offers very scenic trips that are well suited to beginners and families. For fishermen, the river supports northern pike, musky, walleye, perch, and a variety of other species. Dollarville Dam is located 1.3 miles west of Newberry, off of Co Rd. 405; The direction sign for Dollarville Dam has recently been removed by vandals and may not have been replaced yet. Look for a short, narrow road on the north side of CR 405 just before you get to the big curve in the road. Go a short distance and turn left. Follow the road to the end where the boat launch is located.
McPhee's Landing - Used as an end point for your trip from Dollarville Dam, or the Tahquamenon Logging Museum (M-123 bridge); 2 day trips down to the Tahquamenon Falls are also usually begun at McPhee's Landing. Beautiful panoramic views are the trademark of this area. A variety of fish inhabit these waters, with the most common being northern pike, musky, walleye, and perch. McPhee's Landing is located about 5 miles NE of Newberry via M-123 and Co Rd. 462.
Mouth of Tahquamenon River - A good place to put in if you plan on just paddling around for a while, or to do some kayaking along the shore of Lake Superior (recommended on calm days only). You can also begin a 17 mile, all day river trip at the Lower Falls and end at this point. Remember to get a permit sticker for your vehicle from the State Park before you park at this location. Try your luck fishing for northern pike, musky, walleye, and perch. About 6 miles south of Paradise, you can get to the Mouth of the Tahquamenon River via M-123.
Natalie State Forest Campground - This is the only campground that is located directly on the middle section of the river; the river may be paddled in both directions from here. Paddling downstream will take you through the Dollarville Flooding area which can be very shallow at times, and difficult to maneuver. If you start your trip from here, you will have to portage around the Dollarville Dam. A boat dock will be on the right, and you follow the trail to the other side where the boat launch is; in the large parking lot. You can fish the entire middle section of the river for northern pike, musky, walleye, and perch. Natalie State Forest Campground is 5 miles west of Newberry via Co Rds. 405, and 434.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Link #2 - Home to the majestic Upper Tahquamenon Falls, and the more tranquil and picturesque Lower Falls, the Tahquamenon Falls State Park encompasses 40,000 acres of wilderness. Canoeing opportunities abound within the park, from paddling around one of the many wilderness lakes, to an all day trek from the Lower Falls to the Rivermouth. 2 campgrounds are located on the Tahquamenon River within the park; the Rivermouth Campground, and the Lower Falls Campground.There is a beach area at the Rivermouth Campground from which to take your canoe or kayak for a paddle in either direction. At the Lower Falls Campground you can take your canoe down to the bottom of the falls by a boat ramp located near the falls. Also, a nice place to paddle if you're a real wilderness buff would be the Betsy Lake area. This chain of 3 lakes (Betsy, Clark, and Sheepshead) are walk-in and portage only, and have recently been updated with a primitive campsite(fee required). If you love the wilderness you should check out this area. The Tahquamenon Falls Rivermouth Campground is located 5 miles south of Paradise on M-123 at the mouth of the Tahquamenon River. The Lower Falls Campground is located about 10 miles west of Paradise on M-123. If you require more details about Tahquamenon Falls State Park, call the Park Headquarters at (906) 492-3415.
Tahquamenon Logging Museum, Link #2 - You can start here for a leisurely 3 hour trip that ends at McPhee's Landing, or you may choose to take an easier, shorter trip that begins at the Dollarville Dam and ends at the museum. This is also a great place to camp overnight on a relatively easy 2 day canoe or kayak trip that begins at the Dollarville Dam, and ends at McPhee's Landing. The more adventurous can extend their multi-day trip to as far as the rivermouth. If you plan on fishing, the most common fish species in this section of the river are walleye, pike, perch, musky, and panfish. The Tahquamenon Logging Museum is located on one of the most beautiful sections of the River, just one mile north of Newberry on M-123. Your canoe or kayak trip may be arranged with The Woods Canoe & Kayak Rental. Call The Logging Museum at (906) 293-5777 for more information on camping, or about taking a tour of the museum.
Newberry, Michigan, United States
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