How to Kayak, SUP or Canoe Traverse City’s Boardman River –

For many people, the Boardman has a special place in their hearts after just one ride on his sometimes unruly, always beautiful course. Here are some popular places to jump and enjoy the river:

Boardman’s Upper Stretches & Forks State Forest Campground
The upper sections of the Boardman are generally slower and more lazy. A popular place for paddling is Shumsky Road Canoe Launch up to Beitner Road. (There are some rapids just below Beitner. So make sure you get off on the right before you go under the road.) This route takes about 1.5 hours.

Another popular stop is the Forks State Forest Campground on Brown Bridge Road. There are several places to retreat along the way. A long, leisurely day paddle takes four to five hours to get off at Shumsky Road.

Tips for taking over the boardman
Some sections of the Boardman are narrow and winding. So be prepared for the occasional dusting with your partner when you need to lie flat under an overhanging branch! Otherwise, enjoy the Boardman’s wilderness. Most of it is really remote. You won’t see many houses or people. Instead, immerse yourself in Michigan’s beauty, where fish soar, ducks paddle, and rivers ripple.

Easy paddling on the Boardman River
If you’re looking for a simple paddle around town, you can rent it from Paddle TC in the Clinch Park Marina. Paddle along the edge of the swimming area in Grand Traverse Bay and travel just a short distance east before turning right into the estuary. You can paddle this quiet, slick section of the Boardman behind the downtown shops and restaurants before turning and floating back down.

Paddle TC’s sister company, Kayak Brewery Tours, also offers tours like the KaBrew, which allows you to paddle and bike from brewery to brewery in downtown Traverse City.

Advanced paddling on the Boardman
Another choice for advanced paddlers is The Boardman River Experience, offered by The River Outfitters in Traverse City, which takes about an hour through some rapids from Jack’s Landing to Medalie Park. (Expect to get wet!) They also rent kayaks and SUPs.

They pay around $ 25 to $ 30 an hour, or $ 75 to $ 100 for a day of kayak or SUP rental. You can also choose between single or double kayaks and share the cost (and the blame for mishaps!) With a buddy.

Tips for dressing up while paddling on the Boardman River

Paddle TC offers the following tips for getting dressed:

  • Dress for the water, not the weather.
  • Consider the water temperature rather than the air temperature.
  • Quick-drying layers of clothing are ideal, and hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are highly recommended.
  • Wear sturdy sandals or water shoes.
  • Bring or dry dry bags for valuables (wallet, keys, phone, etc.).
  • Always wear a life jacket.

Comments are closed.