Let’s Get Paddling

With over 80 lakes and multiple rivers in Kalamazoo County alone, Southwest Michigan is the perfect place to spend some time out on the water.

Do you love to kayak? Or have you always wanted to take the family on a canoe trip? In the heat of the summer, there’s nothing like a stroll down a waterway to see mother nature in all her beauty.

We’ve compiled a list of local canoe and kayak options and some a bit out of town, perfect for a day trip sure to guarantee an unforgettable adventure!

Places to rent Canoes and Kayaks

Gull Lake

Gull Lake Marine | 12485 East D Avenue, Richland | 800-252-3388

Equipment available for rent: Kayaks and additional boats and equipment such as paddle boards, and hydrobikes.
Gull Lake Marine offers rent by the hour, day or week and online reservations are available.

Gun Lake

Gun Lake Rentals | 2422 Patterson Road, Shelbyville | 269-672-2500

Equipment available to rent: Single and tandem kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, pontoon boats, jet skis and other boats. Online reservations available.

Long Lake

Ramona Beach Park | 8600 South Sprinkle Road, Portage | 269-329-4522

Equipment available for rent: Canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.
Canoes, kayaks and SUPs are available daily on beach operating days until 6:00 PM.

NEW for 2018 Ramona Beach Park has waived the entrance fee to the park/beach for Portage residents.

Dowagiac River

Doe-Wah-Jack’s Canoe Rentals | 52963 M 51 North, Dowagiac | 269-782-7410 

Equipment available for rent: Canoes, single and double kayaks. Rentals come with necessary paddles and flotation devices.
Doe-Wah-Jack’s website offers a detailed guide, so you know just what to look for throughout the trip. Also, be sure to inquire about their car spotting policy.

 

Paw Paw River


Paw Paw River Kayaking |Third Coast Paddling
 | St. Joseph and Benton Harbor | 269-468-9399

Pick up Locations: At the Paw Paw River boat access parking lot located at 601 Graham Avenue in Benton Harbor and at Jean Klock Beach in the concession building.
Equipment Available for rent: Kayaks and stand up paddle boards (SUP).
Rental locations are also available at the Galien River and New Buffalo Beach.

Kalamazoo River

Trailspotters of Michigan 386-227-7768

Pick up Location: Determined upon reservation.
Equipment available to rent: Canoes and kayaks.
Trailspotters of Michigan offers services in a variety of locations around West Michigan including guides, transportation, rentals and spotting. Advanced reservations are required.

Kalamazoo River / Pine CreekLake

Plainwell Kayak Company | 211 North Main Street, Plainwell | 269-365-2926

Equipment available to rent: Single and limited tandem kayaks. Paddles, life jackets and livery service to launch locations are provided.
One-hour and three-hour trips are offered. NEW for 2018 – lake kayaking trips on Pine Creek Lake.

Eagle Lake

Fort Custer Outfitters | Fort Custer Recreation Area, 5163 Fort Custer Drive, Augusta |269-967-6274

Pick up Location: The concession stand at Eagle Lake inside Fort Custer Recreation Area.
Equipment available to rent: Canoes, kayaks, standup paddle board and row boats.
Additional services: Kalamazoo River rentals and shuttle service by contacting Trailspotters of Michigan.

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Thornapple River

U-Rent-Em Canoe Livery | 805 West Apple Street, Hastings | 269-945-3191

Pick up Location: All equipment is picked up at the Hastings Location. Participants and equipment will be transported to the location launch.
Equipment available to rent: Canoes, kayaks and tubes.
Additional delivery options are available upon request. Tubing trips are also available. Trip options range from two and a half hours to six and a half hours.

Three Rivers

Liquid Therapy Canoe and Kayak Rental | 221 South Main Street, Three Rivers |
269-273-9000

Pick up Locations: St. Joseph River, Portage River, Rocky River, Prarie River, area lakes upon request. All trips begin at the Main Street location.
Equipment available for rent: Canoes and kayaks.
All rentals include life jackets, paddles and transportation to and from the river/lake.

St. Joseph River

En Gedi Campground and Canoe Livery | 30321 Covey Road, Leonidas | 269-689-7490

Pick up Location: Eight trip options beginning at Sturgeon Lake in Colon.
Equipment available for rent: Canoes, kayaks and tubes.
All rentals include life jackets, paddles and transportation.

Grand River / Red Cedar River – Lansing

River Town Adventures | 325 City Market Drive, Lansing | 517-253-7523

Pick up Location: Many different trip options begin with a shuttle from Lansing City Market, downtown Lansing. Paddle down Red Cedar River to get a view of Potter Park Zoo.
Equipment available for rent: Canoes and kayaks.
River Town Adventures offers a rules and etiquette list.

Other Rental Locations & Experiences

Lee’s Adventure Sports | 311 West Kilgore Road, Portage | 269-381-7700

Pick up Location: Rental equipment can be picked up at the Portage store location.
Equipment available for rent: Canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards (SUP’s), camping equipment and additional water sport equipment.

Kanoe the Kazoo

Local organizations have come together to host guided trips down various area rivers and lakes, including the Kalamazoo River. Select dates require you to have your own equipment.

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By |2018-07-16T12:48:38+00:00June 13th, 2018|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Guides, Parent resources, summer fun, Things to Do, Water Fun|Comments Off on Family-Friendly Kayak and Canoe Options Around Kalamazoo

About the Author:

Leslie is passionate about promoting everything the Kalamazoo area has to offer. A mother of two, she enjoys reading mystery novels, trying out new recipes and browsing Pinterest for new ideas.