[note] This article has been updated for 2016. [/note]
by Leslie P
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 your family on a canoe trip? The Greater Kalamazoo area has several locations where you can rent both!
PLACES TO RENT CANOES OR KAYAKS
Gull Lake Marine | 12485 East D Ave, Richland | 800-252-3388
Location: Gull Lake Marine at Gull Lake in Richland.
Equipment available for rent: Kayaks and additional boats and equipment.
Please note: You can rent by the hour, day or week. Online reservations are available on their website.
Ramona Beach Park | 8600 South Sprinkle Road, Portage, 49002 | 269-329-4522
Location: Ramona Park Beach in Portage.
Equipment available for rent: Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.
Please note: Available daily June 10 – September 5 from 12:30 to 6:00 pm.
Doe-Wah-Jack’s Canoe Rentals | 52963 M 51 North, Dowagiac | 269-782-7410
Location: All trips begin at 52963 M 51 N, Dowagiac, MI 49047.
Equipment available for rent: Canoes, single and double kayaks. Rentals come with necessary paddles and flotation devices.
Please note: Doe-Wah-Jack’s website offers a great detailed guide, so you know just what to look for during your 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
Rental Locations: At the Paw Paw River boat access parking lot 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).
Please note: Locations are also available at the Galien River and New Buffalo Beach.
Rental Location: A location will be set following your reservation.
Equipment available to rent: Canoes and kayaks.
Other services: Trailspotters of Michigan offers services in a variety of locations around West Michigan including guides, transportation, rentals and spotting. Advanced reservations are required. You can find additional information on their facebook page.
Fort Custer Outfitters | Fort Custer Recreation Area, 5163 Fort Custer Drive, Augusta |269-967-6274
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 calling Trailspotters of Michigan at 386-227-7768.
U-Rent-Em Canoe Livery | 805 West Apple Street, Hastings | 269-945-3191
Location: All equipment is picked up at the Hastings Location. They will transport you and your equipment to the location launch.
Equipment available to rent: Canoes, kayaks and tubes.
Additional services: Additional delivery options are available upon request. Tubing trips are also available.
Please note: Trip options range from three hours to six and a half hours.
Liquid Therapy Canoe and Kayak Rental | 221 South Main Street, Three Rivers | 269-273-9000
Locations: St. Joseph River, Portage River, Rocky River, Prarie River, Fawn River, area lakes upon request. All trips begin at the Main Street location.
Equipment available for rent: Canoes and kayaks.
Please note: All rentals include life jackets, paddles and transportation to and from the river/lake. Liquid Therapy accepts cash only.
St. Joseph River
En Gedi Campground and Canoe Livery | 30321 Covey Road, Leonidas, MI 49066 | 269-689-7490
Location: Eight trip options beginning at Sturgeon Lake in Colon.
Equipment available for rent: Canoes, kayaks and tubes.
Please note: All rentals include life jackets, paddles and transportation. Trip options and policies can be found here.
Other Rental Locations
Lee’s Adventure Sports | 311 West Kilgore Rd, Portage | 269-381-7700
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.
Please note: Be sure to ask about their deposit policy.
Hope you have a great time on your adventure! Let us know if you go.