by Kevin & Laurie Hillstrom
I've written about this guidebook's regional destinations and bike trails earlier. Here are some recommendations for canoeing & kayaking in southern Michigan from their section On Water:
South Michigan Rivers
1. Dowagiac River
M-62 bridge to Kinzie Road Bridge (off M-51) above Niles Dam: mellow, less than 50 feet wide, good for beginners.
Below Niles Dam to US-31 bridge or to St Jospeph River : quicker current, more challenging.
2. Flat River
from Greenville Dam: a peaceful afternoon float. Camping in Langston, Flat River, & Lowell state game areas (with permit)
3. Grand River
"Michigan's longest river is an ideal testing ground for beginners."
dozens of access points.
4. Huron River
Numerous campgrounds, busy in places.
Good paddling starts at Proud Lake St. Recreation Area & passes through several lakes. Delhi rapids are popular with kayakers (but can be portaged).
5. Raisin River
An endless series of twists and turns earns it "The world's most crooked river"
Several access points, starting at Swain Park in Brooklyn.
6. Rogue River
Good paddling starts at Sparta. Top-notch from Rockford to the Grand River.
7. Shiawassee River
Near Michigan's thumb, "the Shiawassee is ideal for familiy outings or showing the ropes to novice paddlers."
Numerous access points from Bryon down. Prime take-outs at West Gary Bridge & Fergus Road.
8. St. Jospeph River
Wide and deep. Many dams & impoundments.
Good canoeing starts below Tekonsha.
9. Thornapple River
Midsection "offers undemanding floats through attractive woodlands."
Access near Thornapple Lake: Nashville Dam, Thornapple Rd., Barger Rd., Charlton County Park.
Take-out at Irving Dam.
See it at Google books, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.