Sunday, May 13, 2012

Midwest Canoe Trails

Midwest Canoe Trails
by John W Malo

This guidebook gives short descriptions of over 100 rivers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario. While it's over thirty years old, and much of the rental information is out-of-date, the rivers are still there.

"In all probability there is no region in the world that offers so much canoeable water over such an extensive area and so readily available to millions of people as does the upper Midwest of the United States and the contiguous province of Ontario, Canada."

The guide lists 44 rivers in Michigan, and describes about half of them.

"The water trails of the Wolverine state knew the birchbark canoe long before they floated the bateaus of the French explorers. Indians, voyageurs, settlers, loggers, and, now, recreationists have enjoyed the state's moving waters, which have retained much of their integrity to this day."

Canoe Trails near Kalamazoo

1. Kalamazoo River
"The portion of this river that offers the best canoeing experience is from Allegan (Routes 89 and 40) to Saugatuck. There are well-developed state forest campgrounds in the county and numerous other places along the bank for unrestricted camping. The river flows between high banks and forests with many large trees."

2. Paw Paw River

3. Thornapple River

4. St Joseph River
"This southwestern river is born at Sturgeon Lake near Colon at Route 86, where you can put in. You will meander over a lot of Indian trail water as you cruise this river, which flows through agricultural country."

5. Flat River

6. Grand River

"Add the Grand River, which rambles for 185 miles in scenic beauty through seven counties, to your collection, and you will be able to boast of the experience of canoeing the most crooked river in Michigan. The river also meanders through four cities-- Jackson, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Grand Haven before it enters Lake Michigan."

7. Looking Glass River

8. Red Cedar River

9 Maple River

10. Muskegon River

"This River rises in Higgins and Houghton lakes in Roscommon County and flows southwesterly for 227 miles to its terminus at Lake Michigan."

11. White River

12. Pere Marquette River

"For a hundred miles the Pere Marquette River is a fast trout water with many quick turns along its wooded course."

13 Pigeon River
"This stream in northeast Indiana from Mongo to the Michigan state line is a twenty-mile cruise with four well-defined portages." "Spring is the time to float this river, for the canoeist will be treated to meadows in bloom and trillium covering the banks and fields in milky white panoramas for miles along the way."

This book is out-of-print. Some used-book sellers may have copies available. I found one at my library.

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