Guide to Water Sports near Thompsonville, MI

Michigan is home to many lakes and rivers, making it an ideal place to go for those wanting to go boating, kayaking or canoeing. In fact, Some of the best canoeing in Michigan is available near the Mountain Valley Lodge.

If you're looking to spend some time canoeing or laying in Michigan, consider one of the several nearby rivers and water trails. If you'd rather spend your time boating, take a trip to one of these nearby lakes that will allow you to see what boating in Michigan is all about. Either way, you are sure to find some great ways to enjoy the Michigan outdoors.

Michigan Boating Laws

Before you can get on the water, it's important to understand Michigan boating laws. Generally, there isn't an age restriction to operate a boat but there are some certifications required depending on age and horsepower of the boat. Many boat rental places, however, will likely set their own age restrictions.

As far as canoes and kayaks, there aren't many restrictions except that each person on-board must have a life jacket. This applies to all watercraft. Be sure to research any requirements specific to a county or rental place.

For more specifics, visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website.

The Best Rivers near Thompsonville

Betsie River

Betsie River runs from Green Lake near Interlochen running to Betsie Lake near Frankfort. There are several areas to cast off in either a kayak or canoe. The river itself isn't too difficult, but the easiest stretch is from Homestead Falls to the second bridge on River Road.

The river runs through the Betsie River State Game Refuge before emptying into Betsie Lake. Be sure to ask for specifics on the river from boat rental places such as Crystal Lake Adventure Sports before embarking on a Betsie River kayaking or canoeing trip.

Big Manistee River

The Big Manistee River runs 190 miles but has plenty of sections for an easier kayak or canoe trip. There are three different portions of the Big Manistee River and the upper portion, which is closest to the Mountain Valley Lodge, features a family-friendly stretch from U.S. Highway 131 to Baxter Bridge.

This stretch offers a great way to take in the scenery and will take about four hours to explore. To learn more about kayaking or canoeing on the Big Manistee River, ask an expert at a local rental shop such as Wilderness Canoe Trips.

Platte River

The Platte River is broken up into two sections and both are great places for canoeing and kayaking. The Lower Platte River is gentle and features some easy turns, making this stretch perfect for kayakers of all ages. The Upper Platte River is a faster stretch, though not quite white water rapids.

This stretch is geared toward more experienced paddlers. Learn more about Platte River kayaking and canoeing by talking to an expert at a rental shop such as The Honor Trading Post.

The Best Lakes near Thompsonville

Interlochen State Park

Interlochen State Park
Distance from us: About 19 miles

A Michigan recreation passport is required for each vehicle to enter Interlochen State Park and for use of state boat launches and harbors.

This state park sits between both Green and Duck lakes. There are three boat launches spread throughout the park and boat and kayak rentals are available.

Crystal Lake

Distance from us: About 9 miles

There are several boat launches spread along the lake's shores. The Crystal Lake Marina offers boat rentals and is on the northeast shore of the lake.

Other boat launches include spots on the southeast, south and southwest shores. Crystal Lake is also close to the Platte and Little Platte lakes.

Long Lake

Distance from us: About 27 miles

Long Lake has three locations for launching boats. The first is Taylor Park on the northern end of the lake.

Gilbert Park sits on the northwest shore while Crescent Shores Public Boat Launch sits on the southwest shore. Long Lake is home to several islands and offers plenty of space to explore via a variety of watercrafts.