PADDLE THE CRYSTAL RIVER
Take the family on a 2-3 hour trip along one of northern Michigan's best river rides. With clear water and a sandy bottom all tucked deep in the Sleeping Bear Dunes, you'll see why the Crystal River has earned its name.
COORDINATES: 44°53'52.0"N, 85°59'02.2"W
LEVEL: Beginner (anyone)
TIME: Medium (2-3 hours)
ACCESSIBILITY: Easy (parking on site, kid friendly).
THINGS TO DO:
SUP/Kayak, wildlife viewing
Spend an easy, breezy 2-3 hours on the waters of the Crystal by renting your river-worthy vessels (SUPs, kayaks, or canoes) here:
Crystal River Outfitters
WHEN TO GO: Anytime, just make sure you can fit in a 3 hour ride before the ourfitters close (contact for times)
HOW TO GET THERE:
Take M-72 west 19 miles to Benzonia Trail/Co. Rd. 677, then 6 miles north to Glen Arbor. Turn east (right) at the stop sign on M-22, Crystal River Outfitters is on the right side of the road (about a 1/4 mile).
WHAT TO BRING: A cooler for drinks, water shoes with straps (flip flops might get lost), sunscreen, and a way to secure items like keys and phones in case you go under (like a water-safe bag).
OPTIONAL SIDE TREK: Glen Arbor is full of great shopping, arts, and eats. If that's not enough, rent some bikes at Crystal River Outfitters and head down the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail for a gorgeous view of the woods.
KICK IT UP A NOTCH: Opt for the SUP. It's surprisingly stable and easy to do, and gives you a different perspective (and workout).
TIPS: Just have fun. You really can't go wrong with this trip, even if you tip!
LOVE STAINLESS STEEL MIZU THERMOS
The best way to enjoy kayaking? With a cold drink at hand. This double-walled, vaccuum-sealed thermos keeps liquids hot for 12 hours and cold for 18. A top clip helps secure it to your boat in the off chance you tip (but that will never happen, right?)