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Traverse Area Paddle Club

Remember: all TAPC outings are listed on our event calendar and are color coded using this scheme:

 

Small Inland Lakes   

Great Lakes   

Easy Rivers 

Intermediate Rivers  

Difficult Rivers 
Clean-up Trips 

Out-of-town Trips 

If you need help using the website you may call the Club Express

Help Desk at

(866) 457-2582

Monday - Friday,

8:30 AM - 7 PM Eastern Time

HomeDriving directions

 

Note: We have provided GPS coordinates for all of the locations following each narrative.  In addition we have provided a link to a Google map for that location.  If you click on the link you should get a map containing the put-in.  You can zoom in or out to get the scale that is most helpful to you.  If you click on directions on the left hand side of the page, then put in your home address, Google will give you turn by turn directions from your house to the access.  Hint - print them out, and take them with you!

 In addition, many map pages have the street address of the access.  You can load this into your navigator and have it direct you to the put-in!  However, you have to be cautious, the red "A" on the map is the location of the address, the green arrow is the location of the access.  At times they are across the river from one another!  It is also possible that your navigator will send you down a road that is only suitable for high clearance vehicles.  If the coordinates have (verified) after them it means that a member has used the coordinates in a navigator and arrived at the desired location.

 

Copyright 2016
 

Arbutus Lake

From TC, drive south on Garfield Road past Hammond, and turn left (east) onto Potter Road.  Follow Potter to 4 Mile Road.  Turn right (south) on 4 Mile and drive .5 mile to N. Arbutus Lake Road.  Turn left (east) on N. Arbutus Lake Road approximately 2 miles.  Follow the DNR boat launch signs to the Arbutus Lake DNR access site (100 yards past the campground entrance).  If you reach East Arbutus Lake Road, you have gone .3 miles too far.

Coordinates: 44.674563,-85.51995 (verified)

Map to Arbutus Lake

 
AuSable River (Penrod's Canoes) - 100 Maple Street, Grayling, (888) 467-4837 
From Traverse City, take M-72 east to the town of Graying.  At the stop light, turn right on Cedar Street (also business I-75), and drive three blocks to the stop light at Michigan Avenue.  Turn left on Michigan Ave and drive four blocks to the stop sign on Maple Street.  Turn right and drive three blocks to Penrod's on the left.
Coordinates: 44.661629, -84.707669 (Verified)

 Map to Penrod's Canoes

 
AuSable River (Burton's Landing)
In Grayling drive south on St James Street (I-75 Business Loop and M-72); turn left at the Burger King and go 2.9 miles east on M-72. Turn left (north) on Burton's Landing Drive and go .4 miles to the river.
Coordinates: 44.662514,-84.647416 (Verified)
 
AuSable River (Louie's Landing)
In Grayling drive south on St James Street (I-75 Business Loop and M-72); turn left at the Burger King and go 3.4 miles east on M-72. Turn Left (north) on Louie's Landing Road and drive .6 miles to the river.
Coordinates: 44.665614,-84.63754 (Verified)
  
AuSable River (Keystone Landing) 
In Grayling drive south on St James Street (I-75 Business Loop and M-72); turn left at the Burger King and go 3.8 miles east on M-72. Turn Left (north) on Keystone Landing Road and drive .5 miles. 
Coordinates: 44.665074,-84.627278 (NOT Verified)
 
 
AuSable River (Thendara Road) 
In Grayling drive south on St James Street (I-75 Business Loop and M-72);  turn left at the Burger King and go 4.8 miles east on M-72. Turn Left (north) on Thendara Road and drive .8 miles.
Coordinates: 44.669508,-84.606762
 
AuSable River (Stephan Bridge)
In Grayling drive south on St James Street (I-75 Business Loop and M-72);  turn left at the Burger King and go 6.2 miles east on M-72. Turn Left (north) on Stephan Bridge Road, and drive 1.6 miles to the landing on the right.

Coordinates: 44.679051,-84.576895 (Verified)

 
AuSable River (Wakeley Bridge)
In Grayling drive south on St James Street (I-75 Business Loop and M-72); turn left at the Burger King and go 9.3 miles east on M72. Turn Left (north) on Wakeley Bridge Road and go 1.8 miles.  About 250 yards before the bridge, turn right onto the road marking the access site.  Bear left immediately at the first fork in the road to go to the launch site which is right next to the river. Parking is back up the road and then bear left to the parking lot.  All these spots are well marked.  At the second fork, bear left.  Walk back 100 yards to the river.  Pit toilets are at the site. 
Coordinates: 44.65812, -84.50697 (Verified)
 
AuSable River (McMasters Bridge)
In Grayling drive south on St James Street (I-75 Business Loop and M-72); turn left at the Burger King and go 16.8 miles east on M72. Turn Left (north) on McMasters Bridge Road and go 4.8 miles. There are nice pit toilets here.
Coordinates: 44.664773, -84.396898 (Verified)
 
AuSable River (Parmalee Bridge)
In Grayling drive south on St James Street (I-75 Business Loop and M-72); turn left at the Burger King and go 22.5 miles. Turn Left (north) onto Deeter Road and go 2.9  miles, then make a slight left onto Red Oak Road and drive 1.7 miles.  There are nice pit toilets here.
Coordinates: 44.675363, -84.293085 (Verified)

Map to Parmalee Bridge Access 

 
Bear Creek (Coates Highway)
Drive to the town of Brethren which is about an hour's drive southwest of Traverse City.  Drive west out of Brethren on Coates Highway about a mile to Spirit of the Woods Road just before the bridge over Bear Creek.  Drive south on Spirit of the Woods Road to the conservation club's facility.  This is a private club who open's their property to the public.  There is a porta potty and a paved path to the launch site.  There is a trip report written on June 24, 2013 that describes the trip down this creek.
Coordinates: 44.312441, -86.050118 
 
Bear Creek at the confluence with the Manistee River
From the Spirit of the Woods access, turn left and drive west on Coates Highway.  Drive about four miles and turn left on Kettner Road.  Drive south on Kettner Road about a mile to River Road.  Turn left and drive southeast about a half mile to a large paved parking area on the right.
Coordinates: 44.291914,-86.113859
  

Betsie River (Grass Lake Dam)

From Chums Corners take US-31 west about 10 miles and turn left (south) on Reynolds Road.  There is a .1 mile jog to the west crossing Cinder Road.  Continue south on Reynolds (now dirt) about 2.8 miles and watch for the State Forest Campground sign, which is exactly where you need to turn.  Take the campground road left (east) all the way to the dam (about .6 mile) to park and launch. 

Coordinates: 44.592077,-85.848231

Grass Lake Dam Access

 
Betsie River (Wallin Road / Long Road Access)
From Chums Corners take US-31 west 14.2 miles to Thompsonville Hwy (Co. Rd 669).  Turn left and drive south 6.2 miles to Wallin Road.  Go 2 miles to Long Road and turn right (south).  Drive about .3 mile to the access on your left.
 

Betsie River (Thompsonville)

Drive to Thompsonville in Benzie County via 669 or 602.  If you are heading south on 669, then turn right (west) on Gallagher Road on the north edge of town.  Drive about 3 blocks, and follow the road as it curves right and goes down the hill to the access on the left side of the road, right before the river.  If you are heading into Thompsonville itself, turn north on 3rd Street for ½ mile until it intersects with Gallagher, and turn left to the access as described above. 

Coordinates: 44.528261,-85.948653

Map to Thompsonville Access

 

Betsie River (County Line Road)

This access is about 3 miles southwest of the Crystal Mountain Ski Area.  Get to Thompsonville in Benzie County via 669 or 602.  From the intersection of those two roads, head west on 602 two miles and turn south (left) on Weldon Road.  After ½ mile, you will cross over 115, and then (in about 20 yards) make the next right onto County Line Road.  Drive west for three miles to reach the river.  

Coordinates: 44.514224,-86.044032

County Line Road Access

 

Betsie River (Homestead Dam)

Head to Benzonia via US-31.  Just south of town and the Ben Franklin shopping plaza, turn east onto Love Road.  Drive one mile and then turn south onto Dam Road for ½ mile.  The access is at the river; you can’t miss it.  

Coordinates: 44.596313,-86.079737

Homestead Dam Access

 

Boardman (Forks)

Take Supply Road southeast from the Traverse City area to Brown Bridge Road, just past the bridge over the river.  Turn west and drive about ½ mile to the river access.

Coordinates:  44.673198,-85.401235

Map to Forks Access

or

Take River Road east across Garfield. Continue going straight, past the two access points near Brown Bridge Dam.  By then the surface will have turned to dirt, and a few hundred yards further, there will be a fork in the road.  MAKE SURE YOU DON'T MISS IT, OR ELSE YOU WILL END UP IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (on Scharmen Road), FAR FROM WHERE YOU WANT TO BE.  So, you will take the left fork, called Brown Bridge Road and stay on it for about two miles, when it will cross the river and pass the entrance to Scheck's Place Campground.  Continue on the same road, without making any turns.  After another mile or so, you will pass Ranch Rudolf, and then just continue on the same road.  There's a fork in the road a mile or two later; just stay left towards the Forks Campground.  You'll still be on Brown Bridge Road.  You will recognize the put-in when you get there.  Don't park way over on the right, since the canoe livery vehicles turn around there, and our minivan once got hit by one of their trailers.  

Coordinates:  44.673198,-85.401235

Map to Forks Access

 

Boardman (Scheck's Campground)

From the Traverse City area, take Hammond east to High Lake Road. Turn right (south) for ½ mile and then turn left (east) on Supply Road. Take Supply Road east until you reach Rennie Lake Road.  Turn right (south) on Rennie Lake Road and follow it all the way until the T-intersection and stop sign at Ranch Rudolf Road.  Turn left (east) on Ranch Rudolf Road and follow it all the way (past the trailhead for the Muncie Lakes Pathway), down the hill until the T-intersection with Brown Bridge Road.  Turn right on Brown Bridge Road (heading back west) and follow it a mile or two (passing the horse campgrounds) until you see the bridge crossing over the Boardman.  Immediately before the bridge, turn left into the campground and drive about 100 yards to the parking area by the river. There is a potty there.

Coordinates: 44.652079,-85.453914

Map to Shecks

 

Boardman (Brown Bridge Landing)

Take Garfield Road south of Traverse City to River Road.  Turn left (east) and drive about 1/4 mile.  You will cross Arbutus Hill Road, and then the river itself.  Turn left into the TC Light and Power parking lot.  If you run out of blacktop, you went about 50 yards too far.  We can now drive down the path 100 yards to access the river.

Coordinates:  44.641946,-85.510026

Map to Access below Brown Bridge Dam

          

Boardman (Shumsky)

From Traverse City, head south on Keystone Road and turn left (east) on River Road.  Go about 2½ miles, and turn right on Shumsky Road; take it about ½ mile to the DNR access site on the right.

From the east side of TC, get to the corner of Garfield and River Road (contact me if you need directions in getting to that intersection), and head west on River Road.  Go about 3 miles, and turn left on Shumsky Road; take it about ½ mile to the DNR access site on the right.   

Coordinates:  44.651007,-85.590492

Map to Shumsky Access

 

Boardman (YMCA)

Meet at the far end of the Y parking lot.   The access is on the south side of South Airport Road between Keystone and Cass. Turn south on Racquet Club Drive, just west of the river, across from Logan's Landing at the south end of Boardman Lake.  Follow the road about 200 yards to the Y.  

Coordinates:  44.728539,-85.616413

Map to YMCA Access

 
Boardman Lake (Hull Park)
Hull Park is at the north end of Boardman Lake, behind the main TC Library.  Drive to the traffic light at the corner of Woodmere and Hannah, just south of the library.  Head towards the lake, which is 1/2 block west of that intersection.  The road will curve north; continue one block to the parking lot next to the launch area.  There are bathrooms in the building next to the access.  Be careful when you cross the TART Trail.

 

Bowers Harbor Public Access

Drive up the Old Mission Peninsula on M-37 (Center Road) and turn left onto Seven Hills Road.  After ½ mile, make a left onto Bowers Harbor Road.  After you pass the park, at the stop sign, make a right on Neah-ta-wanta Road.  Within 100 yards, turn left into the public access.  Or....drive north all the way from the base of the peninsula along Peninsula Drive (bordering West Bay), and after you pass the Boathouse restaurant, veer left onto Neah-ta-wanta Road.  Within 100 yards, turn left into the public access. 

Coordinates:  44.894801,-85.524617

Map to Bowers Harbor Access

 

Cedar Lake

From TC take M-22 north (about 1 mi past M-72) to Cherry Bend Rd (traffic light) and turn left (west).  The DNR access site is about .25 mi after the turn on the north side of the road.  Leelanau County.

Coordinates: 44.794201, -85.642569

To see a Google map to the access, put these coordinates  into the location field for Google Maps.

 

Crystal Lake DNR Public Access

Drive to the town of Benzonia.  At the traffic light in Benzonia, turn west onto M-115 (Frankfort Hwy).  Drive about two miles on M-115 to Molineaux Rd.  Bear right onto Molineaux Rd. and drive about 500 ft. to Crystal Lake DNR Public Access on your right.

Coordinates:  44.633979,-86.129218

Map to Crystal Lake Public Access

   

Golden Cedar River - Gladwin MI

From East Traverse City - Acme Area
Take M72 to Grayling - Take I75 south to US127 -Exit 251

Go to Exit 170 - M61 - Harrison

Go East on M61 to Gladwin

Putin 44.005269,-84.525424 (Verified)
Takeout 43.979342, -84.494318 (Verified)

                                                                             

From West Traverse City - Chums Corners - Grawn
Take M37 to M113 to Kinsgley

Stay on M113 to US131

Turn Right (south) and get off at M115 - Exit 176
Turn Left (South East) to M61 - Turn Left to Harrison
Go through Harrison and continue on M61 to Gladwin.

Putin 44.005269,-84.525424 (Verified)
Takeout 43.979342, -84.494318 (Verified)

Map to Golden Cedar River put-in

 

Haserot Park (Old Mission Peninsula)

From TC, take M-37 north along the Old Mission Peninsula.  About 15 miles out, turn right (east) on Swaney Road one mile to Haserot Beach. 

Coordinates:  44.96163,-85.48507

Map to Haserot Park Access

 
Jordan River (Grave’s Crossing)

Drive east of TC via M-72 to Kalkaska and then north on US-131 to Mancelona.  Just north of town, turn left onto 66 (just before McDonald’s), and drive north about 8 ½  miles until you reach Grave’s Crossing Road.  Turn right (east) and go about 100 yards to the river.  Time from Acme is 50 minutes. 

Coordinates:  45.033249,-85.064242 (verified)

Map to Graves Crossing Access

 
Lake Dubonnet

Meet at the DNR access in the Lake Dubonnet Campground.  From Chum’s Corners (US-31 and M-37), go west on US-31 about 7 miles, and just past the Interlochen Golf Club, turn right (north) on Gonder Road. Go about 1 mile until the road curves to the right, but do not follow the curve.  Instead, continue north on the dirt road about .8 mile and just before the campground registration building, turn right to the boat access parking lot (100 yards).

Coordinates:  44.682528,-85.797762  (verified)

Map to Lake Dubonnet Access

 
Little Manistee – Driftwood Valley Campground

From the corner of M-37 and M-55 south of Traverse City, drive west on M-55 about 8 miles to Bosschem Road (669).  Turn left and drive south on Bosschem about 4.2 miles to 12 Mile Road.  Turn right on 12 Mile and drive west .4 miles to Bass Lake Road (669).  Turn left and drive south on Bass Lake Road.  After you pass by Elbow Lake and Harper Lakes you turn right and drive west on 10 Mile Road (maps and navigators call this 10 1/2 Mile Road) .  Drive ½ a mile west crossing the river.  ¼ mile after the river, turn right on West River Road.  Drive ¼ mile and turn right on the road to the campground.  The access is down a steep bank on old wooden steps near the center of the campground.  Note, the campground has recently closed, but you can still use the access.
Coordinates: 44.132523, -85.996686 

Little Manistee - Nine Mile Bridge

Note: This section of river is the most difficult in Lower Michigan because it is not maintained by outfitters.  The current is fast and there can be numerous blockages, often right around blind corners.  You should not attempt this river unless you can stop your boat while in fast current.
Take M-37 south of TC to the corner of M-55.  Turn right on M-55 and go about 11.5 miles west to Udell Hills Road.  There will also be a sign directing you to Big M X-C Ski Area.  Turn left and head south on Udell Hills, which will eventually turn southwest and then west.  After about 6 miles, there will be a T-intersection with Skocelas Road.  Turn left and head south for about ½ mile.  As soon as you cross over the Little Manistee River, turn right into the parking area and unload your boats.  Driving time from TC is about 1.5 hours, depending on where you begin. 

Coordinates:  44.170667,-86.103448 (verified)

Map to Nine Mile Road Access

 

Note: There are two possible take-outs

Six Mile Bridge Landing - Coordinates 44.183783,-86.167596 (verified)

Map to Six Mile Bridge Access 

Weir Takeout Landing - Coordinates 44.197476,-86.197315 (verified)

Map to Weir Access

 
Manistee River – Deward North a.k.a. John’s Landing
Note: This access is about two hours paddle upstream from Deward.  It tests the definition of Navigable.  There are numerous places where you must get out of the boat and drag or portage over or around obstacles.  In places the stream is less than ten feet wide, and less than six inches deep, so you must use a short plastic boat you don’t mind abusing.  Do not try and use a tandem canoe, unless you enjoy carrying it for two miles.  If you are skilled, you will spend more time paddling than dragging.  This part of the river is sacred to trout fisherman, so it is no place to party.  You proceed down the river quietly, respecting the river and its inhabitants.
Drive to the town of Mancelona, northeast of Traverse City.  Turn right at the stoplight on C-38 and drive approximately eleven miles to Manistee River Road on the south side of the road.  (There is a large gas pipeline facility on the north side of the road just before the intersection.)  Turn right on Manistee River Road and drive one mile to the first fork.  Bear right, and in about one half a mile you will come to a parking area fifty feet from the river.  The road is fine for two wheel drive vehicles.
Coordinates:  44.88368, -84.844967 (Note: these coordinates point to the correct location on a map, but if you try and use them in a car navigator it will attempt to take you down Deward road on the wrong side of the river!)
Map to John's Landing
 

Manistee River (Deward Landing)

Note: This is the "normal" upper limit of navigability for the Manistee River. It requires a portage from the parking lot of about one third of a mile. A kayak cart is useful. The road in is not maintained so four wheel drive is useful.

Drive east out of Traverse City on M-72 to the stoplight in Kalkaska. At the light continue straight onto 612. Drive east for 6.5 miles to the stop sign. Turn left and remain on 612. After two miles, turn right remaining on 612, and drive east approximately 11 miles to the Manistee River. Drive about .2 miles past the bridge, and turn left (north) on Manistee River Road. After about a half mile bear right onto the gravel road – this is still Manistee River Road. Continue approximately 1.5 miles to the stop sign at Cameron Bridge Road. Go across Cameron Bridge Rd and stay on Manistee River Rd. Bear right at the fork and go until you come to an "S" curve. On the left there is a sign with BINOCULARS on it. Turn left down the nasty dirt road. Go slow and be careful. At the parking lot stay to the RIGHT! The left side is a sand pit and you will get stuck for sure.
Coordinates: 44.83726, -84.832435
Map to Deward Access

 

Manistee River (Cameron Bridge) and 612 Access
Drive east out of Traverse City on M-72 to the stoplight in Kalkaska.  At the light continue straight onto 612.  Drive east for 6.5 miles to the stop sign.  Turn left and remain on 612.  After two miles, turn right remaining on 612, and drive east approximately 11 miles to the Manistee River. 
Coordinates 44.771239, -84.84164
Map to 612 Access

To get to Cameron Bridge drive about .2 miles past the bridge on 612, and turn left (north) on Manistee River Road.  After about a half mile, bear right onto the gravel road – this is still Manistee River Road.  Continue approximately 1.5 miles to the stop sign at Cameron Bridge Road.  Turn left and drive .5 miles to the bridge.  The put-in is on the upstream side of the bridge on the west side of the river
.
Coordinates:  44.800152, -84.840975
Map of Cameron Bridge Area
 

 
 
Manistee River (M-72 Access)
Drive east out of Traverse City on M-72 to Kalkaska.  Continue east on M-72 18.6 miles from Kalkaska to the small access on the south side of M-72 across the street from the Shel-haven outfitter.
Coordinates: 44.692677, -84.847078
 
Manistee River (CCC Access)
Normally our trips end at the CCC Campground.  To get there from the M-72 Access  on the Manistee, drive west approximately 6 miles and turn south onto Sunset Trail Road.  Follow Sunset Trail approximately 8 miles  to the CCC Campground on the Manistee River.  Warning, this is a dusty rough gravel road that makes for an unpleasant ride.  There are other ways to get there from the west, beginning near Sharon and taking Military Road, King Road and Sunset Trail.
Coordinates: 44.614621,-84.991246
 

Manistee River (Sharon Road)

From TC or the east side of town: Head southeast of TC via Supply Road.  Remain on Supply, cross over US-131 and through the hamlet of South Boardman.  Stay on the same road heading east until you hit the stop sign at M-66.  Then turn right and go south for four miles to the intersection with Sharon Road (also called County 608).  Turn left onto Sharon Road, and go east about 4 miles to the access on the left.  If you go over the bridge, you went too far.

Coordinates:  44.585976,-85.090657
Map to Sharon access
 

From the southwest end of town: Take M-37 to M-113.  Go east through Kingsley to 186, and then take it across US-131 to Fife Lake.  Go around the lake on State St. and then Coster Rd., and then turn left onto Ingersoll.  Head east for about 8 miles to M-66.  Turn north (left) on M-66 and go one mile to Sharon Rd (also called County 608).  Turn right onto Sharon Road, and go east about 4 miles to the access on the left.  If you go over the bridge, you went too far.

Coordinates:  44.585976,-85.090657
Map to Sharon access

 
Manistee River (M-66)

Head southeast of TC via Supply Road, cross US-131 and go past South Boardman about 6 miles until you reach M-66.  Turn right (south) on M-66 and drive about 8 miles.  Just north of the Manistee River, turn right (west) to the river access.  You will be on a sandy two track which will go west for a few hundred yards, and then turn south to a large parking area.  Driving time from Acme is about 50 minutes. 

Coordinates:  44.523255,-85.179427
Map to M-66 access

 
  

Manistee River (Rainbow Jim’s)

To find this landing, locate the town of Fife Lake (southeast of TC, near US-131 and 186) on a map.  Drive a mile around the north side of the lake, and then follow Coster Road southeast approximately 4 miles to the river. The landing is on the southeast side of the bridge.  Driving time from Acme is about 45 minutes. 

Coordinates:  44.527045,-85.275332
Map to Rainbow JIm's access

 
 
Manistee River (Lucas Road)

To find this landing, locate the town of Fife Lake (southeast of TC, near US-131 and 186) on a map.  Drive a mile around the north side of the lake, and then follow Coster Road southeast approximately 3/4 mile to the first intersection.  Turn right so you are now heading south on Haynes Road.  Go south for 3 miles, and then the road will turn right (it’s now County Line Road) and head west for 1/2 mile to the first intersection.  Make the left onto Lucas Road, or County 597, and drive down the hill about a mile.  Turn left into the parking area.  If you go over the bridge, you went too far.  The landing is on the northeast side of the bridge.  Driving time from Acme is about 45 minutes.

Coordinates: 44.505628,-85.30974
Map to Lucas Road access

 
Manistee River (US-131)

Head southeast of TC via Supply Road or M-113, and turn right (south) on US-131.  About 2.5 miles south of the intersection of 113 and 131, you will approach the roadside rest area just north of the Manistee River on the east (left) side of the highway.  Drive into the rest area, and follow the signs to the river access at the south end of the parking area.  Please do not block the access while we are unloading boats and gear. 

Coordinates:  44.48547,-85.40484
Map to US-131 Access

 

Manistee River (Baxter Bridge)

Head south of TC to the town of Kingsley.  From the main intersection in town (Garfield / County 611 and M-113), drive one mile east, then turn right (south) in Summit City Road.  Drive five miles, and then follow the blacktop as you turn right (west) onto County Line Road.  After ½ mile, turn left (south) onto 29 ½ Road.  Within 1 ½ miles, you will see Baxter Bridge.  Do not go across the river, but turn right to the river access just north of the bridge.  
Coordinates:  44.493021,-85.52761
Map to Baxter Bridge 

  

Manistee River (Harvey Bridge)

This is the normal take- out for the Baxter put-in.
Coordinates  44.43886,-85.641636

Map to Harvey Bridge

 

 

Manistee River (Hodenpyl Dam)

Head south of TC on M-37 until you reach Mesick.  Go west through town as M-37 joins M-115, and continue on M-115 as it crosses over the Manistee River.  Do not turn south when M-37 turns again.  One mile after M-37 has turned off, you will turn left (south) on Hodenpyl Dam Road (the first one after you cross the river).  After about four miles, turn left on the dirt road - there's a sign for Consumer's Energy Hodenpyl Power Plant, and also a sign for Blueberry Lane - new in 2012, but your navigator calls it Hodenpyl Dam Road - and drive about ½ mile to the top of the Dam.  If you notice the metal guardrail alongside the road and see that the road is starting to climb, you missed the turn. 

Coordinates:  44.36369,-85.820293
Map to Hodenpyl Dam boat access

  

Manistee River (Woodpecker Creek) 

Head south of TC on M-37 until you reach Mesick.  Go west through town as M-37 joins M-115, and continue on M-115 as it crosses over the Manistee River.  Do not turn south when M-37 turns again.  One mile after M-37 has turned off, you will turn left (south) on Hodenpyl Dam Road (the first one after you cross the river).  After about four miles, turn left on the dirt road - there's a sign for Consumer's Energy Hodenpyl Power Plant, and also a sign for Blueberry Lane - new in 2012, but your navigator calls it Hodenpyl Dam Road, If you notice the metal guardrail alongside the road and see that the road is starting to climb, you missed the turn.  Drive about ½ mile to the dirt road branching right sign that says “NO Outlet”.  Turn Right on Upper River Rd and proceed 0.4 miles to the big blue and white Consumers Power sign that says “Woodpecker Creek Access”.  This site provides gentle steps to the river, modest parking, but no facilities.   

Coordinates: 44.366127, -85.829823

To see a Google map to the access, put these coordinates  into the location field for Google Maps.
 
 

North Branch of the AuSable (Lovells Bridge Access)

Drive east on M-72 to Grayling and go straight through the light where you turn right to go through town.  When the local street dead ends, turn right onto N. Down River Rd.  Stay on N Down River  Rd. until you get to Kellogg Bridge (44.716457, 84.419504) where it crosses the N Branch (about 11 miles), then continue about .25 mile to Lovells Rd and turn left.  Continue on Lovells Rd for 8 miles. When it dead ends in Lovells, turn left and continue .25 mile to the Bridge. 

Coordinates:  44.803931,-84.481941 (verified)

OR:

Take M-72 from Traverse City to Kalkaska.  Go straight through the light at intersection of M-72 and US-131.  Go 6 miles to the flashing red signal.  Turn left and go 1 mile to CR612 and take a right to Manistee Lake.  Stay on 612 to Lovells.  Many miles of bumpy roads but it's closer and faster than the previously described route.

Coordinates:  44.803931,-84.481941 (verified)
Map to Lovells access  

North Branch of the AuSable (Dam Four Rd. Access)

 

Drive east on M-72 to Grayling and go straight through the light where you turn right to go through town.  When the local street dead ends, turn right onto N. Down River Rd.  Stay on N Down River  Rd. until you get to Kellogg Bridge (44.716457, 84.419504) where it crosses the N Branch (about 11 miles), then continue about .25 mile to Lovells Rd and turn left.  Continue on Lovells Rd for 2.2 miles. Turn left on to Dam Four Rd and continue about .8 mile to landing.
Coordinates:  44.756346,-84.457441 (verified)
OR:
Take M-72 from Traverse City to Kalkaska.  Go straight through the light at intersection of M-72 and US-131.  Go 6 miles to the flashing red signal.  Turn left and go 1 mile to CR612 and take a right to Manistee Lake.  Stay on 612 to Lovells.  Many miles of bumpy roads but it's closer and faster than the previously described route. At Lovells turn right on Lovells Rd and head south for 6.8 miles to Dam Four Rd on the right.  Turn right and go .8 miles to the landing.
Coordinates:  44.756346,-84.457441 (verified)
Map to Dam Four Access on N. Br. AuSable 
 

 

Pearl Lake

From Tom’s West Bay in TC, take M-72 west 12.5 miles.  When M-72 jogs north, turn south on CR 669.  After one mile, turn right (west) on Pettengill Road (signed Oviatt on the east side and Pettengill on the west side).  Go one mile and turn left (south) on Pearl Lake Road.  Drive ½ mile and turn left (east) on Wagner Road; the access site (a public park) is on the right about 100 yards down. 

Coordinates:  44.769377,-85.919352
Map to Pearl Lake access

 

Pigeon River (Red Bridge) 

Get off I-75 at the Wolverine exit (2 exits north of Gaylord).  At the top of the ramp, turn right heading east on Webb Road.  After about 7 miles, you'll hit the river and the parking area.

Coordinates: 45.272121,-84.460177
Map to Red Bridge access
 

  

Pine River (5 Mile - Briarpatch access)
Plan on an 1.5 hour drive from TC.

From the west side of TC:  Drive to the corner of M-37 and M-55 (about 45 minutes south of Chums Corner), and then continue south on M-37 for about another 11 miles.  Turn left immediately after you cross the Little Manistee and head east on 4½ Mile Road.  Drive about 10 miles on that, which will change names to Old M-63/ Luther Highway and then 5 Mile Road.  Note: after 6 miles, Old M-63 turns south, but you will continue straight east at that point.  You will cross State Road and then two miles further, the paved roadbed will end when you hit Skookum Road.  Continue straight on 5 Mile Road, which is now unpaved, and go two miles until it ends at the Pine River.

Coordinates:  44.068113,-85.610362 (verified)
Map to Briar Patch Access

Shuttles along the Pine River

 

From the east side of TC: Take US-131 south of Cadillac to exit 168 (Tustin). At the top of the ramp, turn west (right) onto 20 Mile Road / Marion Road towards Bristol.  When you hit the county line, the name changes to 8 Mile Road, but keep going straight.  After 8½ miles, the road will turn south (left) and become Skookum Road.  After 3 miles, you will hit 5 Mile Road, at which point the paved road will turn right.  Do not make that turn!  Instead, turn left so that you are heading back east on the unpaved portion of 5 Mile Road, and go two miles until it ends at the Pine River.

Coordinates:  44.068113,-85.610362 (verified)

Shuttles along the Pine River

 
Pine River (Walker Bridge Canoe Livery)
8601 N State Rd, Luther, MI 49656
You will really need a good map; look at it before you read this!  Drive to the corner of M-37 and M-55 (about 45 minutes south of Chums Corner), and then turn left (east) onto M-55 for 2.2 miles.  Turn right (south) on No. 7 Road, and follow it as it turns east, south and east again.  At the Hoxeyville intersection (there's a sign for the Hoxeyville Country Apartments on the corner), turn right onto Old State Road.  It’s the only paved road you can choose after you’ve been driving east for 1.5 miles.  Then there will be several turns east and south, and after about 7 miles, shortly after the sign for Silver Creek Campground, you will reach the Walker Bridge Canoe Livery on the right.  If you go over the bridge, you went 50 yards too far.

Shuttles along the Pine River 

           

You can go via US-131, get off at Boon Road which goes around the north side of Cadillac, and then continue on west (the road changes name to No. 34 Road) for 9.5 miles to the T intersection with No. 23 Road.  Then we head south 2 miles, jog west 1 mile on No. 38 Rd. and then south again on No 21 Road for 2 miles until you hit M-55.  Go straight across, and then head south one mile; at that point the paved section turns west (No. 46 Rd.) and one mile further, it angles southwest until it turns into No. 48 Rd.  After going 2.6 miles west on that, you will come to the Hoxeyville intersection (it's paved) where you turn south on State Road.  Then there will be several turns east and south, and after about 7 miles, shortly after the sign for Silver Creek Campground, you will reach the Walker Bridge Canoe Livery on the right.  If you go over the bridge, you went 50 yards too far.

If you have a good map, this will make sense to you.  We like this way since you avoid going past TC completely.

Shuttles along the Pine River 

 

Another possible route is to take US-131 south of Cadillac to exit 168 (Tustin). At the top of the ramp, turn west (right) onto 20 Mile Road / Marion Road towards Bristol. When you hit the county line, the name changes to 8 Mile Road, but keep going straight.  About 2.3 miles after the Bristol corner, turn right onto Saddler Road (unpaved).  Note: if you remain on 8 Mile, it will turn south .7 miles after the Saddler intersection; if that happens, you missed the turn!  Anyway, go north on Saddler for 1 mile, and then left on 9 Mile Road.  Head east on 9 Mile about 2.5 miles and you will arrive at a stop sign on State Road.  Turn left and head south for less than a mile.  Shortly after the sign for Silver Creek Campground, you will reach the Walker Bridge Canoe Livery on the right.  If you go over the bridge, you went 50 yards too far.

 

 

Pine River (Silver Creek Campground)

This access is just north of Walker Bridge, where State Road goes over the Pine River.  Use the directions to Lincoln Bridge (below), but don't turn off of State Road; go south another mile or two until you see the sign for Silver Creek Campground (on the right, before you cross over the Pine River), and turn in there. If you cross over the Pine, you went a bit too far. Once you turn into the campground area, park in the small lot for the walk-in campsites, right before the potties. There's a short path to carry our boats and gear down to the water. 
Coordinates: 44.114782,-85.683385
 
 
Pine River (Lincoln Bridge Access)
You will really need a good map; look at it before you read this!  Drive to the corner of M-37 and M-55 (about 45 minutes south of Chums Corner), and then turn left (east) onto M-55 for 2.2 miles.  Turn right (south) on No. 7 Road, and follow it as it turns east, south and east again.  At the Hoxeyville intersection (there's a sign for the Hoxeyville Country Apartments on the corner), turn right onto Old State Road.  It’s the only paved road you can choose after you’ve been driving east for 1.5 miles.  Then there will be several turns east and south, and after about 5 miles, there is a small brown sign indicating an access, turn right and follow the road down to Lincoln Bridge Access.  Do not turn off the road and head into the campground, but go directly to the river. 

Coordinates:  44.133013,-85.696117 (Verified)
Map to Lincoln access

Shuttles along the Pine River 

           

You can go via US-131, get off at Boon Road which goes around the north side of Cadillac, and then continue on west (the road changes name to No. 34 Road) for 9.5 miles to the T intersection with No. 23 Road.  Then we head south 2 miles, jog west 1 mile on No. 38 Rd. and then south again on No 21 Road for 2 miles until you hit M-55.  Go straight across, and then head south one mile; at that point the paved section turns west (No. 46 Rd.) and one mile further, it angles southwest until it turns into No. 48 Rd.  After going 2.6 miles west on that, you will come to the Hoxeyville intersection (it's paved) where you turn south on State Road.  Then there will be several turns east and south, and after about 5 miles, shortly after the small golf course and the house that usually has a motor home in the yard, turn right and follow the road down to Lincoln Bridge Access. Do not turn off the road and head into the campground, but go directly to the river.  If you have a good map, this will make sense to you.  We like this way since you avoid going past TC completely.

Coordinates:  44.133013,-85.696117
Map to Lincoln Access

Shuttles for the Pine River

 

Another possible route is to take US-131 south of Cadillac to exit 168 (Tustin). At the top of the ramp, turn west (right) onto 20 Mile Road / Marion Road towards Bristol. When you hit the county line, the name changes to 8 Mile Road, but keep going straight.  About 2.3 miles after the Bristol corner, turn right onto Saddler Road (unpaved).  Note: if you remain on 8 Mile, it will turn south .7 miles after the Saddler intersection; if that happens, you missed the turn!  Anyway, go north on Saddler for 1 mile, and then left on 9 Mile Road.  Head east on 9 Mile about 2.5 miles and you will arrive at a stop sign on State Road.  Turn right and head north 1 mile to the road down to Lincoln Bridge Access. Make a left immediately before the house on the corner, and go directly to the river.

Coordinates:  44.133013,-85.696117
Map to Lincoln access

 
Pine River (Elm Flats Access)
You will really need a good map; look at it before you read this!  Drive to the corner of M-37 and M-55 (about 45 minutes south of Chums Corner), and then turn left (east) onto M-55 for 2.2 miles.  Turn right (south) on No. 7 Road, and follow it as it turns east, south and east again.  At the Hoxeyville intersection (there's a sign for the Hoxeyville Country Apartments on the corner), turn right onto Old State Road.  It’s the only paved road you can choose after you’ve been driving east for 1.5 miles.  Then there will be a few turns east and south, and after about 3 miles, at a corner, there is a sign for the Elm Flats access.  Turn right and follow the road down to the river.
 
 

Pine River (Dobson Bridge) 

Drive to the corner of M-37 and M-55 (about 45 minutes south of Chums Corner), and then continue south on M-37 for another 2 ½ miles.  Turn left (east) on N. 48 ½ Road (there’s a private campground/party store on the corner) and drive 1.5 miles on the blacktop road.  When the paved road turns left, do not follow it.  Instead, continue straight on the unpaved road, which will turn right within 100 yards, and follow it down the hill to Dobson Bridge.  Cross the bridge and turn left into the parking area. Reminder: you will need a Manistee National Forest permit to park your vehicle. 

Coordinates:  44.17923,-85.760013  (verified)
Map to Dobson Access

Shuttles along the Pine River

 

You can also go via US-131, get off at Boon Road which goes around the north side of Cadillac, and then continue on west (the road changes name to No. 34 Road) for 9.5 miles to the T intersection with No. 23 Road.  Then we head south 2 miles, jog west 1 mile on No. 38 Rd. and then south again on No 21 Road for 2 miles until you hit M-55.  Go straight across, and then head south one mile; at that point the paved section turns west (No. 46 Rd.) and one mile further, it angles southwest until it turns into No. 48 Rd.  After going 2.6 miles west on that, you will come to the Hoxeyville intersection (it's paved) where you turn south on State Road.  Go one mile and then turn west on No. 50 Rd, which will take you directly to Dobson after 2.5 miles.  We like this way since you avoid going past TC completely.

Coordinates:  44.17923,-85.760013
Map to Dobson Access

Shuttles along the Pine River

 
Pine River (Peterson Bridge)
Drive to the corner of M-37 and M-55 (about 45 minutes south of Chums Corner), and then continue south on M-37 for another mile.  Turn left (east) at the Peterson Bridge
canoe access, before you cross the river.  Drive all the way down the hill to the landing at the riverside.  Reminder: you will need a Manistee National Forest permit to park your vehicle.  Do not follow M-37 over the river to the south shore and the campground; if you look over the edge and see the Pine River, you went too far.  

Coordinates:  44.203405,-85.79941 (verified)
Map to Peterson access
Shuttles along the Pine River

 

Platte River (Lower section)

Meet at the canoe access on Lake Michigan Road (also called M-708) about 1/4 mile off of M-22.  See the link to the map.  Do not go to Riverside Rental; that is the access on the other side of the river.  My favorite route is to take US-31 to the town of Honor, and then take Deadstream Road (M-708) between Platte Lake and Little Platte Lake until you reach M-22.  Then turn south (left) and drive about 1/2 mile to the first intersection. Turn right, and meet us at the parking area.

Coordinates:  44.712434,-86.119676
 

Platte River (Upper section)

Veteran's Park campground, on the south side of US-31.  It's about eight miles west of Interlochen Corners, just west of the bridge where US-31 crosses the Platte River, just past the Fish Hatchery and Thompsonville Highway.

Coordinates:  44.65926,-85.944474 (verified)
Map to upper Platte River access

 

Skegemog Lake

To launch from the Baggs Road DNR access site, drive about 8 miles east of Acme on M-72, then turn left (north) on Baggs Road about two miles to the parking area.

Coordinates:  44.801997,-85.336396
Map to Lake Skegemog access

         

Sleeping Bear Dunes - Empire

Take M-72 about 20 miles west of TC to M-22 in Empire.  Immediately before the intersection, you will pass the headquarters of the SBDNL, so if you need a parking pass or a bathroom, both are available there.  Continue west straight across the highway, and you will be on Front Street.  After 3 very short blocks, there will be a T-intersection with Lake Street.  Turn right (heading north) for 100 feet and then left on Niagara Street towards the beach.  After a block, there will be a parking area on the right.  You can’t miss it - the big lake is right there.

Coordinates: 44.812716,-86.068097
Map to Empire Beach access

 

Sleeping Bear Dunes - Glen Haven

If you have a detailed map of Leelanau County, find your favorite route to Glen Haven, which is at the northwest corner of the county, at the end of M-209, which connects to M-109.  Park right next to the old cannery building, which is across from the beach.  You should be able to see South Manitou Island.  The route we use is this, but do not take it without a map: M-72 west out of TC to 677, north on M-22 across the causeway between the Glen Lakes, NW on Day Forest Road, left on Day Farm Road, right on M-109 to M-209 to Glen Haven.  Or you can take M-22 between the lakes to Glen Arbor, turn left in town on M-109 and then take it about 2 miles to M-209 to Glen Haven.  There are bathrooms there, right next to the general store.  You will need a parking pass for your vehicle.

Coordinates: 44.904343,-86.026984
Map to Glen Haven access

 

 

South Branch of the AuSable (Chase Bridge)

Note: There are three decent routes that you can use to get to this launch, depending on where you live and how good your maps are (and how adventurous you are).

 

1.  From Acme via M-72

Drive east on M-72 to Grayling, go through town and then continue east on 72 for about 9 miles to the first full intersection.  Turn right, heading south on Chase Bridge Road.  Drive about 7 miles until you cross over the bridge and then park on the left.  Time from Acme is about 1:20 hours. 

Coordinates:  44.540592,-84.550552 (verified)
Map to Chase Bridge access

 

2.  From TC via Supply Road & Roscommon

Drive east on Supply Road, cross US-131 and go past South Boardman about 6 miles until you reach M-66.  Turn right (south) on M-66.  Go 4 miles and then turn left and head east on Sharon Road.  It will change its name to Fletcher, but stay on it for about 25 miles until it comes to a T-intersection with S.Grayling Road.  Turn right and go south about 2 miles to the 4-way intersection with Higgins Lake Road/Roscommon Road.  Turn left at that point, and drive east into the town of Roscommon on Business 75.  At the traffic light in the center of town, turn left onto 18.  Stay on 18 heading east for about two miles, and then turn left so you are heading north on Chase Bridge Road.  Drive 2.5 miles north on that until you reach the bridge, and park on the right immediately before you go over the river.  Time from Acme is about 1:20 hours.

Coordinates:  44.540592,-84.550552 (verified)
Map to Chase Bridge access

 

3.  From the south side of TC via Kingsley & Roscommon

Drive east on M-113 into Kingsley and out the other side.  After 6 miles, 113 will make a swing south and then ½ mile later, turn left onto 186.  Head east, crossing US-131 and go into the town of Fife Lake.  Drive ½ mile around the north side of the lake, and then turn left onto Ingersoll (County 608).  Follow it east about 8 miles until you reach M-66.  Turn left (north) on M-66.  Go 1 mile and then turn right and head east on Sharon Road.  It will change its name to Fletcher, but stay on it for about 25 miles until it comes to a T-intersection with S.Grayling Road.  Turn right and go south about 2 miles to the 4-way intersection with Higgins Lake Road/Roscommon Road.  Turn left at that point, and drive east into the town of Roscommon on Business 75.  At the traffic light in the center of town, turn left onto 18.  Stay on 18 heading east for about two miles, and then turn left so you are heading north on Chase Bridge Road.  Drive 2.5 miles north on that until you reach the bridge, and park on the right immediately before you go over the river.  Time from Acme is about 1:20 hours.       

Coordinates:  44.540592,-84.550552   (verified)

Map to Chase Bridge access 

 
South Branch of the AuSable (Paddle Brave)

Drive east on 72 to Grayling and then go south on I-75.  When it splits between US-27 and I-75, continue on I-75 towards Roscommon.  Get off the expressway at Exit 244, and drive on BL-75 into Roscommon.  At the traffic light in the center of town, turn left onto 18.  After about three blocks, you will cross over the river and then turn left (heading north) onto Steckert Bridge Road (also called Lancewood Drive).  Drive about two miles, and then look for Paddle Brave on the left side of the road.  If you cross over Steckert Bridge, you went about 100 yards too far.  Turn into the campground and follow the road around until you come to the river access.  Time from Acme is about 1:20 hours.

Coordinates: 44.53147,-84.589749  (10610 Steckert Bridge Road)

 Map to Paddle Brave Campground

 
South Branch of the AuSable (Smith Bridge)
Note: This is the normal take-out for the South Branch trip which starts at Paddle Brave or Chase Bridge.  Drive east from Acme on M-72 to Grayling.  Continue on M-72 through town and drive about 14 miles east of Grayling and turn left onto Old M-72 (a gravel road) and follow it to the end to the Smith Bridge Access,  Driving time from Acme is about 1:15 hours.
Coordinates:  44.614828, -84.455498 (verified)
Map to Smith Bridge Acess
 
Spider Lake

This boat access can be approached from several different directions.  We recommend that you choose your own route depending on where you live.  Go to Mapquest and ask for driving directions to Grace Road and E Arbutus Lake Rd.  Here are 2 suggested routes, but you may find something better! 

From South Airport Road, go south on Garfield for 6.9 miles to Hobbs Highway.  Make a left, heading east on Hobbs for 1.4 miles to E. Arbutus Lake Road.  Turn left and head north on E. Arbutus for 1.4 miles to Grace Drive (don't turn off on Weber Road).  Follow signs east on Grace Drive to the boat launch.  OR.....If you know the neighborhood, an easier route is to go south from Grace MacDonald Park for 1.2 miles on E. Arbutus Lake Road to Grace Drive and follow the signs.  

Coordinates:  44.671034,-85.504678 (verified)

Map to Spider Lake access

 

Sturgeon River

Take I-75 to the Wolverine exit (milepost 301).  At the top of the ramp, turn left and go over the interstate and down the hill about ½ mile until you cross the river in town.  Follow the road around to the right, and about 100 yards later when the road turns left, do not follow it.  Instead, turn right into the park and go about 100 yards until you see the river.  Park there.   

An alternative route is to take US-131 to Boyne Falls, then C-48 (Thumb Lake Road) east to Old US-27, then north to Wolverine.  Look at a map before you go.

Coordinates:  45.275491,-84.600881 (verified)

Map to Sturgeon River access in Wolverine

 
Victoria Creek

Victoria Creek is just outside the village of Cedar, Michigan. We will meet in the parking area on County Road 651, just north of the bridge next to the softball diamonds and polka tent.

Coordinates:  44.850294,-85.792683

Map to Victoria Creek