The Traverse Area Paddle Club (TAPC) welcomes canoeists and kayakers in northwestern Lower Michigan. We believe paddling is safer, easier and more enjoyable with a group of friends. We have numerous events scheduled for all levels of paddling experience. If you peruse our Trip Reports, you'll be able to see how much fun we’ve had out on the water!
We welcome new members and guests who would like to check us out. On TAPC outings, we paddle (we don't just float), but most novices will find our easy trips comfortable. Participants must provide their own boats and paddling gear. After you join the TAPC online and your payment is received, you may sign up for any trip.
Non-members may view the events calendar, but you may not be able to see all the trip details, or sign up via the website. If you just want to try us out (or are a paddler visiting our area), contact the trip host or the Outings Coordinator. We often welcome non-members on our outings.
Our yearly membership is $20 for an individual, and $30 for a family. If you sign up from September through December, your membership is good for the following calendar year. We'd love to have you join us!
The 2023 paddling season has begun!
Check the Event Calendar for last-minute additions
Top Ten Reasons to join the TAPC
1. We have posted well over 100 outings each year on local rivers and lakes.
2. You will meet a friendly group of people and find out about new places to paddle.
3. When an outfitter does the shuttle on a river trip, the fee is paid by the club.
4. Watercraft permit fees are paid for members who attend club trips on the Pine or Pere Marquette.
5. The website has driving directions and maps for over 50 accesses on local lakes and rivers.
6. You can help with our stewardship program, participating in river cleanups.
7. You’ll party with us at our end-of-year dinner.
8. You can purchase spiffy synthetic club tee shirts at bargain prices.
9. There are lots of opportunities to improve your paddling skills.
10. You can register for any club event (many are open only to TAPC members).
The TAPC provides an online event calendar which can be updated by any club member. We offer several different types of outings. Trips are color coded on the event calendar to match the color print in the description below.
Small Inland Lakes These outings are suitable for people of any skill levels and all types of canoes or kayaks. These trips are usually only a couple of hours long, and are a great way to meet fellow paddlers. People go to look at scenery, flowers, birds, and other wildlife, so speed is not important.
Great Lakes These outings usually require sea kayaks with flotation at both ends of the boat. The trip write-up will describe the event in enough detail that you should be able to decide if the trip is within your abilities. Contact the leader if you are not sure you have the skills or the boat suitable for the trip.
Easy Rivers Trips on these rivers are suitable for people of all skill levels. However they may require three to six hours of paddling, so read the description carefully. Easy rivers have a moderate current and are wide enough so that quick maneuvers are not necessary.
Intermediate Rivers Trips on these rivers are suitable for paddlers who are comfortable maneuvering their boats on moving water. Read the trip description carefully to determine what makes the trip fall into this category.
Difficult Rivers Trips on these rivers require participants to be able to stop their boats from moving downstream while in a fast current. Paddlers must be able to turn their boats quickly while in a confined area, and execute an upstream or downstream ferry.
Clean-up Trips We clean a number of local rivers on a regular basis. It's a lot of fun, helps the environment and we find it is an excellent way to build our paddling skills.
Out-of-town Trips Occasionally we organize trips that require spending multiple nights away from home. In the past, we have traveled to Florida, southern Missouri and the Upper Peninsula, staying in cabins, rental houses or campgrounds.