Thursday, August 21, 2014

Paddling the Lower Platte River at Sleeping Bear Dunes

We set out this morning for Honor, Michigan 30 miles west of Traverse City. We arrived at our destination, Riverside Canoe Trips, checked in, unloaded our Sea Eagle and all our paraphernalia, paid a $10 shuttle fee and while Rick stayed with the boat, I drove the Jeep to our destination spot in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore. Because I have a National Parks Senior Pass, parking was free. A shuttle from Riverside Canoe Trips picked me up at the parking lot and shuttled me back to Rick and our put-in spot.


The weather was absolutely perfect for a day on the water. Riverside Canoe will be more than happy to rent you a kayak, a canoe or a tube to go down the river but, if you have your own, for a modest $10 fee will shuttle. For us, it was perfect.

Our route left Riverside and flowed into Loon Lake before continuing on, eventually ending up in Lake Michigan.

Lower Platte River Map

We launched  into the perfectly clear waters of the Platte and floated downstream.


There was less traffic than we had anticipated, having been warned that between 10 and 3 was the busiest time and, naturally, that was the time we were there :)


Nothing but nature and quiet (most of the time). When we entered Loon Lake, we paddled to the far side avoiding most of the other traffic and just enjoying the day.


We saw very little wildlife…with one exception :)


We came across a few people with tubes. They were either families having fun together or people more in a partying mood, but everyone was having a great time and respectful of others. We passed them and continued on.


We knew we were close to the end of our journey when we spotted sand dunes.


The closer we got to Lake Michigan, the more people we saw.


Finally we paddled right into Lake Michigan! Notice Sleeping Bear Dunes in the background?


We enjoyed the day so much, we decided to do it all over again tomorrow…just a different location. Thanks for stopping by. Turtle


  1. How could I forget that the river we paddled in Sleeping Bear this summer was the Platte? Somehow I just totally connected it with the Prairie and Nebraska and Colorado. We did that same paddle and loved it. We put in at the parking lot and paddled to the Lake and I rode my bike back up the road and got the car. Love your pictures and can't wait to see where else you paddle there.

  2. Nice paddle, or was it a float;o)) Cool idea with the shuttle!!!

  3. Good to see the boat still floats. Relaxing paddles are the best. We plan to get rid of our Sea Eagle. We don't use it enough and Gin's mobility is not improving. If we want to paddle after it's gone, we'll rent from an outfitter.

  4. How wonderful. Great paddle and Lake Michigan seemed a LOT calmer than Lake Superior when we tried doing a similar trip. Really nice to have a shuttle service. I have pinned this one Gail, for our next trip through Michigan eventually.

  5. That's an awesome shuttle fee. That is the one drawback on kayaking, getting from one end of the paddle to the other and back. Too often, we're spent by the time we've paddled both ways.

    Time to fit a motor to our Sea Eagle... ;c)

  6. When we see tubers, it seems they are always towing a floating beer cooler.

  7. What a great place to paddle (float!). Crystal clear water, nice.

  8. Wow, that water is so clear. Beautiful!


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