Northern MI paddling - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-01-2007   #1
 
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Northern MI paddling

Once again I'm getting shuffled to another location for work. This time it'll be a little closer to outdoor entertainment (stuck in Houston, TX right now) but def. not a prime spot for paddling. I'm moving to Traverse City, MI June 16. Can anybody point me in the right direction as far as paddling goes. Maybe a contact or somewhere to start looking. There definately won't be any shortage of flat water but I get bored with cartwheels pretty quick. Thanks for your help.

Map: http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&q1=traverse%20city,%20mi&trf=0&lon=-85.638428&lat=44.762337&mag=12

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Old 05-01-2007   #2
 
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Definitely pick up a copy of the Northwoods Paddling book. I believe it covers a large portion of the paddling around MI, MN, and WI.
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Old 05-01-2007   #3
 
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Northwoods by Jim Rada

Count is on it.

NRS - Northwoods Whitewater Book

I've got some relatives in the U.P. so I bought a copy to see what there was to offer. I wasn't dissappointed- well, what I read as a short, hard to catch season was dissappointing. Surprised by the size of the drops! Haven't made the trip during flows yet so no first hand info, sorry.

You will also need to rent "Escanaba in da Moonlight" with Jeff Daniels before your move.

Darren
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Old 05-01-2007   #4
 
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Flat water but good beer

I lived in Ada, Michigan as a kid for 18 years (lower Peninsula near grand rapids) and had a Grandmother in the U.P. way over by Bessemer, MI which is almost in Minnesota. This was pre-paddling days for me except for canoe trips. A friend once asked me after I moved west, when I was moving back to Michigan and I replied "When Michigan grows mountains". Based on places I remember, the U.P. probably has the best whitewater to run but there should also be some worthwhile areas around Traverse City. Au Sable, Manistee, and Two Hearted are 3 rivers that stick in my mind at least for canoeing. The best thing about where you've landed is some of the best micro-brew in the country -- Bells brewing company first and New Holland brewing company second. If you like IPAs, Two hearted (which might be why that sticks in my mind) is my favorite. At least you can drink some good beer while floating on flat water. My recommendation is take up fishing if you haven't yet and maybe get a canoe to make the river seem more exciting. Sea Kayaking around Pictured Rocks National Park and Isle Royale. The best elevation change is around Traverse City and also Western U.P. Not sure if that translates into best whitewater, good luck.
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Old 05-01-2007   #5
 
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Western UP and the Porkies. Some real wilderness runs up there and really pretty too. Good BC skiing in that area too. Further around the lake you can get the creeks on the North Shore of MN. I've wanted to get the Presque Isle River for a long time - 20-25 miles of wilderness creeking and some big drops just before you get to Superior. Unfortunately, I think lower Michigan is flatwater territory. But you're a day from West Virginia!
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Old 05-01-2007   #6
 
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contact the Rapids Riders paddling club, they are based out of the Twin Cities in MN, but I know they paddle that area frequently.
www.rapidsriders.com

or contact the folks at UMD's Outdoor Program-Kayak and Canoe Institute
and the paddling club there. They know all about the rivers in that area and surfing on Lake Superior (which rates just as high as creekin' in my book!)

Good Luck!
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Old 05-04-2007   #7
 
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Old 05-04-2007   #8
 
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I have done a fair amount of paddling in the UP. I was based in The Twin Cities, so L'Anse/Baraga was as far east as I got. I paddled the area a couple of times with Jim Rada, the author of Northwoods White Water.
Near L'Anse is the finest creek in the upper Midwest, the Silver. It's exquisite.The Falls is nearby and the Slate.

The Preque Isle is also great and there is a river on the WI/MI border that was good at peak flows.

Quote:
or contact the folks at UMD's Outdoor Program-Kayak and Canoe Institute
I found them frighteningly incompetent in the mid 90s. Maybe they have changed.

There were some good paddlers with Rapid Riders.

The hoofers in Madison had some solid boaters also.

If you get to Duluth Anette Trebitz was the top woman paddler in the Midwest.

For bragging rights I was there when Rainbow falls was first run.
There is a very nice river above that to run also.

Buy a dry suit and lots of poly.
Enjoy
CB
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Old 05-06-2007   #9
 
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I've paddled with the folks from UMD and the Rapids Riders..they got some skills.
Thats who taught me to paddle and I worked for them for 4 years not too long ago.
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Old 05-06-2007   #10
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I was in Traverse City around thanksgiving. Pretty awesome spot... but pretty much all the real whitewater is a whiles up North in the UP.

In downtown Traverse City there is a great outdoor shop called Backcountry Outfitters that sells whitewater gear and the employees have great beta on runs up that way.

-Mike
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