The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is as much about water as it is mountains of silken sand. When you're through scaling the Sleeping Bear Dune Climbing or hiking through lush woods and past historic farmsteads, you'll want to hit the water. Here's your guide to liquid adventure in the Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore.
Lazy, clear and relatively shallow, the Crystal and Platte Rivers wend their way through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. By kakay, canoe or even tube, chances are good that along the way you'll spot wildlife—deer, otter, raccoon, porcupine, coyote and fish from salmon (in the fall) to bass. Picnic spots and swimming holes abound (and the endlessly fun shooting the culverts on the Crystal!) on these rivers that are just made for summer days with family and friends.
These liveries will set you floating:
Crystal River Outfitters, M-22, Glen Arbor, 231.334.7888. crystalriveroutfitters.com
The River, Oak Street, Glen Arbor. 231.334.7888, theriverglenarbor.com
Riverside Canoes, M-22, Honor, 231.325.5622, canoemichigan.com
Charter Boat Fishing
Captain Bob Smith at the Sportsman Shop in Glen Arbor will set you up on a Lake Michigan charter that leaves right from Glen Arbor in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Catch king and coho salmon and steelhead, lake and brown trout on Lake Michigan's Sleeping Bear Bay. 231.334.3872, thesportsmanshop.com.
Brothers Matt and Keegan Myers have taught kiteboarding in some of the most beautiful spots on the planet—but their favorite spot are the crystal waters of Lake Michigan in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. For kiteboarding lessons and rentals, contact them at their company Broneah. 231.392.2212, broneah.com.
Yes, surfing. Lake Michigan surfing. Days when the wind whips up and waves come rolling in from the Wisconsin shore 50 miles away. Those are the days to visit Sleeping Bear Surf and Kayak in the village of Empire—they rent everything from surfboards and paddleboards to kayaks and give instruction to. 231.326.9283, sbsurfandkayak.com.
Whether it's tubing, water skiing, wake boarding, wake surfing, jet skiing or lazing on a pontoon, on the Narrows Marina on Glen Lake in Glen Arbor has you covered. Whatever your water sport passion, you'll do it in Caribbean-blue waters, in the shadow of the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. 231.334-4891, narrows-marina.com.
The waters of the Manitou Passage—between the Manitou Islands and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore—were the nemesis to schooners and steamers in the last century. The historic shipwrecks that litter the bottom are scuba diving treasure. For information about diving the Manitou Passage, contact Scuba North in Traverse City, 231.947.2520, scubanorth.com.
Bring the beauty of Northern Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to life with the Beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes Book and DVD Package, produced by MyNorth Media. Click here to order yours today!