Like most who grew up in Michigan, water has always been my happy place.

From boating on the big lake, jet skiing on the inland lakes, tubing down the Muskegon River, and most recently kayaking, any day in water is a good day. My new found love of kayaking took me on an 8-mile adventure down the white river from the Flowing Wells Roadside Park to the S Baldwin Ave roadside park.

Up until the last few years, this stretch of river was impassable.  Thanks to the continued work of the White River Kayak Coalition, this area is now traversable for kayaks. As a beginner I asked Rick and Colleen Lynema, experienced kayakers and members of the White River Kayak Coalition to join me. The trip took about 6 hours and was overall moderately difficult.

The water level was down which exposed logs and large rocks on the river bed making navigation tricky at times. Downed trees made portaging necessary in a couple spots.

Obstacles and tipping my kayak a couple of times aside, that stretch of river is beautiful and well worth the work it took making our way down it. Mostly undisturbed by houses or fellow travelers it was quiet and scenic. Wildlife was abundant, as were bugs so bug spray is a must!  Ample shade protected us from both the sun and scorching heat, and there were quite a few sandy places to stop and stretch our legs. In this beginner kayaker’s opinion, the White River is an excellent trip for kayakers of any skill level looking for a challenge but those new to the hobby will want to bring along experienced paddlers to help navigate the more challenging spots.

Jessica Hawley


Kayak Novice

Fremont, mi