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10 Awesome Lazy Rivers for Tubing in Michigan

Michigan Rivers

While on vacation or in their free time, many people head to places with water. One reason for this is that the coast, rivers, and lakes often have great views and beautiful surroundings, so they are pleasant places to take a walk.

They are also places to enjoy some water-based fun, as there are many activities that you can enjoy on the water.

The types of activities depend on the depth and flow of the water, and one option on slow-flowing rivers, also known as lazy rivers, is tubing. Here are10 awesome lazy rivers in Michigan for tubing.

10. Platte River

Redesigning Happiness recommends tubing on Platte River, which is in the northern part of lower Michigan. The shallow river is approximately 29 miles long, and there are no rapids.

Tubing along this river is one of the best ways to see the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. There are various lengths of trips to enjoy with different starting and finishing points.

9. Big Manistee River

The Big Manistee River is considered one of the must-see spots in Michigan. It is 190 miles long and runs through four of Michigan’s counties. The river is wide and smooth, and the depth varies from three to nine feet at different points.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, it is possible to rent tubes and take a river tour. Due to the gentle flow of this river, it is one of the best options for novice tubers.

8. Thornapple River

One of the best summer tubing adventures in Michigan is tubing along the Thornapple River. It is an 88.1-mile tributary of the Grand River, which is Michigan’s longest river. T

he tubing tour on this river is two and a half hours long, and it begins in Hastings. The leisurely flow of the river takes you past scenic views and various local landmarks.

This gentle flowing river runs through five counties and 27 townships, and it joins the Grand River in Ada, which is just east of Grand Rapids.

7. Huron River

Huron River in Southeast Michigan is said by many to be one of the most scenic rivers in the state. If you head to Ann Arbor, you will find Argo Canoe Livery, where you can hire canoes and other equipment to use in the water, including tubes.

It is also possible to use your own tube if you have one. One of the best places to embark on your journey is at Argo Park, which means you can tube down the cascades through the rock formations.

If you prefer to avoid the cascades, then you can start tubing a little further along.

6. Rifle River

When you go tubing on Rifle River, there are wet and dry options. If you want to use the water to cool off from the heat, then choose the wet option as these tubes have holes so you can dip your bottom into the water and hang your arms and side.

The other option has no hole so that your bottoms stay dry, and dipping your hands and feet in the water is optional. Rifle River is around 60 miles long, and it flows from Ogemaw County through Arenac County to Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay.

If you want to have fun in and around the river over a couple of days, you can stay at River Rifle Campground.

5. Muskegon River

Along the Muskegon River, there are various equipment rentals for hiring canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and tubes. Tubers can opt for a one-mile-long float or go for the longer 11-mile tubing experience.

There are seven tubing launch areas along the river. Houghton Lake in Roscommon County is the source of the river, and it runs through Osceola County, Clare County, Newaygo County, and Mecosta County before emptying into Lake Michigan in Muskegon County.

4. White River

White River is in West Michigan, and it is one of the most popular spots for cooling off from the summer heat. Alongside the river is the community of Montague, which is where you can hire equipment to use on the river.

If you want to flow down the rive alone, there are individual tubes to hire. Alternatively, you can opt for one of the family tubes to explore the river as a family.

3. AuSable River

AuSable River is widely considered Michigan’s most beautiful river, which is why it is on the list of the best lazy rivers for tubing in Michigan. It is located on the western side of the Lower Peninsula, and it is 23.6-miles long.

The river passes through Muskegon County, Oceana County, and White Lake before discharging in Lake Michigan. You can access the river via the town of Roscommon, which is also where you can hire equipment to use in the water.

One of the most popular options is tubing, as you can enjoy the water and the pretty surroundings at a leisurely pace. However, there are also livelier activities to enjoy for those who prefer a faster pace of life.

2. Pine River

Pine River runs through the Huron-Manistee National Forest. Along the banks of the river, you will find the Pine River Paddlesports Center, which rents out equipment and offers tuition and tours for various water-based activities, including tubing.

Other water activities to enjoy are paddleboarding and kayaking. Elsewhere in this national forest, there are also land-based adventures to try, such as hiking and biking.

1. Chippewa River

According to Only In Your State, the best river in Michigan for tubing is the Chippewa River. One reason that this river has made it to the top of the list is because of the scenic views.

This river is in the center of the state, and you can access it from various points in Mount Pleasant and the surrounding area. It is a gentle-flowing river that is 91.8-miles long.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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