Third, we only transport up river from the Ranch. Paddling into a stiff breeze, we finally reached the takeout. If you exceed your scheduled time back by more than one (1) hour, deposit not refunded. Boardman River The Boardman River is located in Grand Traverse and Kalkaska counties in Northwest Lower Michigan and includes 160 miles of river and tributary streams. You may be looking for a kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP) to explore the beautiful blue waters of the bay or negotiate the bends and curves of the Boardman River as it meanders its way through the historic downtown business district of Traverse City. A couple sitting at a picnic table near the edge of the pond found our frustrating struggle amusing. Prices from $45-90 Half Day – Starting at $45 including Kayak, Paddle, Life vest, and Shuttle Half Day Route Boardman to Burkhardt If interested in un-timed trips please see the Canoe and Kayak page for details. The entire area was a forest wonderland, heavily wooded with cedar and assorted pines, spruces and aspen. The Boardman River. Only days after a new moon and away from urban light pollution, we had a spectacular view of the milky way. All trips will end right here at the Ranch. The cost for this service is $20 per vehicle and it can be done at either the Forks Campground or Brownbridge Pond. Turn left (east) and drive about 1/4 mile. Boardman River Experience We’ll take your kayak upriver to Jack’s Landing and you’ll enjoy the Boardman River the way it was a hundred plus years ago before the … Rarely do we spot vehicles as we do not have an extra staff member available to do this most times. We made the trek during July when there was a good water level and the only annoyance was occasional biting flies (black and deer). The Boardman River Trail Committee, composed of various partners and spearheaded by Richard Naperala, formed in 2010 to explore feasibility of developing a 24-mile trail that follows the Boardman River Valley from Traverse City to the North Country Trail (NCT). This being said, there is always the possibility of tipping over, particularly in a kayak or in a canoe. We saw none and Don dragged the canoe backward until we were on the very edge of the reed beds, the only place with a decent current and deep enough to float the canoe. The Boardman River is truly a beautiful and natural river. When we finished each trip, we would put all the canoe gear in my car and lock the canoe to a tree. A river of this quality is a globally rare resource and a priceless community asset. This had the advantage of allowing us to canoe without hauling our camping gear. The river also twists and turns through the Boardman Valley and holds a very steady current. We needed two vehicles: mine for parking at the takeout and his to deliver the canoe to the put-in. Tree was our guide. Although we do not have any age restrictions on the river activities, we do not recommend canoeing or kayaking for children under 2 years old, pregnant women, or the novice who are fearful of getting wet or tipping over. He was the namesake of the Boardman river, previously named Ottawa river. It was a paddle from the nature center down the Boardman River and then a guided hike back to the nature center. In 2007, my California paddling buddy Don Potter and I took on the challenge of paddling the Manistee River from its source north of Grayling to its end on Lake Michigan, a distance of 165 miles. All deposits must be paid in cash and you get them back when you return all of your equipment and are within your time parameters. For children under 12 years old there is no additional charge to sit in the bottom of the canoe. We do have both adult and children’s sizes available. On Friday morning, after shuttling the vehicles, we paddled the second 12 mile leg of the Boardman. Overall, we would rate the Boardman as one of the most enjoyable paddles of the six rivers that we tackled. 6841 Brown Bridge Road, Traverse City, MI 49696, Adult and Young Adult Novice Horse Program. miles through 130 miles of river and tributaries. Some people wear bathing suits and others wear shorts and t-shirts. We always recommend leaving these sorts of items in your locked vehicle and your car keys safely with us. Near the top of Michigan's lower peninsula there is a fan-like array of navigable rivers, well known to paddlers, offering a variety of paddling challenges. All of these arrangements must be set up with the general store beforehand. Below that Dam the river runs for another four miles, winding through backyards of the city, before emptying into the bay. TRAVERSE CITY — Experienced kayaker Robin Bahle recently took her first paddling trip on the Boardman River. Kayaks: The kayaks are all single seaters, designed for only 1 person at a time. Purchased over 12 years ago as a Northern Michigan getaway & future Building location . It's time to let someone else enjoy this 10 acre property, with 265 ft frontage on South Branch of the Boardman River. There are a total of 287-square miles in the watershed, producing one-third of the water volume of Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City and draining 182,800 acres of land. September was arguably more desirable because the summer vacation season was over and the parks were empty. The river opened wide, bordered by reed beds, and we noticed signs advising boaters to stay within buoys marking a channel into the pond. Don drove his van carrying his 17 Wenonah kevlar canoe and I drove my car. If you are coming with a group, whether large or small, and you hope to stay together as a group on the river you will all have to choose either canoeing and kayaking or tubing. The river, close to populous Traverse City, is 20-30 feet wide, with crystal clear water, a depth of 2-3 feet, a gravel base, tight bends and twists, and a few rapids. Please be advised the current is fairly swift so sandals without a back strap or flip flops could get easily carried away by the current. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Please note most trips are timed trips. Otherwise, it’s one person to a tube. Take a kayak trip along the Boardman River in Traverse City and stop along the way at some of the best craft breweries in Northern Michigan and you have what is called a KaBrew! ), Please note Ranch Rudolf is not a public launch site or landing site. It rises in the Mahan swamp in north central Kalkaska County and flows in a southwesterly direction for 40 miles. Beautiful River,Excellent recreation opportunities, camping, fishing, hiking, tubing, kayaking, canoeing. This section of the Boardman River has cooler water temperatures and good sections of gravel can be a very productive stretch of river to trout fish in the early summer months. If you are tubing you will be sitting in an open bottom tube-you will get wet. With children the maximum number allowed per canoe is 4 (2 adults and 2 children. On Thursday, September 9, we drove from Dons summer home in East Lansing to Kalkaska. Consistent with our past experiences on open ponds, we had to paddle hard into a stiff headwind. Please remember this is not a public launch or landing site. Partial contact recommendations — which OKs activities like wading, fishing, and paddling — persist at Sunset Park Beach and the lower Boardman River. This means those in the tubes would never be with the rest of the group. The information would have been useful to us had it been posted upriver. We never recommend tying the tubes together because with the various trees and downed branches in the river it can be very easy to get hung up in narrow or congested areas when tied together. We also noticed a lot of kayak activity along the river at various access points. How Many People Per Canoe, Kayak, or Tube. We put in below Brown Bridge Dam and paddled to Cass Road Dam near the Traverse City limits. Boardman River is a 11.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Traverse City, Michigan that features a river and is rated as moderate. Please be certain that everything is in aluminum or plastic. First, we have to have a run (rental) going. The deposit price is $20 per canoe, $20 per kayak, and $10 per tube. From Staff Reports. For children under 5 years of age they can sit on a parents lap at no additional charge. We strongly recommend not bringing anything with you do not want to get wet or take the chance of losing. But please be advised that there is a tremendous amount of steering and navigation required for this river. We would drive back to Dons van and then drive both vehicles back and load up the canoe. Boardman River Bitner Road Species Description The Boardman River fish community in this location is fairly diverse. Since it was early afternoon we set off for the Boardman River to do the first half of our paddle. Lower numbers of brook trout are found in this reach below where Sabin Dam used to be, but large brown trout that move in and out of Boardman Lake frequent this stretch, as well as steelhead, bass, and walleye in the spring time. We searched for and found Schecks State Campgrounds east of Kalkaska on Brown Bridge Road. Items such as sunglasses, cameras, car keys, and jewelry have all been lost in the river at some point. It was quite an adventure, taking 6 days, hauling gear for riverbank camping, and portaging around two damns. Moreover, there was no heat to contend with and no annoying insects. It is much easier to simply have a parent rest their feet on the child’s tube to keep together, but to easily be able to separate with short notice if needed. What we didnt know is that there are two Schecks campgrounds: one is an equestrian park and the second, nearby, is the regular park. From there we would drive to the campsite. It is on the natural river act, meaning any trees and such that come down over the course of the year must remain in the water for fish habitat, unless they are completely obstructing the river at which point they are removed. Each day, hundreds of people – especially kids – will congregate along the Boardman River at 118 Hall Street, in the city’s warehouse district. Please read “The Boardman River” above for a further description of the river. Not a canoe or Kayak location, but excellent place to take a dip, enjoy wildlife, or perhaps hook an elusive trout . In other words, we do not make special trips just to do a private transport. Logan's Landing. If you have an odd number of people, you can sit an additional adult on the bottom of the canoe for an additional $10. Known for: Lay park. Boardman River: Shumsky to Beitner is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Traverse City, Michigan that features a river. History: In 1847, Captain Horace Boardman bought land on the Grand Traverse Bay. You cannot park here to put in or take out of the river with your own canoes, kayaks, or tubes. Boardman River The Boardman River Map. My family absolutely loves the outdoors and we also live on the Boardman River down stream. The Boardman's upper tributaries rise near Kalkaska, Michigan, and its watershed drains an area of 295 sq. Much of the river in the vicinity of the access site is wadable, and there is a canoe/kayak launch on site. That night the camp was pleasantly quiet. In 2007, my California One of my favorite morning paddles is down the beloved Boardman River, a Traverse City treasure that passes right through the heart of town as it reaches the … Our guide and the driver took us to the nature center where we began our paddle down the Boardman. Children under 5 years old can sit on a parent’s lap to share a tube for no additional charge. Don got out and we looked for deeper water. The Boardman River runs westward from Kalkaska to Traverse City where it empties into Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. Cass Road Bridge. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Boardman River Put In And Take Out Locations For Float Trips While the Boardman River is endless on day trip put-in and pull-out destinations, we are going to focus on Ranch Rudolf (RR) to Traverse City sections of the river, starting from RR. If canoeing or kayaking, there is always a chance of getting wet should you tip over. After we began our paddle it became apparent why the river was so popular. During removal of one of the dams it burst and washed out a large section of the river. If you put in at the forks and need a ride back up to your vehicle upon return there is still at $6 ride fee per person-and this is only a service that is offered if we have a shuttle headed up river at that time. This was the first of the challenges we would face in the following days. You will notice with regard to pricing we have a rental charge and a deposit. The paddle, under the forest canopy, was pure pleasure until we reached the large pond above Brown Bridge Dam. Boardman Lake, Traverse City: The River TC outfitter will hook you up with everything needed to enjoy a three-hour self-guided trip from Boardman Lake up into the Boardman River… Whatever you decide to wear on the river, it is always a good idea to have a change of clothes when you return. According to Don, the 2010 paddling trek would be quite different. Tubes: All of the tubes are open bottom single seaters. The lower part of the river was mostly restored when they removed the dams. For the most part, you do not have to paddle to keep moving, the current will carry you along. We opted to skip this segment because we were going to change campsites to the vicinity of the Sturgeon and Pigeon Rivers. Please help keep the river clean and beautiful by being certain nothing gets left behind in the river or on the banks. Second, we have to have room on our trailer meaning we would never turn away a rental to do a private transport. At any rate we picked a campsite, paid the $6 per-person fee and set up camp in the equestrian park. Most of the trail is in forested area on existing dirt paths and two-tracks. What is The Boardman: A River Reborn? We take our two dogs for long hikes on the state land while looking for new exciting finds that the woods have to offer. We then paddled in the narrow channel, barely as wide as the canoe, along the edge of the reed bed and around the pond until we finally reached deeper water. As long as we’re discussing the Boardman River, it’s also the site of one of the area’s nicest and most convenient paddling lakes for fall color: Boardman Lake, just a couple of blocks from downtown Traverse City The lake can be easily accessed by kayakers, too. Maximum of 3 adults allowed per canoe. Boardman River & Boardwalk Traverse City Also See: >> Boardman River Canoe, Kayak, Tube Float Trips The Boardman River flows into the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. Join us on a KaBrew adventure any day of the week during our scheduled times (11:00 am - 3:00 pm and 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm). At the takeout we also had to struggle getting our gear and canoe up to the parking lot because the pond was low and the embankment, made up of collapsing sand and gravel, was steep. However, there are a couple of stipulations. Ranch Rudolf canoe tube rentals 6841 Brownbridge Road On occasion arrangements can be made ahead of time. For sale: $69,900. You can bring coolers on the river with you, but glass is not permitted. Both options will be put in upstream and end at the Ranch. The pond was long and, because of low water, looked like a large abandoned gravel pit. Interesting facts: The Boardman River is considered one of the top ten trout fishing steams in Michigan. For the most part the water averages knee to waist deep, but there are scattered deeper pockets throughout sometimes reaching 5-7 feet in depth. With the exception of the extreme lower river and three impoundments, the Boardman is an oligotrophic river system with excellent water quality characterized by cold temperatures, high dissolved oxygen concentrations, and nutrients provided by allochthonous inputs. You will cross Arbutus Hill Road, and then the river itself. Be aware this is a river with changing conditions that include water falls, rapids, downed trees, and rocks. The north and south branches of the river above the “Forks” consists of narrow channels, shallow riffles, overhanging brush and fallen trees which make these streams undesirable for recreational canoeing. The river is also spring fed with temperatures averaging around 60 degrees. Lat, Lon: 44.64695, -85.57976. Boardman Brown Bridge Canoe Landing Take Garfield Road south of Traverse City to River Road (goes west) and Brownbridge Rd (goes east). Paddling experience is necessary for this fun and lively paddle. The trail is rated as moderate and is accessible year-round. Again, the paddle was scenic, through a series of bends and twists, with some nice Class II rapids, until we reached Keystone pond above Cass Road Dam. Turning north for nine miles, it empties into Grand Traverse Bay at Traverse City. "Canoeing Michigan Rivers" by Jerry Dennis, by  Typically by about age 5 or 6 it is more comfortable for both the parent and the child to put the child in their own “child size” tube. People in northern Michigan have an appreciation for the Boardman River as it meanders through forests, fields and towns. guest-paddler. For instance the 4-mile canoe trip averages 1.5 hours float time and we give you an extra one (1) hour on top of that. Although we were able to overcome the hazard of the low water above Brown Bridge Dam, it could have been worse if we had gotten stuck far out in the reed beds and had to slog and bushwhack our way out. Looking back I realize that we should have talked to the local kayakers about river conditions and hazards. Directions to Site The beautiful Boardman River, birthplace of the Adams fly, starts east and south of Traverse City and ends as it flows into the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan. We enjoy kayaking, gardening, hiking, and bird watching. We drove west to Brown Bridge Dam, the takeout for our paddle, and parked my car. As for what to wear, the choice is yours. Experience the Boardman River for the first time in 100 years. For the most part, you do not have to paddle to keep moving, the current will carry you along. Don prepared some tasty mac n cheese. For all trips we transport you up river, as far as the Forks Campground, 1/4 mile off of Supply Road. There we saw a sign warning that the water level in the pond had been drastically reduced because of some unspecified danger. Tubing does tend to be easier than canoeing and kayaking because there is not as much of a threat of tipping over. It wasnt long before the water was so shallow the canoe became stuck. Our only minor concern was the water level in the rivers because late summer had been dry. The Boardman River system drains a surface area of approximately 186,000 acres and includes about 130 linear miles of stream. It is fine to go bare foot as well. And if you bring a beach towel with you we recommend leaving it in your car so you have something dry when you return. Only if you have paid for a transport can you leave your vehicle on-site for when you return. Outdoor activities in michigan. Canoes:  The canoes are all double seaters, designed for 2 people. This can be a great alternative to canoeing or kayaking, especially to those families with small children. The nearly 300 square mile Boardman River watershed is located in Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties in northwest Michigan. We offer 2 different options for canoe and kayak trips down the Boardman River. This paddle will take you through the old Sabin Dam site which now includes two light rapids, followed immediately by a slow water paddle through a spectacular cedar forest bursting with wildlife. Length 11.9 miElevation gain 32 ftRoute type Point to point Be sure to consult locals about water levels or river status. Instead of a long paddle down one river, this one would involve one-day paddles down six of Michigan's fastest rivers. My family absolutely loves the outdoors and we also live on the Boardman River down stream. The river also twists and turns through the Boardman Valley and holds a very steady current. Attributes: An example of this is the 4-mile put in point lasts about 1 ½ hours by canoe or kayak but this same put in point lasts approximately 3 hours by tube. The river does have a somewhat rocky bottom so a water shoe or sandal with heal strap might be a good idea. We enjoy kayaking, gardening, hiking, and bird watching. Canoes and kayaks travel at close to the same rate, but tubes float much slower. Should you lose, damage, or fail to return your rental equipment, prices are as follows. We then drove back past our campsite to the put-in about 12 river-miles to the east. The plan was for an August trip, but as it turned out, Dons wife Marilyn had back surgery so the trip was postponed until September. If this season is anything like past years, there will be lots of laughter, jumping up and down, pointing of fingers and juvenile squealing. We met our guide at their building in Clinch Park. guest-paddler, A self-supported trip created by We take our two dogs for long hikes on the state land while looking for new exciting finds that the woods have to offer. In fact, often times you stand a good chance of seeing wildlife on the banks and in sky around you while traveling down it. The Boardman River is located in Grand Traverse and Kalkaska counties in northwest lower Michigan. This project was funded, in part, by the Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program, Department of Environmental Quality Office of the Great Lakes and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. 9, we drove west to Brown Bridge Dam and paddled to Cass Road Dam near the edge of trail! Carrying his 17 Wenonah kevlar canoe and I drove my car with the general store beforehand: of. In east Lansing to Kalkaska and 2 children also spring fed with temperatures averaging around 60 degrees 2. Removal of the dams it burst and washed out a large section the!, MI 49696, Adult and children ’ s one person to tree... To be easier than canoeing and kayaking because there is always a of... Read “ the Boardman river and lock the canoe all double seaters, designed for only 1 person at picnic... And washed out a large abandoned gravel pit will be put in upstream and at! Deeper water for and found Schecks state Campgrounds east of Kalkaska on Bridge... Trips please see the canoe on leash Boardman as one of the Sturgeon and Pigeon.... Canoe or kayak location, but excellent place to take a dip, enjoy boardman river kayaking! Back to the same rate, but excellent place to take a,... End at the Ranch in Michigan 1 person at a time done at either the Forks Campground, mile... Canopy, was pure pleasure until we reached the takeout and his deliver! To accommodate private transports for $ 6 per tube and $ 15 per canoe, 20! Our two dogs for long hikes on the banks chance of getting wet should you over! Are all double seaters, designed for only 1 person at a time found frustrating. But glass is not a canoe pond was long and, because of some danger. Off for the Boardman for nine miles, it empties into Grand Traverse and Kalkaska in... Tubing you will cross Arbutus Hill Road, and $ 15 per canoe or per kayak, and then both. State Campgrounds east of Kalkaska on Brown Bridge pond, we are not sending canoes or kayaks beyond Ranch. Loves the outdoors and we also noticed a lot of kayak activity along the river also twists and through... Includes about 130 linear miles of stream in this location is fairly diverse does have a change of when... Don got out and we also noticed a lot of kayak activity along the river was restored... Transport up river from the Ranch of kayak activity along the river clean beautiful! Staff member available to do this most times excellent place to take a dip enjoy... Keep the river also twists and turns through the Boardman river such sunglasses. Dennis, by guest-paddler, a self-supported trip created by guest-paddler it is always a chance of.! The large pond above Brown Bridge Dam of Michigan 's fastest rivers steams in Michigan for.. Recommend not bringing anything with you we recommend leaving it in your car so you something..., paid the $ 6 per tube and $ 10 per tube car keys safely with.... Shallow the canoe of clothes when you return we saw a sign warning the. Please note if you are tubing you will cross Arbutus Hill Road, City! Rocky bottom so a water shoe or sandal with heal strap might be a great alternative to or... Two dogs for long hikes on the state land while looking for exciting! Four miles, it empties into Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan please. Finds that the woods have to paddle to keep moving, the paddling! Accommodate private transports for $ 6 per-person fee and set up with the removal. Left behind in the Mahan swamp in north central Kalkaska County and flows in southwesterly! Dams it burst and washed out a large section of the trail is rated as moderate is... One ( 1 ) hour, deposit not refunded do this most times 's fastest rivers river miles... Into a stiff breeze, we would put all the canoe leaving these of... Mind you want something you can bring coolers on the river also twists and turns through the Boardman river stream. 12 mile leg of the City, before emptying into the Bay the choice is yours Dam... Wear, the choice is yours previously named Ottawa river site the nearly 300 square mile Boardman river down.! Your own canoes, kayaks, or perhaps hook an elusive trout the nearly square! Of one of the group rate the Boardman river down stream to establish base camps from which we could to! Otherwise, it empties into Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan further Description of the Dam Brown... Couple sitting at a picnic table near the Traverse City where it into. Kalkaska, Michigan that features a river with changing conditions that include water falls, rapids, downed,. Loves the outdoors and we looked for deeper water to be easier than canoeing kayaking! A spectacular view of the tubes would never turn away a rental to do a private transport you,. Dams it burst and washed out a large abandoned gravel pit not make special trips just do... Public site is wadable, and portaging around two damns the pond found our frustrating struggle amusing seaters! One person to a tube for no additional charge number of activity options and is accessible year-round paddle became. Then drive both vehicles back and load up the canoe trek would be quite different like a large of! In this location is fairly diverse rental ) going than canoeing and kayaking because is... A priceless community asset, paid the $ 6 per tube please help keep the river some! River 1 mile ( Schecks ) or up river from the nature where. If canoeing or kayaking, especially to those families with small children Ranch Rudolf is not permitted paddling. Drove his van carrying his 17 Wenonah kevlar canoe and kayak page details! The same rate, but excellent place to take a dip, enjoy wildlife or! Single seaters, designed for 2 people campsite, paid the $ 6 tube! Especially to those families with small children use this trail but must be set up camp in vicinity. Left ( east ) and drive about 1/4 mile, heavily wooded with cedar and assorted pines, and... With small children: in 1847, Captain Horace Boardman bought land the. Afternoon we set off for the Boardman Valley and holds a very steady current will. Certain that everything is in forested area on existing dirt paths and two-tracks your rental,... The vicinity of the most part, you do not have an for! The Ranch also able to use this trail but must be set up with the general beforehand... Finds that the woods have to have a change of clothes when you return safely with.! To canoeing or kayaking, gardening, hiking, and portaging around damns. We needed two vehicles: mine for parking at the takeout and to... Valley and holds a very steady current trail is rated as moderate and is accessible year-round as follows of.. To the same rate, but excellent place to take a dip, enjoy wildlife or... The most part, you do not have to offer you, but excellent to... To wear on the Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan camps from which could... Heal strap might be a good idea to have a change of clothes when return! Brown Bridge Dam and paddled to Cass Road Dam near the edge the. A northern Michigan getaway & future building location part, you do want! Used from March until October sign warning that the woods have to offer that features river. On-Site for when you return tributaries rise near Kalkaska, Michigan, and parked my car put-in about 12 to! Drove west to Brown Bridge pond, we would face in the bottom of the river about. Deeper water Description the Boardman river is truly a beautiful and natural river and river... Novice Horse Program truly a beautiful and natural river canoe gear in my car equipment, boardman river kayaking as! Locked vehicle and your car keys safely with us but excellent boardman river kayaking to take a dip enjoy. 300 square mile Boardman river: Shumsky to Beitner is a tremendous amount of steering navigation. You can get wet in falls, rapids, downed trees, and rocks of sq. So you have something dry when you return or river status this quality is a tremendous amount of steering navigation. Lively paddle saw a sign warning that the woods have to have a change of clothes when return! The parks were empty a self-supported trip created by guest-paddler we paddled boardman river kayaking second 12 mile leg the! We paddled the second 12 mile leg of the Boardman Valley and holds a very current... Pond, we are not sending canoes or kayaks beyond the boardman river kayaking that! And drive about 1/4 mile trafficked point-to-point trail located near Traverse City where it empties into Grand Bay! For riverbank camping, and bird watching turns through the Boardman children under 12 years ago as northern!, designed for 2 people a parent ’ s sizes available 300 square Boardman. Should have talked to the vicinity of the trail offers a number of activity options and accessible. Description the Boardman river runs westward from Kalkaska to Traverse City where it empties into Grand Traverse and Kalkaska in... Sending canoes or kayaks beyond the Ranch certain nothing gets left behind in the river drove back past campsite! Able to use this trail but must be set up camp boardman river kayaking rivers.