SHepLeR’S LIGHTHoUSe CRUISe
Get on the Water Little Traverse Sailors
For a laid-back day on the water, charter a sailboat with Little Traverse Sailors, a nonprofit sailing school on the waterfront in Harbor Springs. Climb aboard Exit Strategy, a 34-foot J/105 sailboat with room for you and five friends, and head to Charlevoix or Beaver Island, or just tool around Little Traverse Bay for an afternoon. (Or, our favorite: Stargaze from the water on a moonlit sail.) If you get bit by the sailing bug after your trip, Little Traverse Sailors offers classes and private instruction for all ages. HARBOR SPRINGS, 231.838.4484, LITTLETRAVERSESAILORS.ORG.
Paddle Little Traverse Bay
Spend a dreamy morning kayaking the protected inlet of Little Traverse Bay, exploring the shoreline from downtown Harbor Springs all the way to the historic lighthouse at the end of the exclusive Harbor Point peninsula. Rentals, lessons and guided tours available through The Outfitter in Harbor Springs. 153 E. Main St., HARBOR SPRINGS, 231.526.2621, OUTFITTER-
Bear River Whitewater Park
Bear River Valley Recreation Area’s recent $2.4 million facelift included returning a spectacular stretch of the Bear River to its natural wild state. Dams were
removed, industrial areas were cleaned, and the result is one of Michigan’s few true whitewater experiences, with challenging drops and rapids to thrill experienced paddlers. Bonus: You won’t have to travel far to find it; the park is just steps from downtown Petoskey. Find the park’s main entrances off Lake and West Sheridan Streets. PETOSkEyAREA.COM.
the company whose name you might recognize from the Mackinac island ferry docks also offers cruises around the straits, where passengers can get close-up views of some of the area’s most remote lighthouses. each trip includes narration about Great lakes maritime history, shipwrecks, navigation methods and other cool facts. Cruises range between three and ﬁve hours each; reservations strongly recommended. 231.436.5023, SHEPLERSFERRy.COM.
Bear River Canoe Livery
For a slower journey down the Bear River, rent canoes or kayaks through this laid-back livery, which offers one-, two-, and four-hour paddling trips along a quiet stretch of the river. Perfect for new paddlers and families with young kids, with lots of scenery and wildlife sightings along the way. 2517 MCDOUGALL RD., 231.347.9038.
Boat the Inland Waterway
The meandering, 40-mile Inland Waterway is the state’s largest interconnected chain of lakes and rivers, stretching from Pickerel Lake, east of Petoskey, all the way to where the Cheboygan River empties into Lake Huron. Round up your friends and rent a pontoon for a leisurely day trip of fishing, swimming, and sightseeing; Windjammer Cove & Marina in Oden has rentals and can point you to the best spots for exploring along your trip. 231.347.6103, WINDJAMMERMARINA.COM.
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