Projected 2008 Outing: Bear River, Michigan

For the next entry in my series of proposed outings, I present the Bear River!

BearRiver.png

The total length of this planned route is about 12 miles from Walloon Lake to the bend just before the river enters Petoskey proper. There are a few things to keep in mind about this proposed route, and I need to try and research them before I get there in July!

    Bear River, Michigan Pointers:

  • Overall Journey Length should be about 12 miles.
  • This distance should be manageable since it will be with the current.
  • From the internet it is unclear if the Bear River is navigable by kayak over its entire length. 24k topo maps don’t do much to clarify this either.
  • It’s also unclear what type of boat traffic I might have to share the river with in the summer.
  • Regardless of the level of boat traffic an early start is warranted.
  • I plan to get fished out before entering Petoskey because it is more likely there will be an open area to knock down the Cooper.
  • The other reason for not paddling to the mouth of the Bear River is that area has some Class II/Class III rapids. The Folbot Cooper is a very capable sea kayak, but at 16’6″ it is unsuited for that type of use!
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6 thoughts on “Projected 2008 Outing: Bear River, Michigan

  1. Bob Williams says:

    What kind of rapids can you handle?

  2. Kirk says:

    Try calling bear river canoe livery with questions 2313479038 or the bahnhof sport 8002537078. You want to stop before the mouth there is quite a drop.

  3. thethirdcoast says:

    I’d say that the Folbot Cooper can probably deal with Class I to the most minimal Class II rapids as defined by these guidelines:

    http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle.html?67

  4. Kirk says:

    Just wanted to let you know I have posted 2 photos of Bear River Falls on My Web Page http://www.hearthsidegrove.com under Gallery-Progress at the end. You may need to go further down from the start of the Bear because it if fairly shallow. Walloon Lake at the beginning is very nice to paddle around if I had to pick a spot I would go to the West arm just off of Stolt Road up in to what is called Manthei’s Pond.

  5. thethirdcoast says:

    Hi Kirk,

    Thanks for getting those photos up!

    I will try and link to them in a post this evening!

    Thanks again,

    Adam

  6. Nick says:

    I’ve canoed the lower third of the Bear River (up to the rapids), and it is quite calm without much traffic. It is only large enough for canoes and kayak sized boats, and you might see a few other ones on the river. I’m not sure where the first spot you can put in is, although I’m thinking of checking it out soon. I’ve heard that the portion upstream from the Canoe livery is kept clear of obstructions, but after that you might have to pull your kayak over a couple logs, or at least I did a couple years back. It starts to turn to rapids between Sheridan street and Bridge street, and you can take your kayak out in that area too if you want. I’ve rapids are supposed to be class 2-3, and they go for about the last mile of the river.

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