The Best Places to Get Out on the Water in Metro Detroit
Story by Max White
Michigan is known as the Great Lakes State, with four of the five Great Lakes surrounding the state. Plus, we have more than 11,000 inland lakes, many major rivers, and Lake St. Clair.
You’re never too far from the water when you’re in metro Detroit, and with that, there are many ways for people to enjoy the water. Even if you don’t own a boat, there are plenty of places to rent kayaks, canoes, boats, jet skis, and more.
If you’re looking to enjoy being out on the water in metro Detroit, find some of the best places below.
Detroit Outpost – Grayhaven State Harbor inside Grayhaven Marine in Detroit
If you’re looking to see the Detroit River up close, check out Detroit Outpost, which offers guided kayaking trips along the river with incredible views of Downtown Detroit, Belle Isle, and more.
They offer sunset paddles on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, costing $50 for a two-hour trip, and Saturday Sunshine Paddles on Saturday morning.
If you’re looking for a longer paddle, they do Belle Isle day tripper paddles every other Sunday. It’s a four-hour trip exploring the waterways inside Belle Isle, or the Paddle to Peche every other Sunday, where you explore Peche Island, the first island on the Detroit River just east of Belle Isle.
Aloha Tiki Tours will give you an experience you’ve probably never had before on the water. They are Michigan’s first and only charter Tiki Boat group, and they launch in three different cities in metro Detroit.
You can rent a motorized tiki boat that holds up to six guests, and there are four tiki boats in Detroit, two in St. Clair Shores, and one in Wyandotte.
The tours go for two hours and you can bring your own drinks and food, and a captain is provided. There’s also a Bluetooth speaker on board so you can have your music while out on the water.
No matter where you’re looking to rent, Simple Adventures has nine different locations where you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and more.
In metro Detroit, you can rent them at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township, Belle Isle in Detroit, Newburgh Lake in Livonia, Camp Dearborn in Milford, Chesterfield Township, and New Baltimore.
Depending on the location, you can do only kayaks or also rent stand-up paddleboards (SUP).
Prices vary depending on where you rent the kayak and if transportation is involved, so be sure to check the website.
If you’re in the western part of metro Detroit, you can get kayaks, canoes, or tubes at the Argo Park Canoe Livery and Gallup Park Livery.
There are different trips you can take along the Huron River. Going from Argo Park to Gallup Park is about 3.7 miles and 1.5 hours, or you can go Barton Park to Gallup Park which is about 5.7 miles.
At Argo Park, you get to go through the Argo Cascades, which are like mini rapids that will take you to the river. You can also rent a tube where you can continually go through the cascades.
Gallup Park is the spot if you just want to have an easy time on the water. At 2-Mile Ponds in Gallup, there is no current. You can rent kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, or a paddleboat for up to four people.
With three locations in Wayne County, Motor City Canoe Rental offers canoe, kayak, and tube rentals at different locations.
At Oakwoods Metropark, you can rent some tubes and float the day away, or get canoes or a double kayak. They offer trips starting at two hours or trips up to 6-8 hours.
Ford Field Park in Dearborn offers a 1.5=hour trip along the Rouge River, and Atwater Paddles in Flat Rock offers 2-hour tours along the Huron River from Flat Rock to South Rockwood with transportation back.
No matter what you’re looking to do, Clinton River Canoe & Kayak has a ton of ways to have fun on the water for any skill level.
Their general paddle trips are the easiest, with two and three-hour trips, but they also have adventurous paddles for those looking for a challenge where you go through Class II and Class III rapids along the Clinton River.