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Try Petoskey's brand spankin' new Bear River whitewater kayak park! Bring your own gear or rent for the day.
The Perry's location in downtown Petoskey is simply perfect. Watch the sun rise and set over Lake Michigan or look out across Little Traverse to see sailors in Harbor Springs. If you show up late after work, the Noggin Room is a fun bar and restaurant in the basement of the Perry Hotel.
Petoskey invested a quarter of a million dollars into the Bear River Recreation Area. In layman's terms that means we have a whitewater kayaking and tubing park! You will not believe how well the park turned out.
You can bring your own kayaking equipment or rent from the Bahnhof on the north end of Petoskey. You'll want a plastic kayak because the rocks are serious and the water gets very shallow in places. There are several new stone stair access points to the Bear River from the east bank, which is conveniently where the paved sidewalk is. We put in at the Public Works building on Sheridan Rd. The water is calm there and you can get comfortable for about five minutes before the rapids start rolling!
Once you see the Curtis St/Bridge St overpass it's all business! The river gets steeper, the rocks get bigger and you're backpaddling with everything you've got.
The buddy system is a must. If you can't get two kayakers at least have a friend on shore taking pictures, laughing and waiting to pull you out if things go sideways.
To make it easy for you to get outside, all of the important locations and the kayaking route are marked on the map on this page.
There is a gorgeous paved and dirt trail system running along both banks of the Bear River. Petoskey added plenty of benches, tables, river access points and even new clean bathrooms. Even if you aren't interested in boating, do yourself a favor and walk or bike the trails and path. It is only two blocks from the downtown Gaslight district and a block from the Petoskey harbor.
After you're done at the Bear River, take a stroll out on the renovated breakwall that was completed last year.
American Spoon is a family owned Petoskey company who is known for their fresh fruit preserves. Spoon fruit is great but the reason we love American Spoon is because their Gelato Cafe is open for breakfast from early May to late Fall! Local ingredients, fruit preserve stuffed muffins, iced-tea filtered through fruit mash from the preserves and the infamous Farm Egg Sandwich. This sandwich changed Dylan's life. Yes, really. Get your coffee fix and enjoy the incredibly relaxed dining room or sit outside in the park. The staff is as friendly as any you'll find north of the 45th. We just love it there!
Around 5:30pm you should start putting real thought into your sunset spot. We can't get enough of the beach front hammocks at the Inn at Bay Harbor. Bay Harbor is ten minutes southwest of Petoskey on US 31. Even if you are not a guest of the Inn at Bay Harbor hotel you can cruise in the front doors, walk straight through the lobby and out the back doors towards the lake.
If you're parched, there is cocktail service at the restaurant and bar attached to the lobby and a tiki bar by the pool. When you walk onto the veranda you'll see a breathtaking panorama of Michigan's finest, bluest waters. The oversized cloth hammocks are supported by giant curved wooden beams. Grab a drink and soak up the sweetest sunset you've ever seen.
Let us know on Facebook how your weekend turned out, we would love to hear you!
If you need some extra kayaking gear here is some affordable stuff at Amazon.
There are always a ton of options for outdoors sports equipment. Please never pay for the most expensive products! Try to buy last year's model or get a middle of the road priced option and then spend the money you saved doing something fun!
High five to Lindsey Manthei O'Connor who claimed the Bear River geocached gift card for American Spoon! Lindsey and her husband borrowed a pair of fishing kayaks and headed down the white water! Lindsey reported that they didn't flip but pulled over to bail water out of their boats before sinking!
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The coordinates for the Bear River cache are:
Every week we add a photo hunt or new geocache (pronounced "geo cash") somewhere in the northern wilderness with the hope that we'll give other Up North explorers a reason to leave their couch and enjoy the inspiring beauty, history and excitement Michigan has to offer.
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