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Places to Kayak in Southeast Michigan this Summer

Posted by 
Heather Raulerson
Heather Raulerson
 22 days ago
Heather kayaking at Kensington MetroparkHeather Raulerson

Are you looking for an outdoor adventure this summer? Have you tried kayaking? I recently tried kayaking for the first time at Kensington Metropark with one of my good friends. I’m not sure why I was hesitant to try kayaking; maybe I thought I would flip over a lot. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I had so much fun kayaking on the lake, and at no point was I close to tipping over. Lesson learned - get over the hesitations because it is so much fun once you are out there! If you are interested in kayaking or looking for a new place to kayak, here are some of the best places to kayak in southeast Michigan this summer.

Kensington Metropark

There is something peaceful to be kayaking around Kent Lake and the surrounding islands with the ducks swimming by you and the birds flying above. You can rent a kayak at the Boat Rental to go gliding past Martindale Beach or Labadie Island. Paddleboats, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, and rowboats are also available at the boat rental building near Maple Beach. To rent boats, you must be 18 years of age or older, and life jackets will be provided, which must be worn at all times. A one-person kayak is $10/hour, and a two-person kayak is $15/hour. The Boat Rental is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., with the last rental at 7 p.m. Kensington Metropark is at 4570 Huron River Pkwy in Milford.

Detroit River

Get a different perspective of Detroit by viewing it from the water. Detroit River Sports offers kayak and stand-up paddleboard tours of the Detroit River and the islands of the city’s Eastside. You can take a look here for all the available river tours. They offer public tours on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The Historic Canal Tour is a great beginner kayak tour and is perfect for small groups or individuals to paddle around Detroit and learn a bit of history. The canal tour lasts 2.5 hours and is $50/paddler. Some kayaking experience is recommended, but this is a beginner-friendly tour. If you want a more intimate experience, they do offer private tours. Detroit River Sports is located at Fisherman's Marina at 14601 Riverside Boulevard in Detroit.

Lake St. Clair Metropark

Simple Adventures, located in Lake St. Clair Metropark, employs one of the largest staff of American Canoe Association Certified Kayak instructors in the Midwest. If you have never kayaked before, this would be the place to start to get a safe and friendly introduction to kayaking. You can also schedule a sunset paddle at the Black Creek Marsh. Watching the sunset while paddling in the water will be a fantastic experience. Lake St. Clair Metropark is at 31300 Metro Pkwy in Harrison Charter Township.


Another great place to kayak is on Proud Lake or the Huron River in Milford. Heavner Canoe Rental is at the Proud Lake Recreation Area at 2775 Garden Rd near Milford. Less than an hour from Detroit, you can be paddling in the beautiful outdoors. You can choose from paddling upstream for up to 3 hours through 4000 acres of natural state land or downstream from 2 hours to 2 days through the quaint Village of Milford, Kensington Metropark, and Island Lake State Recreation Area. The costs are $30 for up to two hours, $35 for up to four hours, and $45 for all day. With all the locations and choices, you can enjoy time paddling in a gentle current or an open lake with options for beginners or experienced paddlers.