Get your friends and family together for a fun filled day on the river.
Whether you want to Paddle Leisurely, Paddle Hard or simply Float, we have something for everyone!
This is not your typical watercraft rental service.
We provide your equipment and you transport it to & from your favorite waterway.
|Daily Rate (Mon-Thu)||$15||$15||$10|
|Weekend/Holiday Rate (Fri-Sun)||$30||$20||$15|
Rental package includes Life Vests & Paddles
Renter must be at least 18 years old and must provide a valid credit card at the time of rental.
Fun For The Whole Family!
- Choose your own route!
- Choose your own waterway! Utilize our local natural resources or take a trip north to enjoy the scenery in Northern Michigan.
- Tube, canoe or kayak, we have something for every interest.
- It’s Affordable & Fun!
Call to make your reservation TODAY!
|Equipment Pick Up||Monday-Friday||12:00pm-4:30pm|
Paddle the Flat River
The peaceful Flat River is a particularly attractive destination for beginning paddlers or those looking to introduce youngsters to the pleasures of floating a Michigan stream. Mild-mannered and shallow for most of it’s length, the Flat River threads its way through long stretches of public land that house a wide variety of wildlife.
Although much of the Flat River is canoeable, especially in the spring and early summer, the area from Greenville downstream to Lowell is the best. A moderate current, changing bottom types, vegetative cover, fish and wildlife, and two historic covered bridges makes this a popular stretch to paddle. Many paddlers put in at Greenville, just downstream of the Greenville Dam or at Jackson’s Landing, just below the M-57 bridge. The river is 30-40 feet wide and 1 to 2 feet deep. The Flat’s mellow current takes the bite out of the large rocks and other occasional obstacles.
About 2 miles downstream from Jackson’s Landing, you’ll cross into the Flat River State Game Area, a sure highlight of any trip on the river. The river widens to 50-70 feet through the game area and maintains a depth of 1 to 2 feet as it meanders past heavily wooded shorelines. During mid-summer and other low-water periods, however, you may run aground occasionally.
As you approach the Belding Dam, the river deepens and slows. An easy portage around the dam can be found on the left, beyond the fence at a shoreline park. Immediately below the dam, the river returns to its shallow ways, albeit at a slightly livelier clip. As with certain stretches, paddling pleasure through here is somewhat dependent on water level. During dry summers, you may feel like you’re spending more time walking alongside your canoe than sitting in it. But during normal water levels, you can concentrate on watching for some of the area’s abundant wildlife.
The Flat gradually widens to as much as 80 feet as it nears Smyrna. Immediately below Smyrna and above Ingalls Road Bridge is a blown-out dam that offers the only rapids of any note on the river. Experienced paddlers will have no difficulty with this short run (stick to the river center to avoid larger remnants of the dam), but beginners may want to portage on the left, especially during spring and other high-water periods.
Immediately below Smyrna, the Flat remains wide and shallow with a moderate flow and occasional rocky riffles. After about 2 miles, though, it flows into the backwaters of White’s Bridge Dam, which can be portaged on the left. Below the dam is a nice float that takes paddlers through the wooded hills of the Lowell State Game Area and under White’s Bridge, one of the state’s original wooden covered bridges. Another historic bridge spanning the stream – Fallasburg Park Bridge – lies just below the recommended take-out at Fallasburg Park. Paddlers also have the option of pushing on past Fallasburg Park to Lowell.
The river above Greenville to Langston flows slowly through lowland hardwood areas and many dead trees across the river makes it difficult to canoe. The river from Langston to Six Lakes is slow and generally too small and brushy for enjoyable canoeing.
In Greenville, paddlers have two put-in options. The first is located in the center of town, Tower Riverside Park, off of Greenville Road (M-91), just below the Greenville Dam. A second option is Jackson’s Landing, located just below the bridge at M-57. The Long Lake Road Bridge lies 2.5 miles east of Belding on Long Lake Road. To put in at Belding Dam, use the community park just west of Zahm Road. To reach White’s Bridge, take M-21 east out of Lowell for 2 miles, then turn north on White’s Bridge Road for 6 miles. To reach the put-in sites at Fallasburg Park and McPherson Road Bridge, take Lincoln Lake Avenue north out of Lowell for 2 miles, then proceed north on Fallasburg Park Road for another 2 miles. The put-ins are located next to one another on the east side of the road.
You won’t find any established public campgrounds along the Flat River. A private campground, the Double R Ranch, is located just downstream from Smyrna.
Sites and History
The Flat River and surrounding areas are rich in historic values of state and national significance. In addition to being an important element in both Indian and lumbering history, the river boasts two of the remaining four original wooden covered bridges in Michigan. The oldest, Whites Bridge near Smyrna, was built in 1867. Both Whites Bridge and Fallasburg Bridge are on the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
Natural River Designation
The Flat River, is one of sixteen state-designated “Natural Rivers” since 1979. The Natural Rivers Program is administered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The purpose of a natural river designation is to preserve and enhance the area for water conservation, its free flowing condition, and the fish, wildlife, boating, scenic, aesthetic, floodplain, ecologic, historic and recreational values and uses.
A variety of wildlife sightings along the Flat River is common. Wildlife sightings may include ring-necked pheasants, rabbit, fox squirrel, white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse. Muskrats are abundant and mink are common in the area as well. A few beaver are beginning to establish themselves in the river system and raccoons and red fox sightings are not uncommon. Stately swans, gangly herons, mallards, black ducks, wood ducks and blue-winged teal call the Flat River home. Don’t rule out many non-game species such as songbirds, shore birds, rodents, birds of prey, reptiles and amphibians. One of the most exciting sightings may even include a bald eagle.
The Flat River, especially below Greenville, is of sufficient size to allow float-type fishing, yet, in most areas, is shallow enough to allow wading fishermen a chance to apply their skills.
The Flat River has the reputation of being one of the best smallmouth bass streams in southern Michigan. The upper Flat from Six Lakes to Greenville contain fair populations of northern pike and rock bass with a few largemouth bass being taken from the area just down from Six Lakes. Greenville down to Lowell, the river contains excellent populations of northern pike and rock bass.
DAY TRIPS Launch Site Time Between Access Points Start: Jackson’s Landing Canoe-Kayak Tube Bricker Bridge 2 hrs 4 hrs East Riverside Park 4 hrs 8 hrs Whites Bridge 7 hrs Fallasburg Covered Bridge 10 hrs
Things To Bring
- Drinking Water
- Insecte Repellent
- Water Shoes
- Flat River Water Trail Map
- Personal Flotation Device