This summer is the first season that Boyne Mountain will be offering Kayak Adventures on the Boyne River. My advice to you, get your feet wet!
One of the many joys of my job is that I get to experience first-hand the many adventures that are offered to our guests. When the Adventure Center called and asked if I wanted to spend about three hours of my Monday morning on the river, I jumped at the chance. I mean, duh....and I lived to tell the tale of my day (psssst, you will too).
First things first, what to wear. A day on the river can be tricky because you are not sure if you will stay dry. You definitely want to pack lightly and make sure to put the things that you do bring in a dry bag. I would suggest layering if the temperature is a bit cool and choose quick drying materials. Don't wear your favorite pair of tennis shoes, I would recommend a strappy, sturdy sandal or water shoe that you would feel comfortable walking in water with. Bring some sunglasses with a leash and/or a hat. Slather on some sunscreen with a few squirts of bug spray and you are ready to go.
The Boyne River Adventures van will pick you up in front of the Adventure Center, located on the Clock Tower Lodge Circle Drive. A very nice woman named Debbie will greet you and whisk you away to the drop point. On the way to the river, Debbie will give you some helpful pointers on how-to-not-tip your kayak, so listen up! She mentions that parts of the Boyne River can be a tad tricky for beginners, but with a little concentration and swift paddling, you'll be just fine. I was paired with a couple of ladies that were first-timers and both were convinced that they were going to roll. Not only did they stay dry, but they maneuvered their boats like pros thanks to Debbie's advice.
The van pulled over on the side of a dirt road, just past a small bridge. We hopped out and walked down to the river where Jordan, our river concierge, had three kayaks waiting for us. The first major obstacle is immediately when you launch because the current moves quickly in the wrong direction. I went first, and only got slightly hung up before starting to make my way down the Boyne River. The river twists and turns quite a bit for the first hour of your trip. There are sections that are really moving fast, which I thought made the experience super fun. You will be challenged, you will get stuck, but you will not necessarily tip. Even if you do, the water is not very deep and you will easily reach the shore to get back in your boat. What makes this adventure so unique, is that you are literally on a very remote part of the Boyne River. It's just you and the wildlife. And by wildlife, I mean fish, otters, beavers, swans, and a few spiders. Around an hour into the trip, the river opens up a bit wider and the experience becomes more of a float or relaxing paddle. (That is the part where you crack open a cold beverage, lean back, and soak in the sunshine.) Eventually you end up paddling through Boyne City, so you pass some beautiful homes, factories, and then downtown. You have one more challenge. Passing through the culverts under the bridge that will release you to your final destination, Lake Charlevoix. The culverts were more intimidating than challenging, but if the lake is choppy be prepared to take on a couple waves. At that point I may have let out a few screams, only to be followed by a huge burst of laughter. We paddled our way over to the boat launch and sure enough, Debbie pulled in shortly after to take us back to the resort.
What a fantastic morning! We spent around two to two and an half hours on the river, add in drive time, and it was a perfect three hour adventure.
Kari◂ Return to News & Updates