Kayaking in Kalamazoo

Select Local Merchants

Perched on the banks of Gun Lake amid several hiking trails and picnic sites, Gun Lake Rentals provides visitors with entertainment selections from its flotilla of boats and personal watercraft. The rental company carries a variety of aquatic options for satisfying thrill seekers and leisurely paddlers alike. The fleet includes jet skis and pontoon boats, as well as paddleboards and kayaks. After a full day of staying afloat on the oversized puddle, guests can seek out attractions in nearby Shelbyville, such as golf courses, miniature golf courses, horse ranches, and miniature horse ranches.

2422 Patterson Rd
Shelbyville,
MI
US

Whether camping in tents or RVs or renting a rustic cabin, visitors to Indian Valley Campground enjoy a lot more than just fresh air and s'mores for breakfast. Rental canoes, kayaks, and rafts navigate the Thornapple River, and fishing boats can float on the Labarge Dam backwaters to track down northern pike, smallmouth bass, and pan fish. Kids can run down a sandy beach to dive into a spring-fed pond, and even on rainy days they can practice their merfolk impression in a heated indoor pool. For added entertainment, there are four golf courses within 10 minutes of the campsite, and the pavilion hosts live concerts, karaoke nights, and ice-cream socials all summer long.

8200 108th St. SE
Middleville,
MI
US

Located just inland of Lake Michigan, St. Joseph River Canoe & Kayak Livery provides a portal for navigating the gentle lapping waters of the St. Joseph River. Staffers oversee a brand new fleet of kayaks and canoes for half- or full-day charter trips, guided tours, and to purchase. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend, the livery shares space with Fisherman's Wharf and Fisherman's Way Marina. The marina also offers 31 slips (nine of which are covered) for boaters to dock their vessel, as well as stainless-steel fish-cleaning stations and private showers for especially shy fish.

602 Fisherman's Rd
St. Joseph,
MI
US

For more than three decades, AAA Canoe has rented canoes, kayaks, and tube floats to explorers bound for the scenic, tranquil Rogue River. The rental center accommodates both individuals and group outings, outfitting each trip with paddles and life jackets or flotation cushions before chauffeuring boaters and their vessels to their trip’s starting point. Each trip ends at the Rockford Dam in downtown Rockford, where passengers can explore the city sights and regain their land legs from unscrupulous alleyway leg merchants.

525 Northland Dr
Rockford,
MI
US

The bayous and creeks flowing into the Grand River form an inviting home for wildlife, including eagles that nest in the trees along the shoreline. Perched in their aeries, the birds study the water's surface. Spotting a disturbance, an eagle lifts off and glides toward the water, opening its talons to pluck the prey suspended just beneath the surface.

The team at Lakeshore Kayak Rental lends their kayaks—inspected and certified by the DNR—and other watercraft to help visitors stumble upon sights such as these throughout the gentle Grand River and its connecting waterways. The staff, which includes instructors claiming certifications from the American Canoe Association, provides lessons for beginner kayakers, canoeists, and paddleboarders, and recommends areas for more experienced outdoorsmen to explore. With advanced notice, Lakeshore's crew can also arrange transportation to and from some area lodgings and farther-away launch points. To encourage camaraderie throughout the kayaking community, Lakeshore's team hosts the annual Grand River Kayak Race.

14023 Green Street
Grand Haven,
MI
US

The owners of Sun Sports Rentals grew up rollicking among the beaches, waterways, and trails of western Michigan. Today, they outfit guests of all ages for outdoor adventures by renting out their fleet of canoes, single and tandem kayaks, and standup paddleboards harbored at Chinook Pier, just a mile from the beach. For guests holding the proper licensing, the selection expands to include Sea-Doo jet skis, as well as pontoon and jet boats. Alternatively, bike and moped rentals let visitors see and escape from natural wonders atop solid land. Sun Sports' team members happily help patrons launch their vessels, and can also arrange delivery. In addition to equipment rentals, they also dispense beach gear, snacks, and apparel.

301 North Harbor Drive
Grand Haven,
MI
US