Motorboats can be noisy, pollute waterways, and often attract flocks of mimicking mallards. Enjoy a leisurely voyage sans avian impressionists with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 toward canoe or kayak rentals at Heavner Canoe Rentals. This Groupon is valid at the locations on Proud Lake and Island Lake.
With more than 200 canoes and kayaks in its floating fleet, Heavner invites paradise-seeking sightseers, as well as their pet pooches, to bask in the beauty of Michigan state parks. Paddlers shove off from one of two base camps located within the confines of the state recreation areas, then ride the gentle, ego-stroking current of the Huron River to predetermined pick-up sites anywhere from 60 minutes to six-and-a-half hours downriver ($30–$41/canoe or kayak). Self-addressed inlet interlopers are welcome to return themselves to their departure depots, and adventurers launching from Proud Lake can camp out beneath famed constellations, such as the Big Dipper and Orion’s Oar, before bringing back their boats ($27 for an all-day rental). Heavner also boasts certified instructors to help educate and guide boaters on their voyages.
A valid state-park permit is required for entrance to Michigan state parks.
Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental
After buying their first canoe in 1942, Chester and Stella Heavner were hooked. So were their friends. After constantly loaning out their red-canvas Old Town canoe, the pair invested in two more and started charging a nominal rental fee. In 1953, they made it official with a patch of riverfront property, eight canoes, and a trailer.
Today, Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental is run by Chester and Stella’s eldest son, Alan. He and his staff manage an inventory of more than 200 canoes and kayaks, which they rent at three locations along the Huron River.