Betsie River - Adams Road Boat Launch to Elberta

by  paddler2685593

A self-supported trip created by paddler2685593

Trip Overview

I took this trip with my twin, 9-year olds on a beautiful, 75-degree July day. We took our own kayaks starting at the Adams Road Boat Launch (Full trip can be found here:,-86.1698673,246m/am=t/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e4?entry=ttu). There are a few docks at the start of the trip, but after that, it is all State Game Refuge land. We didn't see another soul during the entire trip. Water was very low this year due to low rainfall, and there were a number of trees partially blocking the river but nothing requiring portage or too challenging for a couple 9-year olds. The river is was never more than 4-feet deep. Definitely bring your sunblock and mosquito spray because half-way through, you're going to be into swamp land with little shade. Reapplication is a must.

I also recommend you bring a spotting scope or binos because the birds are thick! We saw 3 mated bald eagle pairs and their nests! There were probably 30-40 blue herons. We also saw a number of a red-tailed hawk, belted kingfishers, a cormorant, a sandhill crane, and of course a bunch of sandpipers, songbirds and mallards.

All told, it took about 3-hrs of paddling which was enough to tire out the kiddos but a great trip and the boys want to do another one soon!

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 7/9/2023
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location