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Galien River in Michigan

by  BillCourt

A self-supported trip created by BillCourt

Trip Overview

The Galien River public access on Red Arrow Highway just outside New Buffalo, Michigan offers two different types of short day trips. Heading downstream from the access the river flows and winds slowly toward New Buffalo and Lake Michigan. The trip to New Buffalo takes approximately one hour each way. Once in New Buffalo the river becomes the now booming New Buffalo Harbor with its new condos that include slips for some pretty major league yachts. I have taken this trip both in the summer and fall. Be certain to stay out of the way of the big boys, a kayaker would be little more than a speed bump! It the weather cooperates Lake Michigan is a thrill to be on after the river portion of the trip.

If you have the right kayak, like my Dagger Delta going upstream from the public access is a great trip. There are plenty of downed trees challenging paddlers. Lots of downed trees to skim over and occasionally finesse your way across. The inverted keel on my Dagger Delta is perfect for getting over these minor obstacles. Eventually after about an hour and a half of paddling and "stump jumping" I have had to turn back.


New Buffalo Harbor has a full range of motels, restaruants, etc.


The Galien River public access is located just north of New Buffalo near the intersection of I-94 and US 12.


Put in at the public access is a typical concrete boat ramp. There is plenty of space on either side of the boat ramp with a soft bank that won't damage your boat. At New Buffalo there are places to take out near the picnic tables.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location