11 women put in at Daggett Rd - used Wisner Rentals out of Newaygo to transport us from our take-out in Croton State Park.
The river was more than swift, it was fast! It was twisty! It was full of challenges at every turn. The flow is typically 6ft/mile, but the water was about a foot higher than usual. Had to take control the minute you hit the water or it controlled you before you got a chance to take a breath! Be prepared.
Lots of log jams along the sides with many opportunities to use your skills. There were mild ripples all along the trip. And, there was one particular run that was a nice Class I that lasted for a few minutes, perhaps about 3 miles from the put-in.
Some of us ran into, literally, a downed tree about five miles into the trip... maybe 2-3 miles before the take-out in Croton. It was a major surprise around a fast moving twist in the river. On the right there is a shore... easy portage, but if you ended up on the left side of the river (no chance to paddle across - too swift) you have to hoist your boat up the side, vertically, about 4-6 ft - it was hard work but a fun part of the adventure!
As a result a several women taking a swim and the portage problems around the tree, a 3 hour paddle turned into 5 fun- filled hours.
Paddling across the Croton Pond was not too bad because the wind wasn't strong. Had a great burger at the Driftwood just up the road.
Loved the trip. Not for novices. Be prepared to get wet and have good water shoes.
Stayed at the Outback Lodge in Stanwood. It was a B & B.
Relied on readings from various Michigan paddling books and the owner of Wisner Rental that is very knowledgeable about both the Muskegon and Little Muskegon.