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Pine River in Michigan

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Spent a fun and exciting day kayaking the Pine on a fine sunny Saturday! Like someone said, this is a river you paddle, not float - it's fast, winding, lots of obstacles, with beautiful wild scenery and next to no development.

The four of us put in at Lincoln Access and made the 15.8 mile trip down to Petersen Bridge in about five hours. Our first and biggest surprise was the massive log jam a ways below Lincoln. We didn't know about this huge jam, and I emphasize huge, so it took us by surprise. None of us had ever been on this section before, and it had been years since we had done any of the Pine. The jam is on a bend and causes a narrow fast chute with some real waves. I was in front and made it through okay in my 14' Perception. I looked back to see my friend caught with the front end of my 11'6 Hurricane up on the jam. Scary to watch and feeling really helpless. She took in some water so the kayak flipped. Luckily she bounced right out, hung on to the paddle, and didn't get caught up in the logs. Glad she had a life vest on, water was fast and well over her head. Another friend made it through and somehow they managed to retrieve the kayak. Our fourth paddler made it through fine also. A lot of excitement and we had only barely begun our trip!

The river is a blast, lots of fun water, but like I said you have to pay attention. We really enjoyed the long section of white water from Dobson to Petersen Bridge, which is where we took out. It was a great day, lots of smiles, lots of tired muscles, and many fine memories.

I highly recommend the Pine, although know it's not a river for beginners or children. And like I said, you have to paddle, it's not a float, but who doesn't enjoy that?


During the summer months you need a $2.00 permit to float the river and there's a parking fee of $5.00


Take State Rd. north of Luther, turn left onto Lincoln Access (or any of the other access roads) off of State


Pine River Map online

Trip Details

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

Trip Location