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The Northern Michigan Paddling Club is a community collaboration by the paddling enthusiasts of Northern Michigan.  Our goals are to help develop quality paddling skills and experiences for the paddling community.  Canoeists and Kayakers can find direction and training to help them to have great experiences exploring the hundreds of rivers and lakes that we sit in the middle of.  We are located near the confluence of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and Lake Huron.  Besides the social side of Paddling, our members have interests and experience in every aspect of canoeing and kayaking.  In our area, paddlers can experience Big Water paddling on the Great Lakes, or the quieter more intimate experiences on our many Inland Lakes.  We have many wonderful rivers, ranging from quiet meandering  streams, to the thrill and excitement of the new Bear River Valley Whitewater Park with Class III rapids.

Joining the Northern Michigan Paddling Club will help you:

  • Develop your Skills & Safety Training
  • Further your Paddling Education
  • Explore New Locations to Paddle
  • Promote the Outdoor Lifestyle
  • Meet Other People with Similar Interests.
  • Have More Fun

The 2015 Rendezvous looks to be bigger and better than ever.  2013 & 14 was a resounding success with more participants in both the Down River Race and the Throwdown!  Mark Saturday May 2nd 2015 on the calender.  Open Paddle starts at 10:00.  It looks like we will have record water levels this spring so the waves will be huge.  Whether you are a experienced White Water Paddler, an Flatwater paddling enthusiast looking to come over the "Dark Side", or just a person who loves the outdoors come out and cheer! Come join us in Petoskey.
Bear River Whitewater Park
Saturday May 2, 2015
10:00 - Open Paddling         
12:00 - Freestyle Throwdown
2:00 - DownRiver Race      
Have you Paddled the Bear Yet?

Upcoming events:
We are working on the 2015 calendar. Trip leaders should help us fill it out.

  • May 2, 2015 - Bear River Rendevzvous
  • June - River Paddle
  • July  - Inland Lake Paddle
  • August - Sea Kayak Paddle
  • September - Fall Paddle Party

-Actual Dates and Times to be determined-

    Check out the calendar for the rest of the schedule.  If you have a favorite trip contact us to help plan it.




Naming Rapids


We all know that the naming of rapids and features on a section of whitewater is both a difficult and important job.  Important because while we can just call a feature “5th Drop” and just count in our mind until we identify it , it is much easier to call it a name that helps identify it because of certain features or because unique events that have occurred to paddlers it the feature.  It’s Official!!!  After years of diligent deliberation our Naming committee has finally agreed on the names for the 10 major features in the Bear River Whitewater Park. Having observed these dedicated individual’s sometimes vocal discussions we can assure you that there are sound reasons for the names. 

The Official Un-Official names from the first feature you encounter descending thru the park:


#1.          Gatekeeper (enter if you dare)

#2.          Butcher Block (The old dam)

#3.          Dancin’ Hansen (the Play Wave)

#4.          4 Play

#5.          Ex-Wife

#6.          Booby Trap

#7.          Lucky 7

#8.          Staircase

#9.          Training Wheels

#10.       911



Congratulations to Al Hansen and Petoskey Parks and Rec for all the awards and recognition that they are receiving for the Bear River Valley Recreation Area. We knew that it is a fantastic facility but it's nice when the Statewide organizations agree.








Bear River White Water Park

Sheridan Street Gauge





Surfing on the Sturgeon River

What is your favorite paddle trip?  Sign up to lead it, Basic Trip Leader training is free to all members. 

Important Links:

Our Mission Statement

The Northern Michigan Paddling Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and education of safe paddling activity in Northern Michigan.  Our goal to achieve this mission is through education and training for whitewater and flat water paddlers; facilitation of social and competitive events; and stewardship and education regarding our bountiful and beautiful water resources.


We seek to promote a healthy, out of doors recreational lifestyle by encouraging active youth and family participation, removing access barriers, and creating an inclusive and vibrant paddling community.


We seek to partner with all community stakeholders, address local issues, and be seen as an active and positive ambassador of all regional paddling activities.

Join the Northern Michigan Paddling Club

  • Meet fellow paddlers.
  • Learn about new places to paddle.
  • Become a better paddlers.
  • Have Fun!

Member Signup / Information