Even though as I write this (on 4/8/22) it's currently 39 degrees in SW Michigan, warm weather is on the way. It has to be, right?
With the warmer weather, you'll most likely want to plan some outdoor adventures that will finally get you outside and into the sun. And what's a better warm-weather activity than river tubing?
Across the state of Michigan, there are a plethora of rivers where you can enjoy some relaxing tubing. But, if you're in the SW Michigan area, you may not want to travel to the thumb just for tubing. Thankfully, we have at least 5 options for tubing in West Michigan:
1. The Thornapple River in Hastings
The Thornapple River, just outside of Lansing, runs about 88 miles. Obviously, over 88 miles, there are a ton of spots where you can launch a boat, kayak, or canoe. However, if you'd rather relax while you drift down the river in a tube without having to worry about plotting a course, snag a tube from U-Rent-Em Canoe Livery. They've been helping people enjoy the Thornapple River since 1966. Please note: they do not accept credit cards.
2. Rogue River in Rockford
The Rogue River in Rockford, just north of Grand Rapids, is another option for a lazy summer day. The river itself is about 48 miles long. If you're looking to rent a kayak/canoe/tube, AAA Canoe & Kayak Rentals is one of the more popular options. You can find their locations (there are two separate locations for tubing vs canoe rentals), their hours, and rates here. Please note: on the weekends they only accept cash.
3. White River in Montague
Right on the shore of Lake Michigan is Montague, a smaller Michigan town that includes the White River. There are campgrounds with boat launches you could stay at or if you're just looking to rent a canoe or tube for the day, check out Happy Mohawk Canoe Livery. They've been operating since 1963 and, judging by their website, they do accept credit cards. Find all of their pricing here.
4. Flat River in Belding
Flat River, in Belding, is about 70 miles long. Sitting on the river is Double RR Ranch which offers camping, horseback riding, and canoe/tube rentals. Your tubing trip will last either one or two hours depending on where you launch. You can find all of the prices, hours, and location of Double RR Ranch here.
5. Muskegon River in Newaygo
The longest river on the list is the Muskegon River. It runs 216 miles long and offers plenty of space for both kayaking and tubing. The most popular resource for tubing and tubing rentals seems to be Wisner Canoeing. They offer a 4 mile or 6 mile trip on the Muskegon River. You can find their rates and location here.
If you're not in West Michigan or are just looking for more options, check out onlyinyourstate.com and grkids.com. And, if you're more into kayaking but find yourself without one - there are plenty of options for that too!
I only have one request: if you bring your animals kayaking or canoes or tubing...please, PLEASE take some pictures. Like these people did: (they're so cute!)