Tubing In Michigan

After a long, cold winter it’s time to enjoy some of the warmer activities Michigan has to offer. Michigan contains over 36,000 miles of rivers, most of which are short and great for quick river tubing trips. River tubing in Michigan is relaxing and allows you to sit back and enjoy the warm sun that you have been dreaming about all winter. Soak up the natural beauty surrounding you on a trip you’ll never forget!

Grab an inner tube and find a river near you or contact one of the outfitters below. They’ll supply the gear and shuttle service so all you have to do is show up.

Do you have a favorite river tubing location or an outfitter that has provided excellent service? Share your experience in the comment section below.

Quick Links: Chippewa River | Muskegon River | Platte River | Rifle River

Chippewa River Tubing

The Chippewa River flows for 92 miles before it joins with the Pine and Tittabawassee Rivers to eventually drain into Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron. It is the main attraction and basis for many parks in Michigan and provides excellent river tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing opportunities. It’s a slow river without any rapids and little current, which makes it great for the entire family to enjoy.

Muskegon River Tubing

The second largest river in Michigan, the Muskegon River flows for 216 miles from Houghton Lake, near the northern center portion of Michigan, southwest into Muskegon Lake which eventually drains into Lake Michigan. Like the Chippewa River, it is slow flowing with limited areas of fast water and excellent for tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. There’s an abundance of wildlife along the river and plenty of opportunities for camping, which goes well with a day of tubing in Michigan.

Platte River Tubing

The Platte River in Michigan flows for 30 miles and is composed of primarily two sections, the Lower Platte River and the Upper Platter River. The Upper Platte has a stronger current with multiple obstructions which don’t make it good for tubing, but the Lower Platte is excellent. It is relatively shallow (under 3 feet) and has a mild current, providing for a wonderful opportunity to go river tubing in Michigan. The Lower Platte River is located within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and a pass is required to float on this section of the river.

Rifle River Tubing

The Rifle River flows for 60 miles before it empties into the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. It’s a relatively shallow river with some areas as little as 18 inches, so it is safe and enjoyable for the entire family. Many consider the Rifle River the most popular river to canoe or kayak in the state of Michigan and it has gained popularity in the tubing crowd as well. There are plenty of campgrounds nearby if you want to extend your trip for a few days, many of them located right on the river providing a gorgeous view. If you’re waterlogged from tubing all day, consider checking out some of the nearby hiking trails.

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  1. Never ever tube the Betsie river! We are a 4 generation family of 8 people who were told by a campground tube livery that it would take 1 – 1 1/2 hours to tube the section of the Betsie just north of County Line road close to Thompsonville. The river has downed trees with spider webs at every bend that trap you with the current flow. Leeches attack any wounds made by tree branches. Areas of long grass make passage difficult. There were many shallow rocky spots to ford. In places narrowed by trees we were rammed by canoes.

    We were exhausted. My great-grandson had to double up with my daughter for body heat as he was shivering and starting to turn blue from extensive time in the water.

    Finally after 3 1/2 hours we landed back at the campground.

    A Sunday tube trip should not be life threatening. Shame on the campground owners for not giving us good information.

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