Newaygo County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Go Explore Newaygo County Paddling Fishing Camping

Newaygo County Paddling Tour

Explore the Beautiful Muskegon River in Newaygo County.  Start your journey at Croton Dam and enjoy the next four hours of peace and quite as you will only pass a few seasonal cottages and cabins as much of this section of river is lacking major development, but is abundant with natural wildlife and awesome scenery.  Once you reach Newaygo, it will become a little more developed, but still has beautiful qualities you will not find along any other river in Michigan.  It would take about 15+ hours to float the entire stretch of river in the County and we recommend dropping in at Croton Dam for first timers, as this stretch of river will truly showcase the beauty that is has to offer.

Take a full day or half day guided fishing trip on the Muskegon River
Download a printable copy of this plan & a complete float map (1.0mb)

Approximately 15 total float hours - 4-5 hours above Newaygo, 10+ hours below.

Rental Locations & Tips:

Next find your perfect rental location.  We recommend Wisner Canoe Rentals (, as they are right on the Muskegon River, centrally located in Downtown Newaygo.  They rent all types of watercraft and are sure to fit your needs for a fun day on the water.  They will shuttle you to your drop in location and you can float down to their headquarters.  Pretty easy and worry free right?  

If you prefer to float the lower part of the Muskegon River, River Rat Rentals may be perfect for you.  They offer tubes, canoe and kayak rentals (  They float between Bridgeton and their location on the Muskegon River.

If you have your own watercraft, there are many wonderful locations that you can drop in for the day. Starting up high on the Muskegon, just below Croton is where we suggest you begin your trip as there are few homes along the river between Croton and Newaygo, giving you peace and quiet in your float.  See the following map for float times to determine your desired trip length.

Multi-Day Trip Option:

The stretch of the Muskegon River between Croton Dam and Newaygo is about 4-5 hours worth of float time.  Below that to the edge of the County line and Maple Island Ave, you can expect to add nearly 10 hours depending on river conditions.  For those who want to take on the entire Muskegon River (within Newaygo County) we recommend asking your rental company about a multi-day trip, or if you have your own watercraft, look into the various campsites that are located along the river.  Henning Park offers camping (point 4 on the river map) and has a wide variety of amenities.

For Serious Paddlers:

For those looking to take on the upper Muskegon River and traverse the two dam ponds, there are many county parks that will allow you to drop your watercraft in, however, use caution, as the portage around Hardy Dam is quite lengthy and is not advised for beginner paddlers.

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