Are you ready to find your next adventure? Here in West Michigan, you’ll find many exhilarating activities across land, air, and sea. If you throw caution to the wind and go on one of these adventures, you may find yourself biking through a local zoo or sailing on the Great Lakes as part of a tall ship’s crew. No matter what the activity, it’s sure to get your adrenaline pumping and make for a great story when you get home.
Adventure Travel in Southern West Michigan
Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek is hosting a bikes, beasts, and beers event with their Tour De Zoo on August 24th. Ride your bike through the zoo with stops at brewery-sponsored hydration stations and toast to the animals! The merriment continues under the pavilion with a variety of beer, delicious food, live music, games, and prizes for costumes and best themed bikes.
Save the date for a bike tour with Virtue Cider in Fennville and Chicago cycling club Spidermonkey Cycling on Sunday, August 20th! Virtue Cider recently confirmed details with Spidermonkey, and are excited to partner for this upcoming ride. Look for registration and additional details on both their websites.
Relive the founding of North America aboard the Niña and Pinta at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven from August 31st to September 4th. These are replica ships on which Columbus sailed across the Atlantic on his three voyages of discovery to the new world beginning in 1492. You can also sail on the museum’s tall ship, Friends Good Will, as a member of its crew. See all of these amazing boats for yourself right at the museum, and board both of the visiting tall ships when they stop by later this month.
The Lakeshore Harvest Country is hosting their 6th Annual Bike Tour on Saturday, September 9th. Enjoy a countryside bicycle ride to fruit farms and wineries near Fennville, Saugatuck, and South Haven. Several routes are available to accommodate all riding abilities. The event includes rest stops, snacks, and lunch. A concierge service to transport purchases back to the starting point will be provided.
Waldo Wright’s Flying Service in Portage offers a variety of vintage biplane experiences. Passengers can travel back to the 1930s to enjoy an authentic barnstorming ride in a New Standard D-25, or the 1940s for a more hands-on WWII adventure at the controls of a Boeing Stearman N2S-3.
South Haven is the ideal location for action water sports during the summer months. Their shops rent everything from jet skis to stand-up paddle boards, so all your water-adventure needs are covered. The Van Buren State Park has an abundance of dunes and scenic nature trails for travelers to hike or bike through. The state park is located just minutes outside of downtown, also making it incredibly convenient to travel to!
KJC ATV Rentals & Trails in South Haven rents ATVs for one to two people. Once trained, you are set free to experience and enjoy their beautiful wooded trails. The trails are full of twists, turns, hills, and bridges. These ATV rentals are fun for all ages. They also offer games, picnic tables, and a grill on site.
Bundy Hill Offroad Recreation in Jerome is Michigan’s largest privately owned off-road adventure park, full of winding wooded trails, sand, rock crawling, gravel hills, bottomless mud pits, hood deep water, and hill climbs. ATV rentals and primitive camping are available during regular summer hours.
Whether you prefer your adventure on water or dry land, Hastings has something for you. The Thornapple River offers kayakers and canoeists miles of scenic waterways as it winds through Hastings and Barry County. The recently completed Hammond Hill Multi-Use Trail in Hastings offers over seven miles of trails through forests, hills, and meadows, suitable for mountain and fat tire biking as well as hiking and trail running. Come find your adventure in Hastings, and then stay to enjoy the city’s small town charm, and many unique dining and shopping establishments.
Canoe, kayak, and tube on the Kalamazoo River in Marshall for a day of adventure and camaraderie. Several sites are ideal for drop-off points, making it easy to bring your own gear or rent from the Marshall Recreation Department.
Whether looking for a kayaking adventure or an afternoon float on a pontoon boat, Coldwater Country has you covered. Home to more than 100 lakes including two chains of lakes, it’s easy to find an adventure on the water throughout the area.
Adventure Travel in Central West Michigan
Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park is Michigan’s newest adventure park. These have become increasingly popular with those who love challenge, adrenaline, and the independence of an aerial adventure. Together with training, as well as the top-of-the-line climbing gear that you’ll be using, you are able to independently traverse through the trees. Have fun on the ziplines, tarzan swings, rope bridges, and swinging logs, which offers challenges for the mildly cautious to the seriously adventurous!
Cannonsburg in Grand Rapids is home to West Michigan’s only Zipline Adventure Tour! The Cannonsburg East Zip Line Tour is perfect for the first time zip liner! The East Tour includes six zip lines that welcome you to zip lining by offering an enjoyable tour complete with speeds that still top 30 mph for an exciting experience. The Cannonsburg West Zip Line Tour is for adventurous zip liners who are looking for a bit more height, speed, and a bigger adrenaline rush as part of their experience! With six total zip lines that boast higher and faster lines and platforms, the West Tour will meet the needs of anyone looking for a bit more advanced action.
Action Wake Park in Hudsonville is Michigan’s first and only full size cable park. No longer is wakeboarding limited to only those who have access to a boat. Their facilities give guests the opportunity to learn how to wakeboard in a controlled environment without the need for a boat, bringing the joy of wakeboarding to a whole new audience. Action Wake Park promises to deliver you a premium experience whether you’re a first time rider or an experienced pro.
Located just a mile from the Holland State Park and one of the most popular beaches in Michigan, the view from the air at Skydive Holland is truly a sight to behold. The climb to altitude takes you directly out over the water and up and down one of the most beautiful stretches of shoreline on the planet! If you’re lucky enough to get on one of the last loads of the day, the outline of the buildings on the Chicago skyline can often be seen in front of the orange sun setting on the water.
Benz Aviation in Ionia is the midwest’s largest glider base and soaring center. If you have ever dreamed of soaring, book a ride today! This flight experience is the closest thing available to flying free like a bird. Come soar the skies with Benz Aviation’s expert pilots and fulfill your dream of learning to fly.
Muskegon is home to Michigan’s largest amusement and waterpark, Michigan’s Adventure! Ride miles of thrills aboard one of the nation’s largest wooden roller coasters, Shivering Timbers, or defy gravity in the Funnel of Fear. The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex offers a more extreme kind of excitement, featuring one of only publicly accessible luges in the United States. The complex is also home to the only wheeled luge in North America, allowing for fun in the summer months. There are also numerous opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, hiking, biking, golfing and more throughout the area!
WaterDog Outfitters in Montague offers rental opportunities for every interest. Rent a kayak to explore over 12 miles of White Lake lake shore or mile after mile of the White River watershed. Stand Up Paddle boards (SUP’s) are another wonderful way to explore the waterways of the White Lake area, especially during those hot summer days. These paddle boards offer a versatile, exciting, and aerobic activity that both young and old will enjoy.
1 Adventure Company in Holland provides everything you need for an adventure on the water. They offer various outdoor activities that can be enjoyed year-round, including kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, boating and fishing. The owners and guides all have roots in West Michigan, and enjoy an active lifestyle. From group tours to 1-on-1 training, let their expert guides craft your perfect adventure using the best techniques and newest equipment available.
Mecosta County is home to the beautiful 216-mile Muskegon River, the second longest river in Michigan! With many public access points, visitors can bring tubes, kayaks, and canoes for a majestic trip down the river. If you don’t have your own, many places have tubes and canoes available for rental.
When visiting the Mt. Pleasant area, you may find yourself on an exhilarating adventure through the trees. The area’s longest zipline is over 800 feet long with the highest point being over 70 feet above the ground. All together, your entire tour will take you on over 4,000 feet of zip cable!
Adventure travel can mean anything from mountain biking to cycling, canoeing to kayaking, hiking or running through unspoiled woods, swimming in dozens of lakes, or doing them all on the same day! It also means finding activities that everyone in the family can enjoy together or separately. In River Country, everyone can go home happy with an activity that challenges body, heart, and soul.
Adventure Travel in Northern West Michigan
Crystal Mountain and Iron Fish Distillery, Michigan’s first farm distillery, have joined forces for the 2nd Annual Gravity Fest, the Thompsonville resort’s downhill mountain bike race on Saturday, August 5th from noon to 2pm. The Iron Fish Maple Bourbon Long Run begins at the top of the Crystal Clipper chairlift, descends to the lower portion of Crystal’s Gravity Park and finishes at the Loki Triple chairlift. Each rider gets two qualifying runs with the top seven advancing to the final heat in each of three categories: White Whiskey Men’s Open, Winter Wheat Women’s Open, and Northwood’s Rootbeer Junior Open (13 and under). Registration is $30 per racer and includes lift access for the day, race entry, drink ticket for the after party at Iron Fish (6pm), Clipper chairlift ride pass, and entry into the Disc Golf Challenge at 3pm.
Get off the grid with the Beaver Island Boat Company by riding the ferry 32 miles into Lake Michigan to the unhurried, unspoiled and unbeatable Beaver Island. This rustic escape is truly an adventure for anyone seeking the great outdoors, biking, hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking or even scuba diving! Escape to America’s Emerald Isle and discover the beauty of Northern Michigan.
Great Turtle Kayak Tours on Mackinac Island offers professional guided tours and rentals, giving you the best experience aboard your choice of single kayak, tandem kayak, or stand up paddle board. Their guides have been paddling the local waterways for over 20 years, and will show you the best of Mackinac from the water, providing you with a safe and rewarding experience every time.
Adventure Mining Company in Greenland has approximately 4 miles of biking and hiking trails around the mine site. These trails weave around many of the old mine building foundations, and historic pits on the site. The trails are open year round, except for the underground portion which is only available during the Miner’s Revenge Bike Race, one of the Upper Peninsula’s most unique bike races.
If you need an adrenaline fix, you’ve got a couple of great options in the Petoskey area with a zipline adventure at Boyne Mountain. Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls offers their Zipline Adventure Tours, suspending guests 50 feet in the air as they travel along the 4,300-foot course at 20 to 25 miles per hour. In nearby Boyne City, Wildwood Rush Canopy Tours has you tear through the air at high speeds on multi lines, with a double dare quick jump available, where guests take a step into a 25-foot head-rushing freefall from the top of a six-story platform.
Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire is part of the 75-mile string of lakes and connecting rivers of the Chain of Lakes, and stretching 19 miles. Torch Lake is where Shanty Creek families head for days of sunshine and water adventure. Spend the day tubing, water skiing, and simply enjoy the water and sun.
For anyone looking for a fun day in the sun or getting in touch with Mother Nature, be sure to take a trip down the Manistee or Pine River in the Cadillac area. Many places offer kayak, canoe, tube, and raft rentals, including Pine River Paddlesport Center in Wellston. Take a relaxed float down the Manistee River or conquer the rapids of Pine River. Each river can accommodate to experience and skill level and even do multiple day trips for those who are up for it!
You’re invited to set sail aboard the Tall Ship Manitou, one of the largest sailing ships on the Great Lakes, during a 6-Day Windjammer Cruise, September 17th to 23rd. Guided by the passionate, skilled and entertaining crew of the Traverse Tall Ship Company, this voyage sets sail out of Grand Traverse Bay aboard a replication of an 1800s “coasting” cargo schooner. A traditional two-masted, gaff rigged, topsail schooner, the Manitou measures 114 feet in length with more than 3000 square feet of sail. Passengers are free to leave the sailing to the experienced crew, but it’s much more fun to lend a hand and learn the arts of the sailor.
Visit Marquette for a variety of fun activities that will keep your family on their feet. Go disc golfing at one of the area’s courses, or be a part of the 1800s’ iron industry. Hiking, biking, beaches, and more await you in Marquette and beyond.
If you’re looking for adventures, look no further than Sault Ste. Marie. You can kayak and stand-up paddle on a guided tour through St. Marys River and the locks. All guided trips include a guide, PFD, and a paddle. When you’re up for an adventure, come to Sault Ste. Marie and enjoy your time on the waters.
Looking for adventure? Charlevoix offers thrill seekers amazing opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping. Try skydiving over Charlevoix with a freefall at 120 miles per hour and fantastic views of Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Charlevoix, Mackinac Island, and Beaver Island. Or go on a canopy tour at Michigan’s largest outdoor zip line adventure. With nine zip lines and five sky bridges, the views of Lake Charlevoix make it a must stop location for adventure seekers. If you want to be on the water, There are kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals available along the lakeshore. Whether you want to be in the air or on the water, Charlevoix has an adventure planned for you and your family!