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Adventure Travel in West Michigan

Looking to add an adrenaline rush to your vacation? From zip-lines to deep water kayaking, West Michigan is full of unique adventures to make a memorable trip! 

Upper Peninsula Adventures

Drummond Island Resort is the proud home of Turtle Ridge Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Park. Featuring over 300 acres of prime off-road trails, the course is carved out of the island’s natural limestone. The park, open year-round, offers an abundance of trails of varying degrees of difficulty, providing thrills and excitement for all those who experience it. Plan your visit to Drummond Island Resort and stay at one of their beautiful lodge rooms and experience it all from kayaking, biking, and fishing to hitting the trails at Turtle Ridge. Drummond Island is the Gem of the Huron…discover why! 

On the shores of Lake Superior, Marquette is a community where nature’s assets are on display through scenic vistas, rugged trails, and rushing waterfalls. From unique dining experiences, award-winning craft breweries, and a thriving art scene, Marquette embraces a culture anchored in artisanship and ingenuity. In August, Marquette has a number of adventure travel and racing events worth experiencing or participating in:

  • August Adventure Travel:
    • Falls are the foundation of the full Marquette, MI experience and Morgan Falls is just the one for the whole family. Just south of the city, this 20-foot waterfall is easily accessible and has cascades you need to see. Click through for a map of all the waterfalls in Marquette County.
    • Presque Isle Park is loved by visitors and locals alike and it’s no wonder why with its 2-miles of scenery and unforgettable views of Superior. On the drive there, along Lakeshore Boulevard, you might even spot two notorious rare white deer who sometimes stroll through the park. Find more details on one of the most visited places in Marquette here.
    • Want to climb a mountain but make sure the crew can come too? Sugarloaf Mountain offers a more mild trek to the top than most, but there’s nothing short about the view of Marquette and Lake Superior from the summit. Click through for more Sugarloaf Mountain hiking resources
  • August Racing Events:
    • Ore 2 Shore: On August 10th, riders will gear up at the start line in Negaunee, where in 1844 iron ore was first discovered in the Superior region. The long distance course travels through Ishpeming, past towering head frames from the heyday of underground mining, and then heads north into the beautiful wooded wilderness, crossing or running alongside of the Dead River all the way into Marquette to the Lake Superior shoreline.
    • Marquette Trail 50 Ultramarathon: On August 16th and 17th, racers will participate in the eleventh edition of the Marquette Trail 50 Ultramarathon in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Marquette Trail 50 consists of a 50-kilometer and 50-mile event held on Saturday. The course is mostly single-track, climbing the four peaks: Sugarloaf, Top-of-the-World, Bareback, and Hogback.  All the peaks have views of Lake Superior, and portions of the course skirt its shoreline.
    • Marquette Marathon: The 10th annual Marquette Marathon will be held on August 31st, where athletes will participate in marathon and half marathon courses that have significant elevation drops, visit multiple Upper Peninsula cities, and travel through the scenic Iron Ore Heritage Trail.

For a stellar twenty-five seasons Keweenaw Adventure Company has been hosting world-class, professionally guided Lake Superior sea kayak tours and single-track mountain biking for all levels of experience! Prepare to be wowed by the Keweenaw Peninsula’s truly unique coastal lines and terrains for our mid-western region. Canoe, sit-on-top kayak, and SUP rentals are also available, along with eco-interpretive hikes and a shuttle service. Use promocode WMTA$25 to save $25-off any Day Sea Kayaking Tour!

North Region Adventures

Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide, Michigan’s only Alpine Slide, allows you to cruise down one of two parallel 1,700-foot-long curved tracks. You control the speed in this action-packed thrill ride with dips, high-bank turns, and spectacular views of the Crystal Mountain area in Thompsonville!

For over 30 years, Inland Seas Education Association of Suttons Bay has been teaching people about protecting the Great Lakes through their programs on tall ship schooners. Participants engage in hands-on activities as they collect lake samples and analyze them to determine the health of the Great Lakes. Some of the programs also collect microplastics. Individuals also get a chance to raise the sails and steer the ship! Click here for more information about ISEA public programs.

Take your wine tasting trip up a notch with Bubbly on the Bay, wine tasting kayak tours of Omena Bay Tuesdays and every other Thursdays through the end of August with Leelanau Cellars in Omena.

Explore the dunes and woodlands in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore afloat the crystal clear waters of the Platte River. At Riverside Canoe Trips on M22 near the Lake Michigan shoreline just outside of Honor, you’ll get an entirely different perspective from a canoe, kayak, tube, raft, or stand up paddleboard paddling the river which snakes through the breathtaking park.

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 just enjoying the water and sun. Or, grab some wheels and ride! Study a map of Antrim County and you see roads bending to the will of geography. Curves and arcs and turns are dictated by lakeshores, threading rivers, broad wetlands, and ridges and valleys that rise and fall into the distance. In fact, one of the north’s premier mountain bike trails is located just minutes from Shanty Creek – Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural Area.

Central Region Adventures

Whether you’re looking for boat and jet ski rentals, bicycling and kayaking trails, or a Lake Michigan charter boat excursion, Ludington has you covered. Find boat rentals on beautiful Hamlin Lake, paddle the Pere Marquette or Big Sable river, head out on a sailing excursion on Lake Michigan, or catch a prized salmon on the big lake in a charter fishing trip.

Jump Around Fun Center in Ludington has an 11,000 sq ft outdoor inflatable park includes three large head-to-head obstacles for kids and adults to compete against each other. One is a 75′ long zorb track, where each person climbs into a “hamster ball” and races down a track! The others have climbs, dips, dives, and slides to get to the finish line. You will also find a Virtual Reality arcade for those who want to try a new kind of adventure. Game selection includes rock climbing, underwater exploring, and even an entire virtual amusement park with roller coaster rides, balloon rides, and many more options.

Adventure awaits you in Mt Pleasant!

  • Zip Line at Snow SnakeComplete with TEN unique zip lines, the longest line is over 820 ft. long and the highest is over 75 ft.; that is taller than a five-story building! 
  • Kayak/Canoe the Chippewa RiverThe stream runs 91.8 miles through the central Lower Peninsula! Whether you’re looking for a leisurely trip on the water or a full day of paddling, the Chippewa River is perfect for everyone!
  • Deerfield Nature ParkDeerfield Nature Park is perfect for adventurers – with over 8 miles of hiking and biking trails. The trails lead you down a path of natural beauty where you encounter swinging bridges, a covered bridge the famous Chippewa River and more! 

John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids offers many unique experiences including a gem and fossil sluice, a 600-foot zip line, and a four-story ropes course.  

Ever wanted to learn how to fly fish on one of Michigan’s premier trout streams? Join the Pere Marquette River Lodge in Baldwin for a summer fly fishing school that will teach beginners how to fish for trophy trout using terrestrial flies, which imitate grasshoppers, ants, beetles, and other large insects. The school runs from August 9-11 and includes two nights stay at the lodge, two continental breakfasts, two lunches, and a half day guide trip. The lodge offers cabins, riverside houses, a full-service fly shop, and guided fly fishing trips for trout and migratory species. 

Head outdoors this summer and spend the day on the water in Holland! Rent a boat or a Jet Ski and take a high speed ride through Lake Macatawa or on Lake Michigan. You can also rent a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddle board, should you prefer a calmer activity. Interested in wakeboarding, water skiing or kneeboarding, but don’t have access to a boat? Action Wake Park in Hudsonville is the only full size cable park in the state, and just a 15 minute drive from Holland! 

The goal of 1 Adventure Company in Macatawa is to give you the best experience possible. Whether you are looking for a relaxing family experience or a non-traditional epic adventure, look no further. 1 Adventure exists to meet and exceed your expectations. From group tours to 1-on-1 training, let their expert guides craft your perfect adventure using the best techniques and newest equipment available.

Blendon Pines Gun Club in Zeeland is the perfect way to add a little excitement to your next company outing, party, or team building adventure! The offer a full course of skeet shooting to test your marksmanship ability with what they refer to as “golf with a gun.”

While Mecosta County isn’t exactly adrenaline junkie territory, there are a couple of locations throughout the county that offer a thrill for those in search. Find climbing walls, ropes course challenges, and paintball adventures on the Things To Do tab of the Mecosta County CVB site. 

Plan your trip to Michigan’s largest amusement and water park, Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon before the end of summer! Featuring over 60 renowned rides and attractions, Michigan’s Adventure is the place to be this summer for all adventure-seeking Michiganders!

Don’t wait for snow…luge in the summer! The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is open Saturdays and Sundays in the summer from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm so you can enjoy a variety of warm weather sporting activities.

  • Wheel Luge: Slide down the only wheel luge track in North America! Wheel luge is done on a specially designed track with the same sleds used on the ice, but with wheels attached. The design of the track, adaptive equipment, and surrounding common areas also accommodate persons with disabilities. Shorter than the ice track, average runs take approximately 9 seconds while covering 300 feet of track.
  • Learn Archery Fundamentals: Muskegon State Park visitors can stop by the Sports Complex for a round of archery guided by an instructor. All participants receive a quick lesson explaining the basic fundamentals of archery. Participants can then shoot rounds of arrows at the controlled archery range. This activity is fun for ages 6 and older.

Every third Friday of the month, you can go where no visitor has gone before on All Access Tours of the Lakeshore Museum Center’s Hackley & Hume Historic Site in Muskegon! Explore behind closed doors including attics, porches, and basements of both houses. Enjoy different themed topics such as restoration, preservation, family stories, new discoveries in the research, the Hackley House during the Red Cross years, and the Hume home as a Daycare Center, as well as future projects. Get your tickets for the Hackley & Hume Scandal Tour, August 22nd – 24th. Participate in this illuminating interactive event as a juror in a mock trial covering the scandalous untold stories of Hackley and Hume family members. Dive into the past and decide for yourself what is truth and what is fiction. Due to adult themes and topics, this program is not suitable for children. Space is limited, so reserve your tickets via Eventbrite

Situated near one of the most popular beaches in Michigan, the view from the air at Skydive Grand Haven is truly a sight to behold. If you’re lucky enough to get on one of the last loads of the day, the outline of the Chicago skyline can often be seen in front of the orange sun setting on the water.

South Region Adventures

Lansing is located where the longest river in Michigan, the Grand River, meets up with the Red Cedar River. Navigating the Grand or Red Cedar Rivers is easy. What’s difficult is choosing whether you’d like to kayak, canoe, SUP, or hop aboard the Grand Princess for a cruise downtown or the Michigan Princess for a paddleboat experience. River Town Adventures offers kayak, canoe, and SUP (plus bicycle) rentals along with livery service for everything from a one hour paddle around right downtown to a half-day excursion. J&K Steamboats will let you ride in style on the big boats providing day and evening cruises with lunch, dinner, or themed party nights. Either way, it’s a capital way to see Lansing from a whole different perspective!

Waldo Wright’s Flying Service in Portage (located at the Air Zoo) will take you on the adventure of a lifetime! This historic hotspot offers group or individual flights in legendary aircrafts that you won’t find anywhere else.

Water adventures abound in Coldwater Country. Grab a kayak or rent a pontoon boat to venture out onto one of the more than 100 lakes or travel the North or South Chain of Lakes. It’s easy to find an adventure on the water in Coldwater Country.

South Haven has plenty of opportunities to fulfill your adventurous spirit! Rent a kayak or paddleboard and head out on Lake Michigan for a fun-filled on-water experience. Bring your bicycle, or rent one, and head out on the hiking and biking trails! The Kal-Haven and Van Buren Trails are the perfect getaways from the busy city. Check out one of the rental companies and gain inspiration through South Haven’s outdoors website page