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Adventure Travel

Calling all thrill seekers! West Michigan is full of some amazing attractions and destinations for you to scratch the itch for adventure. Whether it’s on land, by water, or in the air, you’re sure to find your next exciting new experience in our list below!

To find more year-round West Michigan Adventures, check out our 2021 Carefree Travel Guide.

South West Michigan Adventures

For indoor adventure fun, be sure to check out High Caliber Karting and Entertainment in Lansing. They’re wrapping up renovations, where they’ve added 25,000 additional sq feet of fun to their facility! Don’t miss out on their many fun activities like high-speed indoor go-karting, rage rooms, axe throwing, Nerf wars, and Archery Tag! Plus, enjoy libations at their new bar, The Double Clutch, with 32 taps and lots of social space.

Miles of scenic trails in the Saugatuck/Douglas area mean visitors can choose the length and intensity of their outdoor adventure, but for those who really want to get their heart pumping and earn some bragging rights—try summiting Mt. Baldhead. The challenging steep climb involves 302 steps up a long wooden staircase. Be rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of Lake Michigan, the harbor, and town, and then run all the way down the sand dune to the beach. The Saugatuck Dune Rides give visitors the chance to experience the thrill of an open-roof dune ride off-road and deep into the rolling hills of sand overlooking Lake Michigan. This fun jaunt through the sand dunes comes complete with a comedic narrative on the history of the area.

Water adventures abound with more than 100 lakes in West Michigan’s Coldwater Country. One of the unique experiences in the area is the ability to travel from one lake to another through the chain of lakes. Coldwater Country is home to not only one chain of lakes but two – North Chain of Lakes and South Chain of Lakes. Enjoy a leisurely pontoon ride or kayak the Union City Heritage Water Trail, just one of the nine water trails in the state. Make sure to download the free Coldwater Country Map-n-Tour app to have the area’s interactive maps available at your fingertips.

 

Once you walk through the door and experience the “wow factor,” you’ll understand why Allegan Event deserves a place on your West Michigan bucket list! Allegan Event is Michigan’s largest indoor ropes course and offers endless adventurous activities for guests of all ages to explore, get active, and make lasting memories. Climb their ropes course, catch a rush in their free-fall simulation, zipline across the Kalamazoo River, and more. In addition to the adrenaline-filled attractions, Allegan Event has added a new arcade with prize redemption, food and beverages, and an outdoor patio & game area to relax and refuel. Conveniently located 30 minutes from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Holland, Allegan Event offers plenty of room for birthdays, celebrations, and large groups. Visit their website for information on tickets and walk-in hours.

Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven is your destination for historical adventure! Climb aboard the Friends Good Will, a replica of a top sail merchant sloop that plied the waters of the Great Lakes in the early 19th century. You’ll travel back in time as staff and volunteers dressed in period clothes offer you a glimpse into the life and operations of a Great Lakes sailor. During your cruise, you’ll learn all about the traditional tall ship adventures of Lake Michigan. You won’t want to miss this hands-on adventure, where you’ll even get to help raise and lower sails on your voyage!

The Aqua Pit Water Park in Coldwater is home to the Hydro Zone, where you can jump, slide, and splash your way through a jungle gym on the water! The Aqua Pit also offers kayaking and paddleboarding, as well as beach volleyball, corn hole, and other family games.

Bundy Hill Offroad Park in Jerome has become Michigan’s largest off-road park with a total of 300 acres of all-terrain trail riding for all ages. They offer a combination of mud, rocks, tire crawls, wooded areas, hill climbs, pea gravel hills, valleys, and scramble areas. Bundy Hill strives to deliver the best off-roading experience to each customer starting from check-in to check-out, providing a picnic area, rustic camping, wash station for riders and their vehicle, Bundy Hill novelties, and gear.

WaterTrail Ventures in Fennville is your kayak concierge! Head to them and they’ll get you fitted with the gear to get on the water, as well as offer you multiple day trip suggestions for beginners and family adventures. You can even bring your own boat out and use their vehicle transfer service.

Dodge enemies in bunkers and behind barricades at Calhoun County’s local airsoft arena, located on 40 acres of wilderness in Springfield. Also in Calhoun County, head to Marshall’s mountain bike loop, but don’t expect it to be an easy ride! Known as the Dump, it will be difficult the first time – but it gets better with practice. Mountain bikers will find technical challenges along the route, which is set up in a wooded area by the Kalamazoo River.

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 one of the area’s hiking and biking trails! The Kal-Haven and Van Buren Trails are the perfect getaways from the busy city. You can also tour around town on your own scooter or golf cart, or on the water with a pontoon, speed boat, or jet ski.

 

Central West Michigan Adventures

John Ball Zoo has opportunities for guests looking for an extra adventure! The thrilling zip line four stories above the zoo spanning 600-feet is the real thing! Fly over the zoo for a round trip of exhilaration! The zoo also has a ropes course which stands four-stories tall and has two climbing levels, with over 15 obstacles ranging in difficulty. The ropes course gives you a chance to test your courage and strength, and it’s downright fun!

Mears is home to multiple rental retailers that can get you ready for your next dune ride! On Silver Lake, head to Mac Wood’s Dune Rides for a 40 minute one-of-a-kind dune tour with breathtaking views. Or, check out Silver Lake Buggy Rentals, where you can freely explore the Silver Lake sand dunes on your own ATV or 2-seat dune buggy for an experience you won’t forget!

Action Wake Park in Hudsonville is the only full-size cable park in the state, giving guests the opportunity to learn how to wakeboard, water ski, and kneeboard in a controlled environment without the need for a boat, bringing the joy of water sports to a whole new audience.

You can still hit the slopes during the summer! There are 11 miles of trails at Cannonsburg Ski Area in Belmont for hiking, biking, and trail running offering a variety of terrain with tight, twisty single track, double track, climbs, and downhills.

Skydive Grand Haven is the only dropzone in West Michigan with the capability to jump from 13,000 feet. Picture yourself among the clouds, thousands of feet above Lake Michigan, heart pounding wildly in your chest. After you exit the plane you will feel the incredible rush of freefall soaring 120mph through the air. It’s an experience you’ll never forget!

Great for an outing or team-building adventure, you can find everything you need to try out clay pigeon shooting at Blendon Pines Gun Club in Zeeland. Along with all the knowledge you’ll need if this is your first visit, Blendon Pines also has sporting clays, 5-stand, and wobble trap to add extra excitement to your next outing. You’ll also find a full service gun store on site carrying guns, ammo, clothing, accessories, optics, and more for the shooting sports enthusiast.

Are you ready to take a flight from the top of a Lake Michigan sand dune, through the white pine forest, on a 1400 ft. dual zip line? Of course you are! With the newly opened dual zip line at Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park, you and a friend can zoom over the treetops of Muskegon State park. Book your tickets soon, as timeslots fill up quickly!

Looking to ride the waves and try something new? The MACkite Board Sports Center specializes in kiteboarding gear and lessons, as well as offering stand-up paddle board rentals and lessons. They carry a variety of brands both online and in store at their Grand Haven location, and their friendly staff would love to get you fitted up for your next water adventure!

Some of summer’s most memorable fly fishing happens in August when anglers try to coax trout into aggressive surface feeding with big foamy grasshopper-like flies. The Pere Marquette River Lodge, an Orvis-endorsed fly fishing outfitter, is hosting a Terrestrial School from August 13th to 15th to teach anglers fly fishing tactics and techniques using the “big bugs.” Each school includes two nights stay at the lodge in Baldwin, two lunches, and culminates in a half day guide trip. Visit their website for more information.

Jump Around Fun Center is Ludington’s original & only outdoor inflatable center! They have a variety of inflatable obstacles, bouncers, and slides for guests of all ages (even some for adults). Be sure to check out their 11,000 square foot outdoor park & new VR Experience and play around for a while!

Northern West Michigan and UP Adventures

Walloon Lake is best known for its beautiful shade of blue and crystal clear waters – even at depths of up to 30 feet! Spanning over 4,200 acres, Walloon Lake is filled with opportunities for adventure. Explore the lake by kayak or paddleboard and take a wakeboarding lesson with Tommy’s Walloon experienced guides. Fish the way Ernest Hemingway wrote about in his classic novels, inspired by his 22 summers spent on Walloon, and hike dozens of local nature preserves.

Looking for a river to paddle in Michigan that has real rapids and a big “fun-factor”? Look no further! The Pine River Paddlesports Center in Wellston, rents canoes, kayaks, and rafts on one of the only rivers in Michigan to contain Class I whitewater in the state – it’s fun, splashy water that is sure to keep you coming back for more. Don’t be fooled, though, the Pine River offers something for everyone – from 2-year-old paddlers all the way up to 102 years old, you’ll find fun at PRPC. Whether you prefer to paddle a quieter stretch of river, a section with more rapids than any river in the Lower Peninsula, or some combination of the two, the Pine River accommodates paddlers of all ages, experiences, and skill levels.

For those interested in a slower paced adventure, join Inland Seas Education Association in Suttons Bay aboard their 77′ schooner. Learn about the health of the Great Lakes by collecting and analyzing lake water and bottom samples. You’ll also help raise the sails and steer the ship! Choose from their variety of programs and enjoy your Great Lakes adventure.

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 the Bellaire area, and you’ll 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. It’s easy to get outside and enjoy the Bellaire area, after all “Bellaire” means “Fresh Air.”

Drummond Island Resort has a golf adventure all teed up – for the whole family! The Rock 18-hole championship golf course is ready to challenge you in all the best ways! Carved out of 400 acres of hardwood, cedar, and limestone, The Rock is a golfer’s paradise. Follow up (or kick off!) your game with a visit to the 19th Hole for a massage, a pro shop visit, or cocktails, beer, or wine at The Tavern. Not yet ready for the long game? The resort just introduced the Jr. Rock Putt Putt Golf Center, featuring an indoor no-frills 9-hole course, a professional golf simulator, and arcade games, for all-weather, all-ages, year-round fun.

In Mackinaw City, take the Adventure Tour at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park: a high-flying adventure through the treetops. It’s a guided nature tour through the northern Michigan forest that includes a trek across the Forest Canopy Bridge (five stories above Mill Creek!) and a trip down the 425′ Eagle’s Flight Zip Line where you’ll feel the rush of what it’s like to be an eagle scouting for fish in the Mill Pond. There are also more than three miles of groomed hiking trails available to explore at Mill Creek.

Keweenaw Adventure Company hosts 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.

Defined by its untouched surroundings and abundance of outdoor activities, Marquette is a year-round destination with national acclaim for its diverse terrain for hiking, biking, and exploring. They have a variety of bike trails with more than 150 miles of single track for all experience levels. Marquette County also has more waterfalls than any other county in Michigan, leading the way with 77 falls. Many insist that Morgan Falls is one of the most beautiful falls in the Marquette area. For easy access, check out Wright St. Falls. A further drive—but well worth it—is the Yellow Dog Falls waterfall. With 83 miles of Lake Superior coverage and numerous secluded swimming holes and reservoirs, visitors are sure to find a great place to kayak, fish, or paddleboard. If you’re seeking thrill and adventure, you’ll enjoy climbing the Rocky Shorelines of Lake Superior. Professionally guided rock-climbing tours are available as well.

For an indoor adventure, enjoy Escape Bellaire, where you and your friends enter a room, the door locks, and the timer starts, giving you 60 minutes to solve the puzzles in the room and escape. Think of it as a live video game! Book now and see if you can escape from the Savage Safari or Gatsby’s Library.

When you’re looking for speed, height, and just plain fun, the Petoskey Area has got you covered. The bookends (so to speak) of the Petoskey Area are Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs and Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls. Both offer zipline adventures that will have your adrenaline pumping and you saying “can we go again?” And did we mention the views?