Head to Petoskey for whitewater adventure

Forget West Virginia’s Gauley or New River. Now you can get your whitewater kicks much closer to home — in Petoskey — with the opening this Saturday of the new Bear River Valley Recreation Area featuring a short section of challenging rapids.

The new mile-long route, the only whitewater course in Michigan’s lower peninsula, starts out flat and includes drops ranging from Class I to Class III rapids.

And for adventure buffs who don’t want to haul their own gear, rental inflatables and kayaks are available at Bahnhof Sports in Petoskey.

Members of the Northern Michigan Paddling Club are looking forward to showing off the new whitewater route Saturday at what they’re calling “Rendezvous 2011” during the official 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Bear River Valley Recreation Area. The ceremony will be held at the Bear River Shelter.

To find out more about the whitewater boating, click here .

For lodging or other Petoskey information, click here .

Susan R. Pollack
Globetrotting journalist and former Detroit News staff writer Susan R. Pollack has covered travel since 1985, visiting scores of countries on five continents, 49 states, six Canadian provinces and hundreds of cities, islands and outposts along the way. From Alaska, the Galapagos and New Zealand to South Africa, Thailand and Wales, she has suffered the occasional lost luggage, jetlag and Montezuma’s revenge but still delights in sharing travel adventures with readers. In addition to The Detroit News, her award-winning stories and photos have appeared in major newspapers including the Dallas News, Toronto Star, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Chicago Sun Times; and magazines including Delta Sky, Midwest Living, Long Weekends, Experience Michigan, Jetsetter, Home & Away, Lakeland Boating, Hour Detroit, Prevue Meetings and Group Tour. She has contributed to several books including "Rand McNally 2008 Ultimate NASCAR Road Trip Guide." She also writes for websites including, and