Things to do for Active Kids

Canoe Kayak Raft Tube Sturgeon River Trips Indian River

Where is it at?

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Canoe Kayak Raft Tube Sturgeon River Trips
4271 S. Straits Hwy
Indian River
MI
49749
Tel: 231-238-8181

Where are we going today?

With an average descent of 14 feet per mile, the Sturgeon River is the overall fastest river in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula! Not whitewater, but exciting and challenging with its quick and often tricky current, along with leaning trees, stumps, and logs (especially when navigating through numerous narrow passages and sharp turns!) The current does most of the work, but it’s up to you and/or your partner(s) to maneuver your watercraft down the crystal-clear, spring-fed stream, as it winds its way mostly through beautiful state forest. The average depth is 3-4 feet, however, there are deeper pools that can reach 5-8 feet, usually around the outside of bends. Plan on getting wet as many of our guests take an unplanned “refreshing” dunk! (approximately 80% tip-over rate for canoes/kayaks on longer trips, 0% for Rafts) Various types of paddlers can enjoy this exhilarating adventure as long as close attention is paid to the type of equipment used as well as the section and/or length of the river trip. We recommend Rafts, Tubes, and Cats for families, beginners, and/or less experienced paddlers (With a 0% Tip-Over Rate for Rafts). We recommend Canoes and Kayaks for more experienced and/or more adventurous paddlers.

All river trip rates include U.S. Coast Guard-approved and safety-inspected quality equipment, paddles and PFD’s (comfortable type III Life vest), and shuttle service.

All Canoe, Kayak, Cat, and Raft trips end inside Burt Lake State Park! Burt Lake State Park offers over 2,000 feet of sandy beach (great for swimming and playing!), and a large, day-use picnic area under towering oak and pine trees. There’s a picnic pavilion, tables, grills, playground equipment, a beach volleyball court, horseshoes, baseball diamond and a 1-mile wooded hiking trail.

For more information on our family friendly trips, please give us a call.

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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsDepends on Activity- Please visit our Website for more info!
  • ChildrenDepends on Activity- Please visit our Website for more info!
  • Free Under: 1 Child 5 & Under FREE per Raft!
LAST UPDATED 2013

When can we go?

9 am-5 pm (Depending on the length of trip)

Early May- October (Depending on the weather)

Teachers corner

We offer a variety of different School Group Packages! River Trips, All-You-Can-Eat Hotdog Lunch, Bumper Boats, & Ropes Challenge Course! Please see School Group Packages on our website for more information!.

Can I get one of those?

Our gift shop offers a variety of clothing, jewelry, toys, novelty items, & paddling, picnic & beach supplies. .

What people are saying?

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    We took our kids (7 and 4) on the rope adventure and it was great. Initially we thought it is much smaller than anticipated, but for our kids just the right amount of excitement. We did not do any other activities there, but the place was packed!

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    Our experience was excellent. We went rafting in the winter and although it was 15 degrees outside we had a wonderful time. Our guide, Jamie, did an awesome job steering our raft and providing us with a beautiful day in a winter wonderland. We would recommend to anyone!

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    Overall experience - Horrible! We visited Big Bear on 7/6/13. We rented kayaks. We had been there 5 years ago and had a good experience. This time, my husband and I flipped our kayaks several times,swallowed a lot of water, lots of scrapes from trying to get out of the water. Current is very fast and not for novices. When we called for help, the staff was very rude. He expected us to know where we were exactly on the river, and there were no markers to indicate where we were.I tried to tell him by what rafters were seeing ahead of us, and he rudely...Read More

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    We have been going to Big Bear Adventures with our friends and extended family members for the past few summers and have again this year had a great experience. We went at what I am to assume was one of the busiest weekends, 4th of July and although there were lots of people around, we still had a blast! We were thankful to the helpful staff for discouraging our out of town guests from kayaking as they are NOT experienced paddlers and instead they were encouraged to try the 5 man raft.....well it was a SUCCESS!! When the teenagers tell you they...Read More

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    Took the family on a two hour rafting trip today and it was great. There were a lot of people looking to float down the Sturgeon River this afternoon but Big Bear got us all on the river quickly. The river is pretty fast but it's crystal clear and a scenic ride. We'll definitely do it again.

Submit a review

by Diane Havaich Onken

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Overall experience - Horrible! We visited Big Bear on 7/6/13. We rented kayaks. We had been there 5 years ago and had a good experience. This time, my husband and I flipped our kayaks several times,swallowed a lot of water, lots of scrapes from trying to get out of the water. Current is very fast and not for novices. When we called for help, the staff was very rude. He expected us to know where we were exactly on the river, and there were no markers to indicate where we were.I tried to tell him by what rafters were seeing ahead of us, and he rudely told me I didn't know what I was doing and asked to speak with my husband. An experienced kayaker came by and helped us. I tried to call the staff and he did not answer his phone. We went a little farther and got into trouble again. A family who had stopped helped me get out of the water after flipping again. When I called to the staff again, he yelled at me and said they were busy and didn't have time to search for us. We then had to wait over 30 minutes for them to pick us up. They charged us an additional 30 dollars to pick us up. It is written in the contract, but no one bothered to tell us about it before we signed. Staff said they did tell us, but no one in our 6 person party heard them tell us. We then had to walk all the way back to Burt Lake parking lot from Big Bear, because they would not drop us off there (about a mile). The rudeness and disrespect I experienced from the stasff will prevent me from ever returning. If they want us to know where we are on the river, they should have marker stakes along the way. Make sure you read the contract thoroughly and know they are not interested in helping you if you run into problems.

by Norm Kolatski

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We have been going to Big Bear Adventures with our friends and extended family members for the past few summers and have again this year had a great experience. We went at what I am to assume was one of the busiest weekends, 4th of July and although there were lots of people around, we still had a blast! We were thankful to the helpful staff for discouraging our out of town guests from kayaking as they are NOT experienced paddlers and instead they were encouraged to try the 5 man raft.....well it was a SUCCESS!! When the teenagers tell you they had a great time and thank you for bringing them, you know you're doing good! :) We took a small cooler with us with subs from the Subway on the premises and lots to drink and truly enjoyed the sunny day and met lots of people from lots of places and this trip was the highlight of our weekend. Thanks to Big Bear Staff for making our trip a memorable one and we will for sure be back next year!

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