Crystal River Outfitters helps families get onto the clear, gentle waters of the Crystal River on the park’s northern end. They can set up the best trip for first-timers or experienced paddlers with two- to three-hour river trips as the most popular option.
Area outfitters also provide kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards and guidance on the Platte River along the national lakeshore’s southern tip. You may also find a ranger-led outing. Watch for fish, blue herons and wildflowers along the way.
The rivers end at Lake Michigan, which may be tempting to paddle as well. Use caution, though, as all the Great Lakes can be treacherous depending on the wind and waves.