The Pere Marquette River offers a scenic float along a slowly moving stretch of meandering river. It seems nearly every bend in the river reveals another sandy beach from which to swim. While there are several trees down along the river, most of them have been cut back by local outfitters to prevent the need for any portages.
The Pere Marquette is an incredibly popular stretch of river, and there are several outfitters offering kayak, canoe, and tube rentals as well as shuttle services. The stretch from Custer to Scottville can take as long as six hours for casual floaters or as short as an hour and a half for paddlers looking for a workout. The dense forest is occasionally punctuated by private residences, but the float primarily maintains a wilderness feel.
The put-in at Indian Bridge near Custer has a wide trailer-accessible ramp as well as a small picnic area and informational kiosk on the downstream side of the bridge. High populations of rainbow trout and steelhead attract fisherman, and several species of amphibians call the river home as well. Wildflowers bloom throughout the summer, speckling the shore with color.
The takeout at Scottville Riverside Park is impossible to miss. The park features a large picnic area, a pool, and over 50 campsites. The neatly manicured lawn is the perfect place to land a canoe or kayak to wrap up a trip down the Pere Marquette River.