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Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park

West Coast/Lake Michigan, Michigan

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Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park

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  • A view upstream of the put-in at Indian Bridge.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • Wildflowers dot the river's edge.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • An informational kiosk at the put-in.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • An observation deck and bench at the put-in.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • Paddlers float on the Pere Marquette River.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • Wildflowers along the shore.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • There are several beaches where paddlers can stop and swim.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • Many fallen trees have been cut to provide easier paddling.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • The river is surrounded by a beautiful forest.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • The takeout is easy to spot.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • Scottville Riverside Park.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
  • A bench in the picnic area at Scottville Riverside Park.- Pere Marquette River: Indian Bridge to Scottville Riverside Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Gentle current. Swimming beaches.
Cons: 
Can be crowded.
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Region:
West Coast/Lake Michigan, MI
Access: 
Vehicle
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Site characteristics: Water: 
River
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Put-in location (lat, long coordinates): 
43.937116, -86.218802
Shuttle required: 
Yes
Take-out location (lat, long coordinates): 
43.943516, -86.277547
Total Distance: 
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Trail type: 
Shuttle
Typically multi-day: 
No
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Water temperature: 
65.00 °F (18.33 °C)
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Contributor

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.

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