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Water Trails of Michigan

Water trails are marked routes on navigable waterways such as rivers, lakes, canals and coastlines for people using small non-motorized boats such as kayaks, canoes, rafts, or rowboats.

MI-TRALE offers a Multi-Use Trails Guide Book with 15 mapped Water Trails located in Ontonagon County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Details on how to purchase a guide book can be found here Maps

Below is a sample of what you will find in the Guide Book. Beautiful pictures, great instructions and details. You will see on the map page the river section is highlighted in light blue. Portage areas are well marked too.


West Branch of the Ontonagon River

Lake Gogebic to Norwich Bluff – Located on map pages 47 & 49

17 miles. Class II+. If you put in at the old bridge just below the dam on Lake Gogebic, the first half-mile down to the State Highway M-28 Bridge (optional put-in) has very fast water with almost no eddies. One drop is often an easy Class III, depending on water levels. Otherwise, there are numerous Class II rapids throughout the first 11 or 12 miles to Cascade Creek, followed by 5 miles of flat water to the bridge on Norwich Road at the Norwich Bluffs. The terrain throughout is quite wild, with a couple nice views of rock bluffs. Other than a hunting camp or two, you will see no signs of civilization between bridges. Check the USGS Flow Gauge online for the dam at Lake Gogebic. 200-600 cfs is   best. 600 is exciting, with all the rocks covered. 200 is quite boney. This run is usually doable for several weeks in the spring, sometimes in the summer after big rains and often in the fall after the seasonal rains come.

map page 47b

Water Trail shown in bottom right corner of map (highlighted blue line)