Canoeing and Kayaking in West Branch

Let’s get in the water!

Don’t forget to pack a kayak or canoe during your trip to West Branch or Ogemaw County! Our area features several different lakes and the Rifle River for amazing kayaking opportunities. Certain lakes like Grousehaven Lake are even motor-less, so the water is as still and serene as can be! Take on your own scenic adventure!

So many wonderful lakes to explore!

Whether you’re looking to fish while you kayak, or enjoy a quieter, more private experience kayaking with a small group, Ogemaw County has a kayaking spot for you!

Non-Motorized Lakes

  • Devoe Lake
  • Grebe Lake
  • Grousehaven Lake
  • Jewett Lake
  • Lodge Lake
  • Scaup Lake

Lakes with Restricted Motorized Rules

  • Bush Lake
  • Horseshoe Lake
  • Laird Lake
  • Skidway Lake
  • Tee Lake

Great Lakes for Fishing

  • Lake George
  • Sage Lake
  • Clear Lake
  • Peach Lake

Other Relaxing and Interesting Lakes

  • Cranberry Lake
  • Elbow Lake
  • Henderson Lake
  • Hewey Lake
  • Long Lake
  • Mills Lake

Area Spotlight: Rifle River Recreation Area

So many great fishing spots!


The Rifle River is one of the most popular rivers to canoe in Michigan, and for good reason. It’s nice and close to the Saginaw-Bay area. The river itself is beautiful, clear, and has a moderately fast current, featuring numerous rapids. Popular sections of the river feature thousands of tourists on canoes, kayaks, and floating tubes each year. Small motorless lakes that are great for swimming and kayaking are also connected to the Rifle River, like Grousehaven Lake. Grousehaven Lake Campsite is a great spot to camp and enjoy some of the most serene conditions for kayaking.

Through most of the year the Rifle River is high and floatable. During the low water period of midsummer the river can still be negotiated, although dragging should be expected through the shallow areas.

Don’t have your own kayak to bring? Rent one from one of these fine canoe liveries!

Frequently Asked Questions about Paddle Sports

What hours are lakes open to the public?

Please refer to State of Michigan’s laws regarding paddling sports here 


What other rules and laws do I need to know?

Please refer to State of Michigan’s laws regarding paddling sports here 


Coming to Kayak? Be sure to check out these other activities!

Off-Road Vehicle Trails

Dining & Nightlife

Boating & Fishing