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Pere Marquette River

The Pere Marquette River is considered to be Michigan’s clearest and cleanest free flowing river. Offering you new opportunities around each bend to enjoy the wildlife and peaceful beauty of Northern Michigan.  The Pere Marquette River is a great canoeing river for the beginner to intermediate paddler.

The Pere Marquette’s current is steady, moderately fast, but not considered difficult during normal water levels for paddlers with few to basic skills. The river follows a winding course through a mixture of national, state, and private forests.

The average depth of the Pere Marquette River is between two and four feet, with deeper holes on the bends. The average width is between thirty and forty feet.

The Forest Service permit system serves to regulate the number of watercraft on the river.  Numbers are spread equally in three sections of the river.  Each section is approximately 4 hours of paddle time.  Several access sites are used for put in and take out.  Extended trips are available continuing on to Scottvile, Ludington and Lake Michigan

**Private Watercraft Permits may be reserved for the Pere Marquette River by calling the U.S. Forest Service at 1231-745-4631

Landing Information

(Pere Marquette River Map)
(Pere Marquette River Map)

Section 1

  • M-37 Bridge: Launch site only, toilets (no take-out)

  • Green Cottage: Launch site only, (difficult take-out), Toilets

  • Gleasons: Landing on right. Water, toilets, tent camping only. Fee charged.

  • Bowman Bridge: Landing on left. Water, toilets, rustic camping, Fee charged.

Section 2
(Starts at Bowman’s)

  • Rainbow Rapids: Landing on right, No camping allowed. Toilet on top of hill.

  • Sulak: Landing on left. Toilet, primitive camping on federal land.

  • Upper Branch: Landing on left past bridge. Toilets, water.

Section 3
(Starts at Upper Branch)

  • Elk: Canoe to campsite only, 5-10 min. past Upper Branch Bridge, toilets, fire rings. No fee.

  • Lower Branch: Landing past bridge on left. No facilities.

  • Logmark: Rest stop only, one hour past Lower Branch Bridge. Toilets.

  • Walhalla: Landing past bridge on left. Toilet

Permit System

The Pere Marquette River is one of only two rivers in Michigan that have daily watercraft limits which are enforced by the U.S. Forest Service. This is done through a permit system.

Baldwin Canoe Rental is a commercial permit holder, which allows us to use the Forest Service access sites for commercial watercraft use. If you are renting your watercraft from Baldwin Canoe rental, the permit is included with rental. If you have your own personal watercraft you must acquire a permit from the Forest Service. For more info visit Have Your Own Watercraft page. 

Permits are required from M-37 Bridge to Indian Bridge, which is approx. 14 hours of paddle time.  There are three sections of river within this stretch.  Each section is approx. 4 hrs. of paddle time.

Have Your Own Watercraft?We offer Car Spotting.

Toll free call: (231) 745-4669


Baldwin Canoe Rental strives to maintain top quality equipment at all times. We are known for our quality service and equipment. Each year we sell a number of used canoes and kayaks, and replace them with new ones to keep our fleet of rental equipment up to date. We have enough Old Town canoes in stock, (the most requested canoe) to be able to supply most requests on weekends. All of our Watercraft are inspected by the State of Michigan each year and are maintained in the highest quality.