Paddle Boarding in Southwest Michigan
There’s nothing quite like gently gliding over a lake, paddle in hand and a blue horizon stretching out before you…it’s paddleboarding in Michigan.
If that sounds amazing, join the others who have discovered the magic of paddle boarding: a fairly new water sport that has captured the hearts of millions globally.
Over the last few years, stand up paddle boarding has become a popular hobby for water lovers in southwest Michigan and beyond.
There’s a lot to learn before you claim it as your next Michigan adventure, however. How to scout out lakes; water safety; even where to find a paddle board are all questions that must be answered before you launch out on your board for the first time.
The zen mix of paddle, board and water is a truly fabulous way to explore the shores of Michigan…and we’ve got 3000 miles of Great Lake coastline combined with more than 11,000 inland lakes in Michigan to keep you atop the water and having fun.
Read on to learn about paddle boarding in southwest Michigan.
What to Know about Paddleboarding in Michigan
The state of Michigan has PDF (Personal Flotation Device; also known as “life vests”) requirements for paddle boaders.
Michigan considers a paddle board to be a vessel, and requires all paddle boarders to wear a PFD (personal flotation device) if they are outside of the swim/surf zone.
This can be a life jacket, a life vest, or an inflatable belt pack that clips around your waist. If you’re not a strong swimmer, you may want to wear a PFD inside the swim/surf zone as well.
Please familiarize yourself with water safety regulations and information prior to setting out on your paddle board adventure. This information is for entertainment purposes, it is not meant to replace training for or serve as a safety or instruction manual for paddle boarding or other watersports.
Top Spots for SUP in Southwest Michigan
In Michigan, you’re never far from a lake, and it’s especially true in southwest Michigan.
Wherever there is a public boat access, you can slide your paddle board into the water and start adventuring! Most state parks have lakes with public access, but if you’re ever not sure about a lake, just call the town’s chamber of commerce or parks and recreation department and ask.
Here is a list of some of our favorite spots to get on to the water with your board in southwest Michigan:
This is a smaller lake in Kalamazoo County, but it might be perfect for a beginning paddle boarder.
This small lake in Kent County will provide a relaxing adventure for you and your paddle board.
Head back to Barry County to relax on the surface of this deep, rippling lake.
Located in Kalamazoo county, this is a popular lake for fishing, boating, and water fun!
Hall Lake is in Barry County and is another small lake surrounded by stunning scenery.
This lake in Kalamazoo is great for paddle boarding, camping, fishing, and walking the trails nearby.
About the Author
Kyrsten Newlon is a content writing and editing intern for mymichiganbeach.com. Growing up in Kalamazoo, she wrote and read everything she could. Now, she is a student at Grace College with Journalism and Communications majors and an English minor. She has been published by Grace College, the Winona Lake Newsletter, Input Fort Wayne, and various online blogs. Kyrsten loves raising puppies to be service dogs, spending time in coffee shops, and adventuring through Michigan.