Little Muskegon River - Daggett Road to Croton Pond Oct 12, 2013

A trip down the Little Muskegon River was scheduled for Saturday October 12. I had done the upper section from Morley to Daggett Road in April, and have been anxious to do the lower section. Now I wish I had paddled this section sooner. It turned out to be one of the best paddles of the year.
We had seven paddlers again today, keeping the group smaller due to the size of the river. We got off to an early start, getting on the water by 10:15. With smaller groups and a river close to home, that is a lot easier to do.
The forecast for the day was clear skies with temps in the mid 70s. Perfect kayaking weather for this late in the season.
There were several trees that had to be maneuvered around or under, but only one where we had to get out of our kayaks. A couple of shallow spots where we had to get out and walk were the only low points of the trip.
The solitude along the river was very relaxing, and even the few cottages along the way were not much of a distraction.
The fall colors were still not that great, and leaves were already starting to fall off the trees. With the cold wet weather predicted for the next week there may not be many left next weekend.

The river bottom also varied from sand to gravel to clay, much like the Pine River.

There was a variety of water conditions along the river, from mild riffles to slow, steady current, and a few submerged rocks to bounce off to keep you on your toes.

A fantastic sand island in the river provided a perfect spot to stop for lunch. It would be a great swimming hole in warmer weather.

The last tree down along the river. A couple of us had to get out of our kayaks to get under the tree. The water was about an inch deeper than our boots, so our feet did get a little wet.

The river started widening and the banks flattening as we neared Croton Pond behind the dam.

The water was very shallow as we entered Croton Pond.We had to pick our way through the channels to keeep from getting stuck.

A slight breeze added a little chop to  the water on the lake.
Nearing the takeout at the Driftwood Inn.

An absolutely wonderful day, the type of paddle you never want to end. We will have to do this section more often. And being only an hour from home makes it all the better.

Miles paddled today: 13.5. Year to date: 271.8.


  1. Looks like you had a great day! I'll have to share this paddle with my daughter. They are sometimes in Harrison and could leave from there. (They live a lot further east.) They have cheaper recreational kayaks about 9 1/2 feet long. Do you think this river would be fine for that type of kayak?

  2. She should have no problem with her kayak. I used my 13' kayak, the others used from 10' up to 14', and no one had any problems. Just be careful around downed trees. Have fun!

  3. Is there a usgs gauge on the river? Any idea how much water is needed?

  4. Here is a link to the river gauge.

    It should be above 3.5' for best conditions. There will still be some low spots, but it is navigable. I did three stretches of the river this year, and it is an underused gem of a river in my opinion.

  5. underused gem's dont stay that way when people post them on the internet.. just sayin..