Best River Tubing in Michigan

Two young men enjoying a day out on the river relaxing in tubes and floating downstream in the Lower Platte River at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan
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When it comes to the thrill of tubing down scenic rivers, Michigan stands as a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. With its diverse landscapes and winding waterways, the state offers an array of river tubing experiences that cater to everyone, from adrenaline seekers to those looking for a relaxing float. From the exhilarating rapids of the Rifle River to the tranquil waters of the Thornapple River, each watercourse paints a unique adventure. In this guide, we delve into the best river tubing destinations in Michigan, highlighting the natural beauty, the excitement of the currents, and the serenity of the surroundings. So, if you’re seeking an escape into nature’s embrace and the joy of a river adventure, Michigan’s tubing spots are waiting to be explored!



Au Sable River

In the heart of Michigan’s wilderness flows the Au Sable River, a natural masterpiece carving its way through lush forests and picturesque landscapes. Known for its serene ambiance and tranquil waters, the river invites adventure seekers to embark on a journey amidst nature’s embrace. Here, the rhythmic flow of the river harmonizes with the whispering winds, creating an unparalleled escape.

Reasons to go River Tubing in the Au Sable River:

  • Scenic Beauty: Immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes, surrounded by lush forests and serene waters, making every moment a visual delight.
  • Relaxation: Experience the soothing rhythm of the river, allowing you to unwind and escape the hustle of daily life while floating gently downstream.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Au Sable River is teeming with wildlife. Prepare to encounter various bird species, deer, and other creatures along your tubing journey.
  • Adventure for All: Whether you’re a novice or an experienced tuber, the river offers a mix of calm stretches and gentle rapids, catering to diverse skill levels.
  • Memorable Experiences: Create lasting memories with friends and family as you enjoy the thrill of tubing amidst nature’s tranquility, fostering bonds and unforgettable moments.

Recommended Gear: Tube, Life Jacket, Water Shoes, Waterproof Bag, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Hat


Rifle River

The Rifle River, a testament to Michigan’s natural splendor, winds its way through dense forests and rolling hills. Its dynamic character provides tubing enthusiasts with an exhilarating adventure, offering a mix of calm waters and thrilling rapids. Nature’s raw energy combines seamlessly with scenic beauty, promising all who venture here an unforgettable tubing experience.

Reasons to go River Tubing in the Rifle River:

  • Thrilling Rapids: Experience the excitement of navigating through thrilling rapids, offering an adrenaline-pumping adventure for tubing enthusiasts.
  • Scenic Wilderness: Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of dense forests, rolling hills, and abundant wildlife, creating a picturesque backdrop for your tubing escapade.
  • Family-Friendly: The Rifle River provides a perfect setting for families, with a balanced mix of gentle currents and exciting rapids suitable for various age groups.
  • Relaxation: Indulge in moments of serenity as you float down calm stretches, allowing you to unwind, soak in the tranquil atmosphere, and escape the stresses of everyday life.
  • Memorable Bonding: Whether with friends or family, tubing on the Rifle River creates unforgettable memories, fostering bonds and shared experiences amidst the beauty of nature.

Recommended Gear: Paddle, Wetsuit, Sun Protection, River Shoes, Dry Bag, Waterproof Phone Case, Inflatable Tube


Lower Platte River

Flowing gracefully through the northwestern region of Michigan, the Lower Platte River offers tubing enthusiasts a serene escape into nature. Bordered by the majestic Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, this river presents a leisurely yet captivating tubing experience. Its crystal-clear waters, gentle currents, and scenic surroundings create a perfect setting for a relaxing and picturesque tubing adventure amidst Michigan’s natural wonders.

Reasons to go River Tubing in the Lower Platte River:

  • Crystal-Clear Waters: Experience the joy of tubing in the Lower Platte River’s pristine, crystal-clear waters, allowing you to see the riverbed and enjoy the aquatic life below.
  • Scenic Beauty: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking surroundings of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, featuring stunning sand dunes and lush greenery that enhance your tubing experience.
  • Relaxing Float: Enjoy a leisurely float down the river’s gentle currents, providing a calming and relaxing atmosphere for tubing enthusiasts of all ages.
  • Family-Friendly: The Lower Platte River offers a family-friendly tubing experience, with its calm waters making it suitable for children and beginners, creating cherished memories for families.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Explore the river’s ecosystem and encounter a variety of wildlife, including birds and fish, adding a touch of adventure and natural wonder to your tubing adventure.

Recommended Gear: Beach Towel, Inflatable Tube, Life Jacket, Snacks/Water, Water Shoes, Waterproof Bag, Sunscreen


Muskegon River

Meandering through the diverse landscapes of western and northern Michigan, the Muskegon River invites tubing enthusiasts to a unique adventure. This river offers a balance between tranquil stretches and exhilarating rapids, making it a versatile choice for tubers of all levels. The journey unfolds amidst woodlands and offers occasional wildlife sightings, promising an engaging tubing experience.

Reasons to go River Tubing in the Muskegon River:

  • Versatile Rapids: Muskegon River offers a mix of calm stretches and mild rapids, providing an exciting tubing adventure suitable for beginners and experienced tubers alike.
  • Scenic Woodlands: Immerse yourself in the picturesque surroundings of lush woodlands, creating a serene ambiance and offering a delightful backdrop for your tubing journey.
  • Wildlife Sightings: Explore the river’s diverse ecosystem and have the chance to witness various wildlife, enhancing your tubing experience with the beauty of nature.
  • Family-Friendly: Muskegon River provides a family-friendly tubing experience with its gentle currents and scenic beauty, making it a perfect destination for families and groups.
  • Memorable Moments: Create lasting memories as you enjoy the thrill of tubing amidst the natural beauty of Muskegon River, promising unforgettable moments and bonding opportunities with friends and family.

Recommended Gear: Water Shoes, Sunscreen, River Tube, Life Jacket, Waterproof Bag, Snacks, Waterproof Camera


Thornapple River

Winding its way through the heart of southwestern Michigan, the Thornapple River presents a charming opportunity for tubing enthusiasts seeking tranquility amidst nature. With its calm and gentle waters, this river offers a serene escape into the rural beauty of the region. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and occasional wildlife sightings, tubing down the Thornapple River guarantees a peaceful and idyllic outdoor experience.

Reasons to go River Tubing in the Thornapple River:

  • Peaceful Ambiance: Enjoy the tranquility of the Thornapple River with its calm and gentle waters, providing a serene atmosphere for a relaxing tubing experience.
  • Scenic Rural Beauty: Immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes of southwestern Michigan, featuring charming rural scenery, making your tubing adventure visually delightful.
  • Occasional Wildlife Sightings: Encounter nature up close with occasional wildlife sightings, adding an element of excitement and natural wonder to your tubing journey.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Thornapple River offers a family-friendly tubing experience, making it perfect for families and groups, with its gentle currents ensuring a safe and enjoyable outing for everyone.
  • Idyllic Outdoor Escape: Experience the joy of tubing amidst the idyllic setting of Thornapple River, providing a perfect escape into nature’s beauty and a memorable outdoor adventure.

Recommended Gear: Life Jacket, Water Shoes, Sunscreen, Waterproof Bag, Snacks/Water, Waterproof Camera, River Tube


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