White Cloud Blue Water Trail

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The White River is located in Newaygo, Oceana and Muskegon counties, in west central lower Michigan. The White River rises from the extensive Oxford Swamp in north central Newaygo County and flows in a southwesterly direction near the towns of White Cloud, Hesperia, Whitehall and Montague and into White Lake then Lake Michigan. The White River system drains a surface area of approximately 300,000 acres and includes about 253 linear miles of streams.

White River near White Cloud Michigan
White River near White Cloud Michigan

The upper White near White Cloud in Newaygo County is a small river with a big personality and includes some quick turns and feisty rapids. The shallow rocky runs and low hanging limbs are best taken by paddlers in maneuverable kayaks. This beautiful section of the White River is maintained by a group of river keepers and usually there are no fallen trees or portages along the route.

Paddlers getting ready to launch at the White Cloud Rotary Park Put In
Paddlers getting ready to launch at the White Cloud Rotary Park Put In

The three mile White River Blue Water Trail paddle begins in White Cloud, MI at the White Cloud Rotary Park located about two blocks east of M 37 at the corners of James and South State Street and below White Cloud Lake dam. There is ample parking and restrooms at this park. The put in is located on the river and can be reached by walking about 100 yards down a well marked hard surface path. There also is an intermediate take out located in the White Cloud Campground and Park located at 680 E Wilcox Ave, White Cloud, MI 49349. It is about half way along the paddle and there is an improved path of about 100 yards that leads to the Camp Ground. There is ample parking, camping, and bath facilities in the White Cloud Campground and Park. Please see the Newaygo Parks and Recreation page for reservations and additional information.

Paddler on the White River
Paddler on the White

The paddle ends at the take out in the Flowing Wells Park located at Herald Street and Echo Drive west of White Cloud. The take out is just past the iron snowmobile bridge on the right. There are no restrooms here and the parking is somewhat limited. The trip downstream from Raceway Park to Flowing Wells Park usually takes about an hour to an hour and half depending on water flow. It is strongly advised that paddlers not continue past the take out at Flowing Wells Park. If you do so please read the caution signs posted at the Flowing Wells Park take out