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Riverside Resort & Livery
Benzonia, Michigan
The Betsie River begins in Grand Traverse County at Green
Lake, and flows in a southwest direction into Benzie County.  
The average water depth down to Grass Lake Dam is 14"- 20".  
Betsie river covers 50-55 river miles and takes about 22 hours
to canoe. River start at Grass Lake Dam.
    There are no rapids on the Betsie
    but it has a steady, swift current to
    keep you moving. It is a very
    crooked river with many overhanging
    trees and submerged logs tomaneuver
    around to test your skills. There will be
    some unexpected fallen trees to portage
    over or around, dropped by beavers or
    high winds. There is one designated
    portage on the river which is Homestead
    Falls. The portage is made on the right
    and is about 200 feet long.
There are some private cabins along the river, but the Betsie is
a state designated wild and scenic natural river which ensures
against new construction close to the river. There are two state
campgrounds on the river, at Grass Lake and Fred's landing,
along with some state land bordering the river. From
Thompsonville down to Fred's Landing the water depth
averages 2-3 feet. This same stretch of river is bordered by
hardwood-covered hills which drop off to the river bottom of
The river drops down
into Manistee county
for a few miles, then
enters Benzie county
again at the County
Line Road #602. Many
small streams run into
the river where the
trout like to feed, and trout hide in the many log jams along the
river which are distant  memories of the old logging days. Trout
are easily fished by canoe or from shore.
From Fred's Landing to the Homestead Dam (now known as
Homestead Falls) the river has been altered from floodwaters of
the past hydro elastic dam and some sand bars may occur. The
river from Homestead Falls to the second bridge on River Road
becomes deeper and wider. This section is the easiest to
canoe. From second bridge on River Road to Frankfort the river
passes through a wildlife sanctuary and some open marsh to the
mouth of the river.  Canoe trips end at the second bridge on
river road.
The Betsie River