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Explore the Betsie River!

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". It covers 50-55 river miles and takes about 22 hours to canoe. The river starts at Grass Lake Dam.

Hanmer's Riverside Rsort & Livery LLC
Hanmer's Riverside Rsort & Livery LLC

Homestead Falls

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 to maneuver around and 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.

Private cabins

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 conifers.

Hanmer's Riverside Rsort & Livery LLC
Hanmer's Riverside Rsort & Livery LLC

Fishing at Betsie

The river drops down into Manistee County for a few miles, and then enters Benzie County again at the County Line Road #602. Many small streams run into the river where the trout like to feed. sThe trout hide in the many log jams along the river which are distant memories of the old logging days and can be easily fished by canoe or from shore.

Canoe trips

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, you may also find some sand bars. The river from Homestead Falls to the second bridge on River Road becomes deeper and wider. This section is the easiest to canoe.

From the 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.

Discover the beauty of The Betsie River.