10 Things to Do in Indian River That You Shouldn't Miss

January 1, 2018 Marlin Saiz

Indian River is an unincorporated community in Cheboygan County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a census-designated place (CDP) for statistical purposes and is not legally recognized as a municipality. The population was 1,959 at the 2010 census.
Restaurants in Indian River

1. Cross In The Woods National Shrine

7078 W M 68 Hwy, Indian River, MI 49749-9472 +1 231-238-8973
Excellent
81%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 181 reviews

Cross In The Woods National Shrine

Reviewed By K_J-Traveling - Lincoln, Nebraska

What a nice stop. Beautiful area with plenty of parking, a museum (nuns), and we were able to attend mass (Saturday, 4:30).

2. Chillermania!

1651 S Straits Hwy, Indian River, MI 49749-9793 +1 888-420-4244
Excellent
83%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 39 reviews

Chillermania!

Reviewed By nola1961 - Baton Rouge, LA

First time visitors to Michigan. We were in Grand Rapids for an event and decided to take time to travel north. While researching the area, we learned that our son's favorite author, Johnathan Rand's, Chillermania store, was on our route. We scheduled a visit when...MoreGlad you had a great time, and we really appreciate you stopping by! Don't forget: they're all *true* stories!

3. Burt Lake State Park

6635 State Park Dr, Indian River, MI 49749-9410 +1 231-238-9392
Excellent
64%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 55 reviews

Burt Lake State Park

Reviewed By sleepy05261123 - Munger, Michigan

This campground is in a perfect location if you plan on visiting mackinaw because .its only like 20miles away. The only thing that is not that good was the showers. They really didnt clean them very well. Other than that it is a nice campground.

4. Big Bear Adventures

4271 S Straits Hwy, Indian River, MI 49749-9457
Excellent
44%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
8%
Terrible
8%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 71 reviews

Big Bear Adventures

For more than 30 years, we have been providing memorable outdoor experiences for guests of all ages and skill levels. Paddle the crystal-clear Sturgeon River (the fastest in Michigan's Lower Peninsula!) on our exciting Canoe, Kayak, Raft and Tube trips. Test your ability while having fun on our 18-Hole Adventure Golf Course, or NEW in Spring 2012 – our Ropes Challenge Course and Bumper Boats! Experience winter's splendor on our unique Guided Winter Raft trips, X-C Ski or Snowshoe rentals. We can accommodate groups of all sizes and Group Packages are available.

Reviewed By bgonyaw - Essexville, Michigan

First let me preface by saying that every single year we do a raft or canoe trip as a family. Usually in Mio on the Ausable river with Hinchman Acres. This year they were booked so we tried out Big Bear Adventures. Never again.

First we stayed there in their "dorm". This was fine, the place was clean and had pretty much everything, including a grill and firepit. The downsides were the complete lack of privacy considering they park their buses and vans literally outside the windows. FYI make sure the shades are closed if you're changing. On the other side is their putt putt course, so if you enjoy listening to others conversations and watching them golf from your picnic table this is the place for you. They provide sheets and wool blankets. You can't really wash wool blankets like others, so I question how clean they were. Really the only good thing about staying was their proximity, so after being on the river we just walked back.

Which brings me to their river set up. The check in process is completely unorganized and redundant. First your entire group has to fit into a back room with what seemed like 8 other families all trying to do the same thing. You sign a waiver (pretty standard) and then wait in line. It was hot and for some reason they thought it was a good idea to only have one staff member working the counter on a busy summer Saturday. Half way through the line the staff member exasperatingly stands up to shout to the entire room about how the river is high and fast moving before proceeding to repeat her rehearsed spiel to every single group thereafter. Once you reach the counter you have to sign even more forms and listen to the same spiel again from an obviously bored and frustrated employee who looks like she'd rather be doing anything else. If you thought that was the end and you could now get ready to go, you'd be wrong. Why? Because now you have to walk out of there and down to the front to get into yet another line, to pay. Why would you not have them together? THEN you have to walk back up the hill to yet another miserable employee who takes your slip and points you at the life jackets. Which by the way are old and not worth their weight in gold. Hopefully you don't need help with them because there isn't an attendant present to do so.

After waiting in the hot sun for a half hour we were hearded onto a short bus with three other families (we were 7 adults) and told to fit 3 to a seat. No way was that happening but that didn't seem to matter to the driver because "they do it all the time". I can see how that would work if each person weighed 100lbs.

When we finally got to our drop off point, we unloaded and the driver took off. Thanks for checking to see if we needed any help carrying our stuff and the raft and paddles down the steep muddy embankment that is poorly maintained!

Once we managed to get everything to the bottom we realized how crappy the raft actually was. Don't let them fool you, their equipment is average at best. A 7 person raft should have a sturdy bottom and sides. This did not. It's a miracle it it didn't blow a hole and good thing too otherwise they would have charged us $2000. Never mind it probably cost them $500 15 years ago.

Yes it's true they do warn you (almost with pride) that the Sturgeon is the fastest moving river in the lower peninusla. That the river was higher and that branches that were at forehead height before would now be at chest level. What they do fail to warn you about is that the ENTIRE river is fallen trees, overgrown limbs, and submerged trees you don't know about until you're digging them out of your keister. Absolutely ridiculous. There is no reason why they can't get on the river and clean it up. Overgrown tree limbs should be trimmed and moved. Submerged trees should also be moved. It's not impossible, plenty of other places do it because it's good for business. And if they or the city refuses to do so then it should no longer be open to rafters as a business. You don't just need a life jacket you need helmets and face shields as well.

After finally making it to the end fortunately without brain damage we had to hope that two KIDS standing at the exit would be able to grab onto us enough for us to hop out and sustain the raft up. There is no staff to help you. No tow line. Nothing. Worst rafting trip we have ever taken and we've been doing this for years.

I HIGHLY suggest that everyone avoid this place like the plague and use Hinchman acres in Mio. Yes it's a slow moving river but at least it's enjoyable and you don't have to worry about brain damage. Not to mention the staff is actually helpful, fun and available.

5. Arts & Adventure at BrassWind Landing

6240 Mack Ave, Indian River, MI 49749-5132 +1 231-238-4843
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 13 reviews

Arts & Adventure at BrassWind Landing

Reviewed By RunnerGirl0922 - Portage, Michigan

We have our own kayaks but forgot to bring our life jackets. They were nice enough to rent us a couple for just $10 a day. A larger operation would probably not have even considered doing something like that. I enjoyed watching their videos of kayaking the various rivers.

6. Indian River Golf Club

3301 Chippewa Beach Rd, Indian River, MI 49749-9750 +1 231-238-7011
Excellent
79%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 14 reviews

Indian River Golf Club

Reviewed By genodangelo - Indian River, Michigan

In an area of many golf courses, this course is at the top. Don't let the picturesque landscape fool you. There are many holes, that will challenge even the most seasoned golfer. With the large dining room in the clubhouse, and pro shop, stocked with everything you could need for a day on the course, you will find the Indian River Golf Course, is the total package.

7. Big Bear 18-Hole Adventure Golf

4271 S Straits Hwy, Indian River, MI 49749-9457 +1 231-238-8181
Excellent
63%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 16 reviews

Big Bear 18-Hole Adventure Golf

Reviewed By jlshopper - connecticut

I'm not sure why this place is coming up only as a golf course. We found this place at the recommendation of someone who lived here so we knew what we were looking for. THEY OFFER SO MUCH MORE.
We went specifically for the tubing tour of the Sturgeon river. For a modest price, they offer life jackets, tubes, and a ride up the river. From there we floated down the river about 1.5 hours. My wife and kids loved it. It was not a lazy float like you'd get at a water park. It was like a ride where you have to guide your tube through a maze alternating with stretches of tranquil natural river floating. This has easily been the highlight of our trip so far.
Easy access of the highway. They also offer a longer tubing option as well as rafting options. My only issue was at the end of the tube ride, which ends at the state park across the road, we had to cross the road to return to the rental site. The road was pretty busy and the cars drive fast past the place. However, it looks like there are breaks in traffic allowing you to cross. Staff very courteous and helpful. Overall an A.

8. Seasons of the North

9090 Michigan 68 Hwy, Indian River, MI 49706 +1 231-548-1280
Excellent
50%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Seasons of the North

Reviewed By jroberts734 - Davisburg, MI

My husband and I enjoyed this place. The building is so cute and decorated nicely inside. The "wine pourer" was so lovely and friendly. Soon they will also be offering their own beers. We took home 4 bottles. I'm not a fan of sweet wines but there were enough dry and semi sweet ones I enjoyed. The grounds surrounding the shop are well manicured and looks like they offer campfires as well. My only suggestion is to offer the kids a lemonade. We've had our kids with us at wineries in Mission Point and they offer lemonade to kids. Nice to keep the kids happy while parents shop.

9. Great Lakes Eco-Adventure Center

6016 Martha St, Indian River, MI 49749-5145
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Great Lakes Eco-Adventure Center

We are an “Eco-Adventure” enterprise which employs sustainable tourism practices by involving local businesses and communities, thereby benefiting all. Our adventures include the history, geology, wildlife and fauna of the areas traveled.

Reviewed By Calypso-Pictures - Cleveland, Ohio

Great lakes eco-adventure Center acted as much more than "an attraction" for me an my group. They are a full on outfitter, offering trips all over northern Michigan.

I was looking for an overnight getaway for an "outdoors" bachelor party. We booked a 2 day, guide supported trip on a local river. What I got was SO much more. The weather had taken an unfortunate turn, and with cold temperatures, and non-stop rain in the forecast, coupled with a fire-ban still in effect from the wildfires this past summer, our 2 day guide-supported kayak trip was looking like a bust.

David called us up while we were still on the road and offered an alternative. Rather than spend the weekend cold, wet, and miserable, We could caravan with him and his father, who also acts as a guide, up to the Upper Peninsula to his "YURT in Paradise". Located on right on Lake Superior, the yurt turned out to be an awesome place to stage a weekend of adventures. We (as a group of guys) got everything we could possibly have asked for and more from Great Lakes Eco-Adventure.

One of the more moving, unexpected things was while on the drive from Indian River up to the Yurt, David would call us up, and via speakerphone give us the rundown or local history of the areas we were driving through. The weekend was peppered with small services like that...it really set his guide service apart from others.
On the way up, we were treated to smoked whitefish, bought at a roadside stand, for us to enjoy that evening. Michigan has 3 great culinary things going for it, and on this trip, we got all 3. Craft Beer, WhiteFish, and Pasties. Make sure to try all 3!

This trip was so good, that upon returning, my wife was pretty jealous of the great time we had.

SO.....a few months later, we were back.

This time, my wife and I booked a 2 night stay at the Yurt, and David accompanied us on the most amazing weekend of hiking and kayaking of our lives.

I surprised my wife by taking her up to the yurt right at the peak of fall colors.

We spent the first day kayaking an inland lake north of the yurt. We managed to do some birdwatching from our boats as well, spotting cranes, swans, and several bald eagles, Later in the day, we spent some time barefoot hiking on the sand dunes that overlook Lake Superior.

The second day was simply amazing. We put in at the tahquamenon falls state park, and kayaked 20 miles east through the tannin-rich rootbeer colored water of the tahquamenon river until we reached open water on Lake Superior.
There, 150 yards off shore, we found a sandbar where we got out of our boats, and posed for pictures in ankle deep water as the sun set over a forest that simply exploded with color as the light touched it.

Moments later, as we paddled back to our car, we witnessed a spectacular blood-red moonrise over Canada.

As icing on the cake, on the way back to the yurt, the aurora erupted the sky into a symphony or green light. Back at the Yurt, our toes in the sand (briefly..it was cold) and a glass of wine in our hands, my wife and I watched the northern lights dance over whitefish point well into the morning hours.

10. Indian River Marina

3020 Apple Blossom St, Indian River, MI 49749-8709
Excellent
34%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
33%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 3 reviews

Indian River Marina

Located on the Indian River between Burt and Mullet lakes in Northern Lower Michigan. We offer quality service and products to meet all your boating needs. Indian River Marina is an Authorized Dealer for Manitou Pontoon Boats. Cruise the Inland Waterway in one of our Rental Pontoon or Ski Boats.

Reviewed By Penny T - Indian River, Michigan

We have used Indian River Marina for purchasing, storing and annual maintenance of our pontoon. We also rent a summer slip from the marina. Everyone we have dealt with has been both professional and friendly. The marina is in a great location for going to Burt or Mullet Lake.

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.