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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

July 3- Betsie Thompsonville to County Line

Ronald L Coyne  | Published on 7/3/2020
Betsie River Thompsonville to County line as told by group members.

Marlene: A very pretty river from beginning to end. Nice current kept us busy going around obstacles and shallow water. Heavily wooded shoreline. One tall tree had an Eagle's nest in the top branches.

Glenn: Kept remembering how much Doug loved this lovely tricky little river.

Tracie: A twisted group walked a twisted mile. They found a twisted river & they all began to smile. They launched colorful kayaks in several different styles. They floated and paddled past woody debris piles.The trip was not a trial but a peaceful idle while.

Jackie: What a great find; so glad we did the trip - looking forward to it again.


There’s a Michigan river named Betsie

With a section that Ron said, “Well, let’s see!”

With a pathway prolonged,

Kath’s cart helped us along.

But those corners did prove to be testy!


About noon the six paddlers set out.

With Ron in the lead as our scout.

Ron, Jackie, Marlene,

Glenn, Tracie, Kathleen.

To learn what this section’s about.


Betsie’s shoreline was graced with tall cedars

And small streams all helping to feed her.

As we paddled along

To the tunes of birdsong,

On those darned hidden logs we did teeter!


Glenn has a friend who’s named Max.

So we stopped near his home for our snacks.

Though that shoreline was mucky,

It wasn’t too yucky.

And it gave us a chance to relax.


The seven of us then continued

Down the river whose eddies could spin you

Glenn and Max retrieved chairs

Which in logs had been snared

Their time in the stream discontinued!


On one stretch we saw other folks

Enjoying a cool river soak.

Floating away

On a hot summer day

Good feelings this river invokes!


There were herons, kingfishers, and ducks.

To see all those birds was good luck.

Joe Pye Weed and Crown Vetch

And those dogs having sex!

Was the deer a young doe or a buck?


So I’ll end this ol’ limerick right here

Hoping my message is clear:

That this section’s a winner,

But not for beginners.

And I hope we’ll return there next year!

As for me (Ron), I like to explore different places, some were a bust.
Not this one. In my humble opinion this is one of the prettier
sections of river I've been on. The twists and turns keep it interesting.
After paddling it, I would rate it an intermediate river. It's not for beginners
but it's not the Sturgeon or lower sections of the Pine either.