With summer just around the corner, it’s time to get ready for some fun in the sun. And what better way to enjoy the beautiful Michigan weather than by heading out for a refreshing splash in its picturesque lakes and rivers? Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the lake or want to get your adrenaline pumping with some exciting adventures, there are plenty of accessible watersports in Michigan that are perfect for thrill-seekers and leisure lovers alike. So grab your sunscreen, put on your life jacket, and dive into a world of aquatic escapades!
Michigan’s Must-Try Accessible Watersports
Here are some of the most accessible watersports for individuals with disabilities in Michigan:
With numerous calm lakes and gently flowing rivers, Michigan is the perfect destination for kayaking enthusiasts of all skill levels. Located near Traverse City, the Interlochen State Park offers an accessible kayak launch on Duck Lake. Similarly, Ludington State Park and Mitchell State Park also provide accessible kayak launches.
This kayak launches feature easy-to-use transfer benches and slide boards to help you get into your kayak. And once you’ve paddled through serene landscapes or explored secluded coves, you can use the handrails to get out of your kayak and back onto land. Many rental shops and tour operators also offer guided tours, so you can experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the lakeshore without having to worry about navigating the water yourself. You can also join Kentwood Michigans’ Spring Kayaking Club or Late Summer Kayaking Club to learn paddling techniques, navigate the lakeshore and have fun with other kayakers.
With over 11,000 inland lakes and 51,438 miles of rivers and streams, Michigan is a haven for anglers. If you want to catch a variety of fish, head to the Fort Custer Recreation Area. Located on the banks of the Kalamazoo River, this park offers three lakes teeming with a diverse range of fish, such as bass, bluegill, crappie, pike, and channel catfish.
One of the highlights of Fort Custer is Whitford-Lawler Lake, which features an accessible fishing pier suitable for anglers of all ages and abilities. The serene surroundings and well-stocked waters make for an unforgettable fishing adventure.
Nestled along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, the Grand Haven State Park is another must-visit location for fishing aficionados. The park is known for its pier and boardwalk, which extend along the north side of the Grand River, right at its mouth. This area is particularly popular with anglers who appreciate fantastic views and the chance to cast their lines in hopes of reeling in a prized catch. The park’s accessible facilities also ensure that everyone can enjoy the excitement of fishing in this picturesque setting.
Adaptive Water Skiing
Adaptive water skiing is an exciting and inclusive water sport that enables individuals to experience the thrill of skimming across the water. John Collins Park, located on the beautiful Reeds Lake, is a prime destination for those interested in participating in this exhilarating activity.
The park is equipped with specialized equipment, such as sit-skis and adaptive water ski harnesses, allowing you to enjoy the sport safely and comfortably. There are also trained professionals that offer guidance and assistance, ensuring that every participant has a memorable and enjoyable experience on the water.
Besides that, there are different tournaments and events that take place throughout the year, giving you an opportunity to challenge yourself and connect with others who share the same passion for the sport.
River tubing is an enjoyable and leisurely activity that allows individuals to float down a river on an inflatable tube, taking in the beautiful Michigan scenery. There are different companies in western Michigan that provide specially designed tubes with built-in seats and additional support, as well as assistance with entering and exiting the water. You can also request a floatation vest that adds an extra layer of security while floating down the river.
Just make sure to choose a location with wadeable waters and a steady current, and avoid areas where the water is too deep or swift. You can find river tubing locations across the state, including in Grand Rapids, Saugatuck/Douglas, and Traverse City.
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Who doesn’t love the feeling of being weightless? Parasailing is a great way to experience this sensation while also enjoying beautiful views of Michigan’s lakes and rivers. Parasailers start their adventure by being attached to a large parachute that is pulled behind a boat with a long line. The wind catches the chute and propels it into the air, giving passengers an incredible view from above as they float over Lake Michigan or one of its rivers. Best of all, many companies in Michigan offer adaptive parasailing equipment, including modified harnesses and seating systems that provide extra support and comfort.
If you want to get up close and personal with the Great Lakes, scuba diving is definitely the way to go. You can choose from a variety of diving locations, including inland lakes, rivers, and even shipwrecks. If you’re new to diving or don’t have a lot of experience under your belt yet, you can join Mary Free Bed classes and clinics. They offer modified scuba equipment and introductory classes, which will help you get comfortable in the water.
For those who want to feel the wind in their hair and the spray of the water on their face, adaptive sailing is the way to go, and Traverse Area Community Sailing should be your go-to organization for this sport.
At TACS, they firmly believe that the freedom of sailing should be available to everyone, regardless of physical or cognitive challenges. In this adaptive sailing program, they offer specially modified equipment and personalized instruction, ensuring that everyone can feel the exhilaration of gliding across the water, guided by the gentle breeze.
Each participant is also paired with experienced instructors who are well-versed in adaptive sailing techniques, creating a supportive and empowering environment. Since this program is quite popular during the summer months, you should consider making reservations well in advance.
Make the Splash with Clock Mobility
If you plan on spending a lot of time in the water but don’t want to leave your wheelchair behind, Clock Mobility has you covered. We have a wide range of wheelchair-accessible vans that can help you travel with comfort and style. All our vehicles are able to be equipped with state-of-the-art features, including power lifts, ramps, hand controls, and more. For more information about our fleet, contact us today at (866) 380-3326 or visit one of our four locations in Michigan.