Big Bear Adventures

Virtual brochure and information for Big Bear Adventures, one of many online travel brochures for tourist information in Indian River, MI. Provided by your source for Mackinaw Information and Mackinac Information.

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4271 S. Straits Hwy.
Indian River, MI 49749
Phone: 231-238-8181

Across from Burt Lake State Park Entrance


The beautiful, crystal-clear Sturgeon River!
Exciting Trips on the FASTEST river in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula
18-Hole Adventure Golf

Sturgeon River
With an average descent of 14 feet per mile, the Sturgeon River is the fastest river in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula! Not whitewater, but exciting and challenging with its quick current, leaning trees, numerous sharp turns and narrow passages. The current does most of the work, but it’s up to you and your partner(s) to maneuver your watercraft down the stream. The crystal-clear, spring fed water has an average depth of 3-4 feet and winds its way through beautiful state forest. We offer various types of equipment and on different sections of the river, something to please every skill and adventure level! All River Trips Include: U.S. Coast Guard Approved & Safety-Inspected Equipment, Paddles, Lifejackets, Shuttle Service to the Put-In, & Maps.

For Families, Beginners, Less Experienced
Rafts – For the ultimate in stability and group adventure, try our 5 & 7 person Rafts. Nearly impossible to tip over, so bring the entire family, pack a picnic lunch (No large coolers) and have fun! A great group activity that promotes teamwork! Choose from an approx. 1 hr or 2 hr (or 3 1/2 - 4 hr trip for more experienced).

Tubes – The best way to spend a hot, sunny afternoon! Picture yourself floating on a tube down a crystal-clear, refreshing river in beautiful Northern Michigan! A wet and extremely fun group adventure, also know as “Rump-Bumping”! We offer approx. 1 1/2 & 2 1/2 hr float times.

Cats – Combine the thrill of kayaking, the camaraderie of canoeing, and the stability of a raft, and you end up with a Cat. Short for "Catamaran," our Cats are an inflatable tandem kayak with a sleek, yet "wide-track" design which is fun and easy to paddle. Recommended for 2 paddlers with basic paddling experience on a warm day. Choose from an approx. 1 1/2 hr or 3 hr trip, (or a 4 or 5 hr trip for experienced only!)

For More Experienced, More Adventurous:
Canoes – We feature only high-quality Old Town "Discovery" Canoes, with contoured seats. Dependable, maneuverable, and well-suited for the technical demands of the Sturgeon River. Recommended for paddlers with experience and an adventurous attitude (not young children)! We offer approx. 1 1/2, 3, 4 & 5 hr trips. Solo canoes available.

Kayaks – Comfortable and fun to paddle, we offer Old Town Kayaks. With its short length, it is highly maneuverable and features a large, open cockpit for easy entry and exit. Recommended for confident thrill-seekers with basic paddling experience, and/or groups with odd numbers. Choose from approx. 1 1/2, 3, 4 or 5 hr trips. Tandem kayaks available.

Other Services
We offer Spotting/Shuttle Services for guest with privately-owned equipment, "Haul-it-Yourself" Rentals, challenging "Mid-Section Trips," and Overnight/Longer Trips. Please ask for details. We are also an Old Town Dealer selling canoes, kayaks, life jackets, and paddles.

We offer departures every 1/2 hour during peak season. Certain trips have limited departure times so please ask for details. All trips conveniently end at beautiful Burt Lake State Park (where your vehicle will be parked) so you can take your time on the river, as long as you’re back by 7 pm. Stop and swim, have a riverside picnic, or just go with the flow! At the end, enjoy the 2000 feet of Burt Lake’s sandy beach and the State Park’s amenities (picnic tables/grills, playground equipment, beach volleyball court, baseball diamond, and 1-Mile wooded hiking trail).

To avoid disappointment, reservations are recommended, especially on peak weekends. For cancellations, we ask at least 72 hours notice.

For over 30 years, Big Bear Adventures has provided quality river trips for thousands of people. Still, any river adventure will involve adherent risks and dangers, and can be physically demanding. We will ask you to assume the responsibility for many decisions affecting your safety. Our trips require varying degrees of fitness, and you must evaluate your fitness for any given trip. Big Bear Adventures assumes NO responsibility for injury to you or your personal property. All guests go at their own risk and are required to sign an agreement to participate/liability release.

What to Bring/Wear
Don’t take any valuables (jewelry, cell phones, keys, and wallets). Do wear sunscreen, glasses with straps, swimsuits, t-shirts, shorts, water shoes, and lifejackets at all times. Bring snacks, drinks, and a sense of adventure! Alcohol policy: Alcoholic beverages, glass, Styrofoam, and large coolers are prohibited on the Sturgeon River. Please help us keep the atmosphere so that all river enthusiasts and property owners can enjoy it.

Group Packages
Special rates and packages are available for schools, scouts, church and corporate outings. Let us help plan your party or reunion! Reservations are required at least 1 week in advance for discounted rates. Lodging also available. Please ask for rates/info, or visit our website @

Big Bear Adventure Golf
Test your ability on Michigan’s most challenging 18-Hole Adventure Golf course! Play over and around thundering waterfalls, bubbling streams, and natural rock all in a beautiful forest setting.

General Store
Our log cabin General Store carries all river & beach necessities, picnic & camping supplies, gifts, snacks, beverages, ice cream & more. Don’t miss our mounted, 8 foot tall World Record Alaskan Brown Bear!

To satisfy your appetite, we have on-premise a complete Subway sandwich shop with soup, salads, breakfast, party subs/platters and more! We also have pizza, breadsticks, & indoor/outdoor seating.

Winter Adventures
Experience the breathtaking beauty and solitude of winter while floating beneath a canopy of snow-covered evergreens. Our knowledgeable staff will guide your Raft on a fun 1 1/2 hr trip, offering you an excellent opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitat. Snowshoe and X-C Ski rentals also available with wonderful trails nearby. Please see our website for more information @

We are conveniently located just off I-75 across from Burt Lake State Park – the CENTER of Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula. We’re within an easy 30 minute drive of many resort areas such as Gaylord, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, and Mackinaw City. With abundant lakes, rivers, forests, and wildlife, Indian River offers unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation and family fun!

Heading South on I-75: Indian River Exit 313, right on South Straits HWY (Old US 27) 2 1/2 miles, 3/4 mile on left (Look for SUBWAY sign).
Heading North on I-75: Indian River Exit 313, left on M-68, Left at light, 1/4 mile on Left (Look for SUBWAY sign).
US-31: Turn East on M-68 in Alanson, 10 Miles to light, turn left 1/2 mile on right (Look for SUBWAY sign).

Indian River Resort Region
The small town of Indian River is the heart of the famous 42 mile "Inland Waterway," the longest chain of rivers and lakes in Michigan including the beautiful Burt & Mullett Lakes. We are also home to miles of wooded hiking and biking trails and the world’s largest crucifix – The "Cross in the Woods." Great restaurants are plentiful and lodging is readily available with numerous campgrounds, hotels and cottages.

Northwoods Lodge
Northwoods Lodge is a unique award-winning lodge with 15 "Northwoods" themed rooms... log bed & furniture, wildlife art, even a tree! Room amenities include microwave/mini-refrigerator, cable TV, and Wi-Fi internet access, and a free continental breakfast featuring Hot Belgian Waffles! A gorgeous Honeymoon Suite with in-room Jacuzzi is available. We also have a cozy lobby with Fireplace, TV and lounge area and a huge yard with bonfire area & picnic tables. Please call Northwoods Lodge directly for more information/reservations @ 231-238-7729 or visit their website @

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