For the first 25 miles, the Au Sable is twenty to 40 feet wide with an average depth of three to four feet (some spots up to ten feet deep). The currents average between three to four miles per hour with no rapids or whitewater. The river has a sand and gravel bottom and the water is very clear and cool.
Recommended minimum age for kayaking is ten years old. Penrod’s has a large selection of kayaks for beginners and we take the needed time to fit the individual to the appropriate kayak. For young kayakers we would recommend the Cricket Zydeco or Impulse. We have found that young teens pick up kayaking quickly and have a great time on this river.
The recommended minimum age in a watercraft is two years old.
Our smallest life vest is for 30-50 pounds. If you have a child that is less than 30 pounds
you should have your own us coast guard approved infant life vest.
If you would like to enjoy the best the Au Sable has to offer plan on leaving within the first hour after we open. Even on days that end up being busy you can quite often have the river to yourself if you arrive before 10:00 am. It is the best time to view nature and have a true Northern Michigan Adventure.
State land starts 1 hour downstream at Rayburns property (stones on the hill) and continues to Canoe Camp which is a state forest campground. There are restroom facilities and picnic tables at both locations.
No deposit is required. Penrod’s welcomes walk-ins at anytime of the season based on availability. To ensure that we can accommodate your paddling needs, reservations are suggested. During holidays and Saturdays in July and August, reservations are suggested.
To make a reservation or check on availability please call 1-888-467-4837. To reserve a watercraft we just need a name and phone number.
Penrod’s opens at 8:00 am on Saturday
and 8:30 am Sunday – Friday
You leave from the canoe office so there are no set departure times.
Our latest departure for the 2 1/2 hour Burtons Landing Trip is 2:30
Our latest departure for the 4 hour Stephan Landing trip is 12:00
The latest pick-up is 5:30. Please plan your trip accordingly.