Photo by Aaron Burden on

Petoskey's Bear River Valley Recreation Area

This 36 acre, 1.5 mile long valley along the Bear River in Petoskey is truly spectacular. In 2010, the area had a $2.4 million face lift. Improvements included the addition of a .25 mile whitewater boating area in the Bear River, which is the only whitewater park in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

All located within the city of Petoskey, this expansive park features steep terrain, unpaved and paved trails, forests, and boardwalks. Activities include biking, hiking, walking, fishing, picnicking with two shelters, restrooms, events and performance areas, stairs down to the river, a footbridge across the river, nature watching, and whitewater kayaking.

This is a downtown park and is the envy of many downtown business districts. Just a two block walk from the Gaslight district, the Bear River Valley Recreation Area is a great place for lunch, a long walk along the river, or kayaking through a variety of river terrain.

The Bear River Valley Recreation Area is not a landscaped and developed park area but is instead a natural area filled with spectacular steep bluffs, natural forests, grassy open spaces, and local plant species.

Entrances to this park are located on West Lake Street, Sheridan Street, and several adjacent neighborhoods. There is ample parking. Kayak and whitewater rafting concessions may be added in the future.

Don’t miss this amazing outdoor experience.

For more information on the Bear River Valley Recreation Area, please contact:

City of Petoskey

101 E. Lake St., Petoskey, MI, 49770

(231) 347-2500

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