Winter Rafting FAQ
Q: I’ve heard that the Pine River is fast – will we get wet? Are dry suits required?
A: While the Pine River is one of the fastest flowing rivers in Michigan, we do not run the rafting trips on the whitewater section of the river. Rather, we run the trips on a slower portion of the Pine, between Walker Bridge and Lincoln Bridge. The rafts are extremely stable watercraft and they sit high enough out of the water that you do not have to worry about getting splashed from the riffles below. So, there is no need for a dry suit – the biggest danger of getting wet is from heavy, wet snow, the splash of a paddle, or a low-hanging, snow-laden cedar branch.
Q: What should we wear?
A: Layers of warm clothing! It is always better to over-dress and shed layers than not be warm enough. No special clothing is required. Wear a warm winter hat, warm gloves, and warm winter boots (but waterproof muck boots are not necessary). If you are planning on hiking the Silver Creek Pathway back, be sure to wear (or bring) boots that are comfortable to hike in. Although the Silver Creek Pathway is easily trekked most of the time, it can sometimes be slick in spots. Cleats can be helpful to strap onto yourshoes for the slippery conditions, but definitely not required. Feel free to ask us the condition of the trail as we hike it almost every day.
Q: Are the trips guided?
A: Yes, the trips are all guided. We are giving folks the option, though, of either having the guide go in the raft with them or canoeing alongside by himself. If your group is big enough that it needs more than one raft, the guide can go in one of the rafts while the other rafters paddle on their own.
Q: What is the hiking option at the end of the trip?
A: At the end of your rafting trip, you have the choice of either getting a ride back to the start to your vehicles, or you can choose to hike the beautiful Silver Creek Pathway back. The Silver Creek Pathway is a gorgeous riverside hike that runs on both sides of the river. One side is 1.7 miles with steeper, more aggressive hills, while the other side is 2.4 miles. We generally recommend that folks hike the 2.4 mile side back since the 1.7 mile can get a bit slick in the winter with the hills. Both are beautiful and have been immensely popular with guests! If you choose to hike, feel free to give your guide at the end of your rafting trip any extra layers of clothing, thermoses, etc that you do not want to hike with. Your guide will take your extra gear back to the start for you so you do not need to carry it with you on your hike.
Q: How long does the rafting trip last?
A: It varies from 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, depending on how much everyone paddles and the current water levels. It is long enough to soak in the scenery, but not long enough to freeze!
Q: How many people can fit in a raft?
A: It is completely dependent upon how big the paddlers are. The rafts are technically 4-person rafts, but a group of two adults and three kids can generally fit just fine.
Q: Is there an age requirement?
A: There is no age requirement – this activity is good for kids of all ages, from 2 – 92!
Q: Are lifejackets provided?
A: Yes, lifejackets are provided and are required to be worn
Q: Can we bring a cellphone or camera on the raft to take pictures?
A: Absolutely, please do!
Q: Where do we meet?
A: Since we run these trips on the upper Pine, we do not meet at our main facility in Wellston. Instead, you will meet us at our home address of 8677 N State Rd, Luther, MI, 49656.
Q: What days are you open?
A: We run rafting trips 7-days a week, two times a day. Our trip times are 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM.
Q: Are reservations required?
A: Yes. Since the rafting trips are guided, reservations are required. Feel free to call us last minute, though - there is always a chance we can squeeze you in!