Community Partner: Canoe Reflections

Community Partner: Canoe Reflections

By Laura Coffee, Marketing & Owner Services Manager, Co-op Owner

The Manistee River

The total length of the Manistee River is 232 miles. The green and brown waters are predominantly fed by underground springs, bubbling up from aquifers in an artesian effect. Because of this, the river doesn’t flood, rarely freezes, and is never affected by droughts (except in the lower areas closer to dams and to the mouth of the river). The water temperature typically stays at a cool but comfortable 60 degrees. All of this is fascinating information, but none of it compares to the experience of floating down the Manistee enjoying some relaxing “river time!”

If you’ve never been on the Manistee River, you’re in for a treat! In addition to the beauty and diversity of Michigan’s plants and trees, you may also see wildlife on the banks and in the river itself. Some of the creatures that call this river home are beaver, mink, muskrat, raccoon, otter, deer, black bear, bald eagles, osprey, rails, warblers, herons, smallmouth bass, brown trout, and walleye.

Canoe Reflections provides guided and outfitted 1-day and 3-day canoe/camping trips for women. These sections of the river have little or no development with only a few cabins, some fishermen, and canoeists. The group camps along the river in shared tents, setting up in “primitive” areas that have no established facilities. Group size is small (two to four women).

The days are geared to feel fairly leisurely, and the entire group works together to prepare meals and set up and break down camp. Sally Van Cise, the owner of Canoe Reflections, provides guidance on equipment, navigation, and paddling throughout the trip. Even novices to car-camping, backpacking, kayaking, and canoeing can enjoy these trips. Canoe Reflections allows them to safely expand their skills and gain confidence with river travel.

Preparing dinner in the camp.
Preparing dinner in the camp.

What is included: Cost includes all meals/snacks, canoe and camping equipment. Just bring your clothes and a sleeping bag. Be prepared for an adventure!

  • We use “real” food for our meals; as well, we ask your preferences.
  • Once enrolled, you receive a recommended clothing list and the proposed menu.
  • Guidance on paddling and camping is given as needed.
  • You must provide your own transportation to the departure site.

While the overnight trips are only available to women, Sally also provides co-ed canoe instruction and day trips right here in Mt. Pleasant. Visit the Canoe Reflections facebook page for more information.

Improve your paddling skills with a Mt. Pleasant Day Trip.
Improve your paddling skills with a Mt. Pleasant Day Trip.

Canoe Reflections is based in Mt Pleasant, and provides our community with a unique outdoor experience, which combines river travel and camping within a distinctly mid-Michigan landscape. Canoe Reflections offers GreenTree Co-op Owners a 10% discount on all trips (this can be combined within your portion of the group rate discount).

For more information visit their website, or simply send an email to You can learn more about all of GreenTree’s Community Partners here.

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