This section is devoted to our most frequently asked questions about anything and everything related to your river trip. If you don't see the question you want answered here, simply call or email us at

Q: What about reservations?

A: On weekends in July and August, reservations are required to ensure availability of equipment rental. This includes any weekdays around the 4th of July. At other times, any weekend that you reeeeally want to be certain... you should make a reservation.

Q: When is the best time to bring children?

A: For a peaceful, quiet-time with the family, we suggest taking family river trips on weekdays or early mornings if on a weekend. Weekend afternoons and holidays tend to be our busiest time and it may not be so peaceful due to a higher volume of customers and excited, college-aged people.

Q: Do you have Group Rates? What about non-profit groups?

A: We offer discount rates to groups of 15 or more that rent our equipment. To qualify, there must be a group leader that collects ALL of the cash (or pays by cc) and signed waivers and pays for the group in one single transaction. Upon doing so, each rental person will receive a $1 discount. Groups of 25 are $2 off per person, 35 are $3 off, etc. Non-profit groups may receive additional savings based on the size of the group. Please contact us with questions.

Q: Can I bring my own equipment and use your shuttle bus service?

A: Yes, but please be aware that you pay the same price as customers that use our equipment due to the fact that we pay the State of Michigan per person that we put on the river.

Q: How often does your shuttle leave?

A: Weekends, they are scheduled on the half hour or when full, whichever comes first. Weekdays, on the hour.

Q: What are the age limits and restrictions?

A: 6 years old & under are required to WEAR a life-jacket per state law. We have life-jackets for all size people - please ask if you need one, we are HAPPY to help!

Q: Do you have Sit In-Side or Sit on Top Kayaks and can we choose?

A: Yes! We offer both of these for rent on a First Come, First Choice basis. We cannot guarantee a particular style of kayak at check in, so if you have a favorite, we suggest that you come early.

Q: How many people fit in a canoe?

A: 2, unless you have an odd number of people or one to two SMALL children.

Q: How many people can ride on a raft?

A: We have 2, 3 and 4 person rafts. These are based on adult sizes, so if you have two adults and two small children, you would still fit in a 3 person raft and be comfortable!

Q: How much money should we bring? And do you accept credit cards?

A: Check out our pricing page to determine how much you will need. You should always bring enough money in case of any emergency or unexpected purchase. Cash is accepted and preferred since credit merchants charge us a substantial sized fee for processing. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Credit cards are accepted with a minimum of an $8 purchase. We do NOT accept personal checks unless you represent a non-profit organization.

Q: Are we allowed to bring coolers or alcoholic beverages?

A: Yes, you are allowed to bring coolers and alcohol. However, you are not allowed to bring glass bottles, Styrofoam coolers or Jello shot containers. Also, if you have someone that turns into a River Jerk when they drink, leave them at home. We have the right to deny rental privileges to any intoxicated person and to refuse transportation in our vehicles as well. You should expect the river to be patrolled. It is possible to receive a warning, a fine, or even be arrested if you become unruly and do not mind your manners.

Q: Have any tickets been written on the river?

A: Yes, generally to an unruly person that is not "minding their manners". Unruliness towards other customers or land owners may cause the issuing of disorderly conduct tickets or arrest by the Newaygo County or City Police. These customers will also be banned from WRC for the remainder of the season. Tickets for littering and/or trespassing have also been written by law enforcement officers. There are river patrols all summer long. It is illegal to have opened, alcoholic beverages in the Newaygo City Park which is the ending of the long and short canoe / kayak trip and the long tube / raft trip and the beginning or the short tube / raft trip.

Q: How can I gauge my time or know where I am?

A: There are Mile Markers (MM) on the river.
Croton Dam is Zero / No MM
Pine Boat Launch is MM1
Thornapple / HighRollway Launch is MM6
Henning County Park is just below MM12
Newaygo / Our location is just below MM13
New Bridge-that-isn't-new-anymore Launch is MM14
Anderson Flats Public Access is MM18
And if a speed boat goes four miles an hour up stream after putting in at MM14 at 10am, how long will it take them to meet up with floaters that got in at MM6 at 11am? Now isn't that funny, you really did need that math in high school!

Q: What should we bring with us on our trip?

A: Check out our Helpful Tips to find out what is necessary and suggested. Just remember to bring a bathing suit, water shoes, a change of clothes, sunscreen and some extra money for snacks and souvenirs!

Q: What is the average water temperature?

A: This varies, but rest assured, we will not be opened for rentals if the water temperature is too cool for your safety. In the summer it tends to trend in the 70s.

Q: What are your normal hours of operation?

A: We are open 7 days a week starting sometimes as early as April, but generally in May. We operate thru late September or early October, depending upon the weather. Follow us on Facebook for daily reports.

Q: Is there a lot of wildlife along the Muskegon River?

A: Most definitely!! Arriving in the mornings will increase your chances for enjoying a peaceful, quiet day on the river. Keep in mind that weekends and holidays may be less peaceful due to the higher volume of customers and other river users. Expect to possibly see American Bald Eagles, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Osprey, Hawks, Kingfisher, Cliff Swallows, and Beaver, maybe an otter or muskrat among much more.

Q: How long in distance is the river trip? How much time does it take to complete?

A: The short trip covers a distance of 5 miles. On a tube or raft, it usually takes about 3 hours to complete. If you rent a kayak or canoe, the trip will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete. The longer 7 mile trip takes canoes or kayaks an average of 3 hours of leisure paddling and tubes and rafts 5 hours of floating. Trip times will vary and change on a daily basis based on wind/water conditions and each customer's amount of paddling versus floating preferences. There are also numerous beaches for resting & socializing. There are mile markers on the river so you can gauge your time. On any trip, take as long as you would like, as long as you are off the river by 6:00 pm on the 5 mile trip and all others by 7:00 pm.

Q: Do you have lockers or what do we do with our keys, etc.?

A: Sorry, we do not have lockers. Please lock your valuables in a concealed spot in your car or leave your precious personal items at home for extra safety. We advise not taking anything on the river that you can't afford to lose or get wet. We do have a spot where you can leave your keys in the office on our 'Key Board' - this is at your own risk and by honor system. Also, for your convenience, we have a variety of dry boxes and dry bags available for sale at an affordable price. (WRC is not responsible for lost, stolen, or misplaced items).

Q: What physical shape do I need to be in?

A: You should be in good physical condition to participate. Those with serious health concerns or other issues should consult with their physician prior to coming. For safety reasons, those with heart conditions, those who are in their final weeks of pregnancy, and those who have other serious conditions should not participate. This is for your safety! Please call us with your questions if you have any concerns. If you are not an EXCELLENT swimmer, you need to WEAR a life-jacket (ours fit from 20 lbs to 3X at least. We also have some larger sizes - PLEASE ASK. We will help you find one as we want you to be safe!

Q: What's the average depth of the river?

A: The depth varies. It can range from knee deep in some areas to over your head in others. There is ALWAYS a current. If you are not an excellent swimmer, you should WEAR a life-jacket, which is provided at no extra charge with every rental.

Q: Are there any rapids? What "class" are they?

A: The Muskegon River does not have any white water, but it does have a few rapids. There is ALWAYS a current, so if you are not an excellent swimmer, you should WEAR a life-jacket, which is provided at no extra charge with every rental.

Q: Should I wear shoes?

A: Foot protection is very important. "Flip-flops" can easily fall off. The best footwear are any water shoes, sandals with a heel strap, Croc-style shoes, or old sneakers. If you don't have foot protection, we sell aqua shoes at our store. The river bed is covered in rocks that can be sharp or jagged. There may also be broken glass or pieces of old metal. Foot protection will save your feet and make your trip more enjoyable!

Q: Do you have a clean-up area or changing rooms?

A: Yes, we have changing rooms available. We also have a customer clean-up area, but no hot water showers.

Q: Do you have life guards along the river trip?

A: No, this is an unguided river trip and you are choosing to participate at your own risk. We suggest that you wear your life jacket at all times and have someone in your group that knows how to swim.

Q: Do you allow minors without the presence of an adult?

A: Yes and no. It depends on their ages, river conditions and other possible factors. Our policy is that if a minor has a vehicle operator's licenses, then they are old enough to take a river trip without an adult. We will need to speak with a parent/guardian if non-teenage minors are present in a group of teenagers. All minors (less than 18 years old) must arrive with a signed release of liability form, which can be downloaded from our website. If they do not bring it with them, we will call their guardian and get their permission via telephone. Groups of minors are required to take a cell phone with them so that parents can easily get a hold of them. (We sell water proof dry boxes).

Q: When do we need to be off of the river?

A: You must be off the river no later than 7:00 pm, unless it was stated to you otherwise by Wisner Rents Canoes. If you are off later than 7:00 pm you may be subject to fine.

Q: Do you have food, beverages and ice available?

A: We have ice available and sell a limited amount of snacks for the river. We do not sell alcohol of any kind.

Q: Do you have canoe supplies available?

A: Yes, we have nearly anything imaginable in our retail store! Such as: water shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, t-shirts, eyeglass straps, can koozies, dry bags, dry boxes, hats, etc.

Q: Do you sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco products?

A: No

Q: Do you have a picnic area, shelter or grills available?

A:The City park has charcoal grills available after your trip. They are free to use or you can reserve the shelter and park area for a fee by calling 231.652.1657.

Q: Are there places to stop for food and use restrooms on the river trips?

A: The boat launches at Croton, Pine, HighRollway, Henning, City of Newaygo / Train Bridge, New Bridge and Anderson Flats all have port-o-lets; otherwise you "Go" to the woods. Take care to keep off private property and as always, please be discreet and DO NOT relieve yourself within sight of others, especially children! There are no places to purchase food or drink while on the river so take it with you. Never take a river trip without plenty of cold drinks for everyone.

Q: What is the minimum age to use a single kayak?

A: As long as water levels are 'normal', a child of any capable age can go in a kayak with parent's permission. Parents should keep in mind that our shortest trip is 5 miles. Any trip can be quite tiring for children of a young age. Be prepared to have to stop and rest and possibly switch boats with young children kayaking on their own. Children should be kept within eyesight. Remember, kayaks tend to go faster than canoes, but are also MUCH easier to handle.

Q: Who has to wear lifejackets?

A: Children 6 and under and non-swimmers MUST wear their life jackets by Michigan Law. We recommend that everyone wear a lifejacket. Everyone must have a lifejacket in the boat (not tubes, yet) with them, which is also state law. In cases of high water, everyone may be required to wear life jackets at all times throughout the trip. Again, we recommend everyone wear a life jacket.

Q: Is the Muskegon River clean?

A: It is quite clean, but we all need your help to catch the litterbugs and keep it so. Please use the free orange onion bags to take all of your trash off the river. If you see trash while floating, it would be awesome if you grabbed that too!

Q: In case of severe weather, what do we do?

A: Pull off the river and wait it out. We do not put people on the river with bad weather coming, unless we do not know of it (such as a pop up storm which generally do not last long). We cannot easily come and get you if you become frightened. Going on the river is always at your own risk, but we will make sure to give you our best recommendations the day of your trip.

Q: What do we do if there is an emergency?

A: If it is a serious medical emergency, call 911. If it is non-life threatening, please call us and we will help you. Otherwise, we will have numerous news stations arriving to greet you! It happens.

Q: Is the Muskegon River swift with rapids?

A: We do not have any 'thrilling' rapids, but the river does have a faster current than many other local rivers. It is classified as a Class 1 river. However, during periods of high water, our river can get dangerous due to swifter currents. That is why we monitor the river and have restrictions in place or we may close during high water. Check our Facebook page for updates.

Q: Are there hazards that we need to avoid?

A: You should avoid trees or branches that may be sticking out of or into the waterway. It is also advised to proceed with caution around bridge piers.

Q: What do I do if I tip my canoe or kayak?

A: Our sit-on-top kayaks are actually difficult to tip and are nearly impossible to become trapped in. This is why we recommend (sit on top) kayaks for all ages and most especially for beginners. If you should tip your boat, you may, in most cases, simply be able to climb back on. However, if you are in deeper water and having a hard time reboarding, swim/float WITH the current at an angle downriver to shore. Then, climb back on after dumping out any water. If you tip a canoe or sit inside kayak, you will swim/float WITH the current at an angle downriver to shore then tip the canoe AWAY from the current and lift up to let the water out.

Q: What might cause the canoe livery to close?

A: Wisner Rents Canoes closes for high water, thunderstorms or temperatures that we deem too cold for floating . We may limit the types of boats or the ages of participants if water levels are higher than normal without closing. To check on water levels and to see if we have restrictions in place, please visit us on Facebook for our daily updates.

Q: Are dogs permitted?

A: Yes, on our canoes or kayaks, but please refer to our Pet Rules prior to coming. Dogs cannot go on a raft due to the possible damage from their nails or teeth.

Q: Is camping available?

A: Camping is only available to non-profit Scout groups, as long as they are going down the river with WRC. Camping is free for that group, but reservations are required. Camping is NOT available to the general public. However, there is a County Campground very near us that is awesome! Henning County Park 231.652.1202

Q: Do you ever sell your used boats?

A: If we have any for sale, it will be after Labor Day. Check our Facebook page for updates.

Suggestions from the Wisner Canoe Crew (pronounced Wiz-ner, not Wise-ner)
* You are welcome to leave your vehicle overnight to ride home with others, but please let us know so we aren't out looking for you!
* Never take a cell phone that is not in a dry bag. We have affordable dry boxes available for sale.
* If you decide to jump into the river, never go head first, check the water depth and also look for debris in the water so you don't impale yourself on a branch!
* Never tie boats or tubes together with our life jackets because it rips them and we hate to have to charge you. Take a bungee cord or short pieces of rope if you desire to tie together. Remember that tying together may create a safety hazard too!
*7PM is the last time you can be off the river without being charged late fee. Late fee will depend on how late and how much of a jerk you are after we say: Hey, what's up? We told you and there are signs EVERYWHERE stating by 7PM. We get it, if something happens, let us know, we will do what we can - but we do not care for hanging out waiting for people that are hanging out upstream..
* Be back on time so we can go home! We hate to charge the late fee or call water rescue.
*Remind your friends to "Mind Their Manners"! Unruly persons are never welcome at WRC. We reserve the right to ban for bad behavior and/or have them removed from the river and ticketed. Expect families and children to be present. Especially residential areas of the river with many children present, so be respectful!!

** Please take a reusable garbage bag! We are proud of our exceptionally clean river!**