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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What about reservations?
A: On weekends in July and August, reserations are required to ensure equipment rental.
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 group rates to groups of 15 or more paying rental persons. To qualify, there must be a group leader that collects ALL of the cash and signed waivers and pay 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 size of group.
Q: Can I bring my own equipment and use your shuttle bus service?
A: Yes, but you pay the same price as renting as we pay the state per person through the launch.
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.. under 20 pounds you need to bring your own jacket.
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 boat upon your checking 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 or 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 adults so if you have two adults and two small children, you can go 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 $8 purchase. We do NOT accept personal checks but will accept checks from non-profit organizations.
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 and it is possible to receive a warning, be fined, or 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 and will also be banned from WRC for the remainder of the season. Tickets for littering and/or tresspassing 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 on the river. Our location is just below 13 mile marker.
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, 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 normal hours of operation?
A: We are open 7 days a week starting sometimes as early as April but generally in May and operate thru late September or early October, depending upon the weather. Follow us on Facebook for daily reports.
Q: Is there much 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. Expect to possibly see American Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Osprey, Hawks, Kingfisher, Cliff Swallows, and Beaver, maybe an otter or muskrats 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 4 miles. On a tube or raft, it usually takes about 2-2.5 hours to complete. If you rent a kayak or canoe, the trip will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete. The longer 6 mile trip takes canoes or kayaks an average of 2-2.5 hours of leisure paddling and tubes and rafts 4-4.5 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 guage your time. On either trip, take as long as you want, so long as you are off the river by 7:00 pm on the 4 mile trip and all others by 8:00 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 should I 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.
Q: What's the average depth of the river?
A: The depth varies. Some places it is knee deep, some places it is over your head and 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: There is no white water but a little bit of rapids and 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 so the best are any water shoe, 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 can also be the possibility of 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 not actual 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 do 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 a concerned parent 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 8:00 pm you may be subject to fine.
Q: Do you have food, beverages and ice available?
A: We have ice available.
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?
Q: Do you have a picnic area, shelter or grills available?
A:The City park has charcoal grills available after your trip that 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 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 age can you be to go in 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 4 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 wears their lifejackets. 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. We recommend everyone to wear their 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 onion bags to take all the trash off the river that you bring and would be awesome if you bring more off!
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 are generally over within a short time period and we cannot easily come and get you if you become frightened.
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!
Q: Is your Muskegon River swift with rapids?
A: We do not have any 'thrilling' rapids but the river does have a faster current than many 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 or close during high water. Check our Facebook page for updates.
Q: Are there hazards that we need to avoid?
A: You want to avoid strainers which are 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 impossible to become entrapped in; this is why we recommend kayaks for all ages and especially for beginners. If you should tip your boat, you may in most cases simply be able to climb back on, however if in deeper water, swim it to shore then climb back on after dumping out any water. If you tip a canoe, you will need to drag it to a shallow area then tip the canoe AWAY from the current and lift up to let the water out.
Q: For what reasons does the canoe livery close?
A: The canoe livery closes for high water, thunderstorms, or in too cold of conditions. We may limit the types of boats or ages of participants if water levels are higher than normal without closing. To check on water levels and to see if we have restrictions, 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 toenails or teeth.
Q: Is camping available?
A: Camping is only available to non-profit scout groups for free so long as there is a river trip included. Reservations are required. Camping is NOT available to the general public.
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!
* 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!**