About the River

Wherever you travel, please

"The Boardman River is located in Grand Traverse and Kalkaska counties in northwest lower Michigan. It rises in the Mahan swamp in north central Kalkaska County and flows in a southwesterly direction for 40 miles. Turning north for nine miles, it empties into Grand Traverse Bay at Traverse City.  The Boardman supplys 30% of West Grand Traverse Bay's surface water and  the river's watershed (pdf) system drains a surface area of approximately 186,000 acres and includes about 130 linear miles of stream."

The Boardman River meets Lake Michigan's West Grand Traverse Bay in downtown Traverse City, Michigan

The Boardman River is currently in a state of change as dams are being removed & the river is being restored to a more natural flow.  Above Beitner Park, 36 river miles of the Boardman & its tributaries are designated as Blue Ribbon trout habitat.  Below Beitner there are still dams in place.

Experience The Boardman River!

Hike, camp, paddle & play!
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Download a map (pdf) of the Boardman River Watershed
(includes river-miles between launch sites)
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Learn more about The Boardman River
(including the dams removal project)
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(FREE admission)
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Help Keep it Clean!
Clean-up events held on the Boardman & other area rivers
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View all sites on the Boardman River Recreation map.

Follow the Boardman River on Facebook & Twitter!

Explore more Traverse City Trails & Campgrounds!

DISCLAIMER: Every effort is made to provide current & accurate information, however, it is for reference only & NOT guaranteed. Please follow the appropriate links to learn detailed information & current conditions. Please note that websites can and do change links often; thank you for reporting broken links. Questions and comments are always welcome.

All original photographs & text Copyright © 2016 @TheBoardman

The Hacky Turtles "Take Me There" to Traverse City!