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Platte River Beach, Lake Michigan
Platte River Beach is a stunningly beautiful and unique spot along Lake Michigan. It is always a busy place in the summer for kayaks, canoes, and SUPs that float down the Platte River and finish at the beach on Lake Michigan. One of the best parts about Platte River is the campground very close by.
The beach is large, sandy and pretty straightforward to launch from. If you’re traveling with little kids, they can have a blast playing at the mouth of the Platte River where it opens up into Lake Michigan.
- Summertime is busy, get there early
If there is wind in the area, then there will most likely be some waves to work with at Platte River Beach
Sets up great conditions with a wave pattern that will parallel the shore line
Waves will be coming directly on-shore. Great for doing out and backs
A straight south wind will be blocked a bit by Point Betsie, but overall as long as there is some West (which there typically is) the conditions should be good. When the wind is Southwest you can do nice out and backs from the beach heading south so that you never really get more than 1/2 mile off shore.
Point to Point Options
- Platte Point to Empire Beach – On a West/Southwest wind this can be a great route. The waves won’t be too big but often there is a decent swell. If the wind is Southwest then it will be a bit more on-shore, but still very doable, you may just need to get out off-shore a mile or so before heading toward Empire beach. Total distance into Empire beach is around 7 miles.
- Point Betsie to Platte River – On a West or Southwest wind this should be a pretty good run.
- Wear high visibility clothing. There is typically not a lot of boat traffic in this area, but you never know
- When the wind and waves are up, the surf at Platte River beach can be challenging. There is really no protected routes to get out beyond the surf, so you have to power through it.
- Fortunately there is almost always some amount of on-shore wind, so if you stay within a mile of shore when paddling around the each that will help keep things safe
Post Paddle Food & Libations
- The Manitou Restaurant serves great food in a classic Up North atmosphere.