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Bear River Valley Recreation Area

101 E. Lake Street,
Petoskey, MI 49770

The Bear River has more falls than any river in the lower peninsula of Michigan. Today, you'll find a river that has been beautifully restored, with walking paths and lookouts that will keep even experienced whitewater kayaks entertained and coming back for more. The Bear River Valley also features steep bluffs, unpaved trails, concrete path, boardwalks, whitewater rapids, and forest areas all in the heart of the City of Petoskey. Natural forest and open space areas are rich in plant species and local history. The park is, for the most part, undeveloped and is currently used for primarily passive activities including hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing, rafting, environmental education and rock hounding. There are several large open grass areas and shelters that can accommodate group gatherings. Its natural setting and high water quality of the Bear River make it an important ecological value within Petoskey.

Monday: Open 24 hours
Tuesday: Open 24 hours
Wednesday: Open 24 hours
Thursday: Open 24 hours
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: Open 24 hours
Sunday: Open 24 hours
Recreation Type
Biking / Hiking Trails Fishing

Google Reviews


Lori Kneisler

6 months ago
Urban oasis! This was a fun little hike to the breakwater. There’s both a cement/paved trail and a more rustic trail. We always opt for the more rustic choice.


8 months ago
A friend and myself have been walking this trail everyday; it’s peaceful and serene. So beautiful! We didn’t know it existed until we did a Google search of “walking trails near me.” We both agreed how beautiful spots are to come take professional photos of weddings or Senior graduation pictures. Highly recommend checking this trail out.

Rebecca Spenelli

a year ago
Lovely place for a family hike. Paved trails, and dirt trails for the more adventurous. The river has some pretty decent rapids for the water adventurer. Native wildflowers throughout the woods and end of trails. Public bathrooms and picnic pavilions also available. Little bit of nature in the Middle of Petoskey. Highly recommended.


6 months ago
Nice wide paved paths, very safe vibe, clean, and a pretty walk.

Jes B.

2 years ago
This is a nice little walk by the water, where you can choose to stay on the paved path, or go right down to the water's edge and follow the path there. There are city deer living in the woods who don't seem to be scared of people. Lots of different birds to watch and a few benches along the way. People also canoe/kayak on the creek, which is kind of rough and fast for that, in my opinion. Beware the warning signs to get out before the bridge! Also on this path are multiple entry points from various areas in town. Staircases and bridges make this recreation area highly accessible.


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