Skip to Main

Northern Michigan in Focus: Sturgeon River Winter Rafting

Trying new things can sometimes be the spice of life.

Corey Adkins met up with the guys from in Wolverine as they were taking a group of students down the river.

Check out their adventure in this week’s Northern Michigan in Focus.

“Why do we do it? It’s beautiful out here, I mean taking a look around, it really is,” said Jamie Jacklitch, Sturgeon River Paddlesports.

Who in their right mind would hop into a raft at 10 degrees and then paddle down a river?

“The typical response is people say, ‘What? You guys are going rafting in the winter? You’re crazy!” said Jamie.

Ryan, a winter rafting enthusiast, add, “Yeah, it actually is. I’m not used to going down and rafting in the winter, usually do it in the summer instead.”


“Once you’re out there, you realize right away you’re not as crazy as you thought,” explained Jamie.

Winter rafting enthusiast Carson said, “It’s cold but it was fun, even though it’s freezing.”

Cold, freezing, who cares? We live in Northern Michigan, why not spite the elements and enjoy them?

“It was a lot of fun, yeah. The wildlife and all of that, and just hanging out with my friends. I thought it was actually really cool, yeah, we saw like seven whitetail deer on the way down,” said Ryan.

In the summer, the river would be full of people.

“It’s a lot better than with other tons of other people, where you could just be alone with your friends,” explained Carson.

Ernest Hemingway once stood in the same waters. It helped inspire him to write this about Northern Michigan: “It’s a great place to laze around and swim and fish when you want to. And the best place in the world to do nothing. It is beautiful country … And nobody knows about it but us.”

Ryan said, “This is actually really fun and really cool, and you know how everybody is on video games a lot, and this is actually a chance to get out into the wild.”

It’s not often when you hear a kid say that these days.

“How neat is that? That makes it all worth it right there, it really does. That’s pretty neat, you don’t hear that very often,” said Jamie.

So if you ever feel the need to go a little crazy, in Wolverine might just be your Hemingway moment. Because even when it’s freezing, it’s still the best place in the world to do nothing.

“People are just amazed how pretty it really is. And just hearing the water flow underneath you and the ice and the different ice formations and different things like that, it’s pretty neat,” explained Jamie.

Carson said, “If they get a chance to come up here and they should do it, because it’s a good experience.”

Ryan added, “I love it, yeah, that’s why I’m here.”