Paw Paw River Launch & Livery

(269) 463-5454 Camping ; (269) 999-6005 Canoe, Kayak & Tube retail

Welcome to Paw Paw River Launch & Livery

About Us

What's New

After 30 years, the business is transitioning to new management. This new chapter began this summer (2017), it's been an amazing season.  We will be adding trips and options for adventurers in 2018, keep checking in with us to learn about our new services!

Paw Paw River

Named after the Pawpaw tree, this southwest Michigan waterway has been used for transportation and sport for hundreds of years. We are blessed to own the only private Paw Paw River launch access in Watervliet, Michigan.   

Live local?  

Visiting from out of town?

Staying at our campground?  

All are welcome to go canoeing, kayaking, or tubing and enjoy the natural waterway: the Paw Paw River.

Livery & Launch Details

3 1/2 hour (7 miles), this trip is for adventures that are well versed in portaging and navigating the waterway's natural obstacles.

Canoes (seats 2-3 ppl) $40

Kayaks (single) $30

1 hour (2 mile), this trip is for beginner and experienced adventurers alike.  There are a few natural barriers to work through, but it lasts just enough time to enjoy the natural beauty of Southwest Michigan's Paw Paw River waterway.

Canoes (seats 2-3 ppl) $25

Kayaks (single) $20

Tubes, this fun adventure offers large groups of friends and family a great way to enjoy the natural waterway.  This trip lasts for three and a half hours, so pack some beverages, waterproof your snack containers and apply the bug spray (3 1/2 hour float).   Please know that there are natural obstacles in the river to work around, this trip can be a workout! $10 each.

Transports & parking: Have your own kayak or canoe? No problem, we provide a transport service. $10 (for first transport and vehicle parking), with a $5 charge for each additional transport. We will NOT transport customer tubes due to so many popping and being left behind on the river by patrons this year (2017). Remember we have industrial tubes for rental.

Launch & parking: $5

Additional trip options will be added soon!


Contact Us

Drop us a line!

Better yet, see us in person!

We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.

Paw Paw River Launch & Livery

5355 N. M140 Hwy, Watervilet, MI 49098, US

(269) 463-5454 Camping; (269) 999-6005 Canoes, Kayaks & Tubes


Memorial Day to Labor Day

Closed Mondays (Open Holiday Mondays)

Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-4pm

3 1/2 hour (7 miles) stops running at 3pm

1 hour (2 miles) stops running at 4pm

September Hours:

Friday-Sunday 10am-4pm

Launch open daily: Parking pass required


Electric & Primitive

Daily Rates:

Elecrtric/water: $30 per tent or RV

Electric/water (on the river): limited sites available-call for pricing 

Primative: $20 per tent

Weekly Rates:

Electric/water: $150

Electric/water (on the river): limited sites available-call for pricing

Primative $100

*Pricing includes one (tent, camper, or trailer), 2 adults, kids under 12 stay for free and 1 vehicle. $3 for additional persons on the site.  Visitors much check in. 


Bundled wood

We have bundled wood for sale $5 per bundle.  Careful thought: to reduce the possibility of invasive insects.  We would appreciate you honoring this rule: "buy it where you'll burn it."   

Propane fill station

Available for sale on site.

Call (269) 463-5454, ask for Mike.

Restrooms & Showers

We have two sets of restrooms and showers for campers and livery patrons. 

Suggestion: bring your flip-flops, shampoo, soap, towel, and other supplies when visit the facilities.  We do have a small shop where you can purchase items you may have forgotten.



Investing in our Community

Ray of Hope Ranch

In July, we provided a tubing adventure for Ray of Hope Ranch Animal Sanctuary to raise money to care for animals who need a home.  Ray of Hope also provides an opportunities for children with special needs to visit and work with the animals.  Find them on Facebook!  

Pennies From Heaven

In August, we provided Pennies From Heaven a tubing, kayak, or canoeing adventure to raise money for this non-profit whose mission to to help individuals and families who have a loved one fighting a terminal illness. 

Hope Stones

In August, we held a creative stone decorating day for cancer patients.  We raised some additional dollars for Pennies From Heaven as well.  Decorated stones will be given to patients at the Marie Yager Cancer center.

Information about the: Paw Paw River Water Trail

A 68 mile canoe/kayak trail from Paw Paw, Michigan to the St. Joseph River in Benton Harbor.  Enjoy the scenery and wildlife of an extensive floodplain forest corridor as you paddle.  Along the way, explore the towns of Paw Paw, Lawrence, Hartford, Watervliet, Coloma, Riverside and Benton Harbor. Call Southwest Michigan Planning Commission at 269-925-1137 x1521 with information, questions about the waterway and feedback.  

Fishing in Southwest Michigan & the Paw Paw River

Top Spots for Michigan River Fishing by Jim Bedford   |  July 11th, 2011

Read more:

There are three big rivers in southwestern Michigan and they, along with their tributaries, offer a bunch of midsummer fishing opportunities for many species. Smallmouth bass are found in good numbers throughout the length of the St. Joseph River. Walleyes in the upper river are most concentrated as the river heads south toward Indiana, especially between Colon and the state line. When the St. Joe re-enters Michigan, you will find good numbers of channel catfish mixed in with the bass and walleyes. Below the Berrien Springs Dam, flathead catfish make their presence felt with fish weighing more than 30 pounds. If the weather has been cool, some summer steelhead will run the St. Joseph. Look for those fish to hang out near the mouths of cold tributaries. The Dowagiac River is the largest coldwater tributary to the St. Joe and it offers good fishing for brown trout. Summer steelhead will move into the lower two miles, just north of Niles, to cool off. The Paw Paw River is another major tributary that has good numbers of smallmouths and some pike. It tends to run clearer and to be less affected by rain; it is a good alternative when the St. Joe is muddy. 

Click link below for DNR website for information about licenses and places to enjoying the southwest Michigan's great outdoors.