Crystal River Outfitters Recreational District

Crystal River Outfitters Recreational District

Crystal River Outfitters Recreational District
4.5
Bike ToursGear RentalsStand Up PaddleboardingKayaking & Canoeing
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Glen Arbor's original destination for simple, unforgettable adventures. Nestled in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Crystal River Outfitters Recreational District has been offering a variety of experiences for the whole family for over 20 years. From kayak trips, SUP and bike rentals to wine tasting and shopping, the district has something for everyone. We are open year around, seven days a week so our customers are able to experience Glen Arbor for all four seasons. We have four destinations within our district: Crystal River Outfitters, The Cyclery, M22 Glen Arbor, and Coastal. We also have seasonal rentals available at three of our stores. For more information on the seasonal rentals and about our four stores, please visit our website. August 2021 Update- CRO is closed for Kayaking/Canoeing due to a fire at our store. We are happy to still provide Bike Rental/Repairs, Shopping & Wine Tasting. We will re-open May 2022 for Crystal River fun!
Glen Arbor, Michigan

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(57 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles190 reviews
Excellent
141
Very good
38
Average
4
Poor
2
Terrible
5

Jeraturc
Royal Oak, MI7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Crystal River Outfitters is doing a great job keeping their business running safely. When we checked in for our reservation, all employees were wearing masks and pens used by customers were sanitized between every use. We were the only group in our van, spaced apart from the driver and with a plastic curtain separating the spaces. When we were done kayaking, our kayak and life vests were set aside to be cleaned before use by another party.

The kayak trip itself was also excellent. The river is beautiful and very peaceful. It can be a little tricky with trees fallen into the river and shallow spots, but getting by just takes a little patience. This is the second time we've done the trip and I would love to go back again.
Written July 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kenn L
Traverse City, MI3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
I rented two tandem kayaks for my family of four, each adult with one child, ages 14 and 9. The staff was great and everything was managed to keep people safe and the equipment clean. The river itself was beautiful and the course was a perfect distance for a day adventure.

Expect a challenge if you are a novice kayaker! The first third of the course was very narrow with lots of twists and turns. Coupled by that there were lots of downed trees and limbs that made it tough to navigate. I would suggest that the trees be trimmed back further. The latter part of the course was much wider and easier to navigate... better to get the difficult part of the course over with early!

I'd also suggest that the staff space kayaking groups further apart. In the early part of the course there were a lot of traffic jams.

All that said, it made for a memorable experience and I'm glad we did it.
Written August 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CheriC
Mississippi1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Family
The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. It was our first time in the area and the staff did a wonderful job of preparing us to have a great trip down the river. They are knowledgeable and attentive, we would definitely recommend Crystal Lake Outfitters to family and friends!
Written May 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MsScarlet59
Bethel Park, PA47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
We reserved two ebikes online in advance, making the check-in process super easy and quick. We had never ridden ebikes before, and the staff member did a great job instructing. A lock was provided and helmets available if needed (we brought our own). The Sleeping Bear Heritage trail does have some stretches with a serious incline, so the ebikes were much appreciated.
Written July 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kim W
Grand Rapids, Michigan14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
This was a great first kayak experience for my 9 year old twins. The water was clear, warm, shallow and slow moving. Crystal River Outfitters was very accommodating when we had to reschedule a few times due to a family emergency. They also did very well with taking care to have precautions of COVID-19. Families were shuttled individually, plastic was in place between the driver and the back of the van and door handles were disinfected after each use. Highly recommend this place!
Written July 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kristina Z
Royal Oak3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
We kayaked the Crystal River. It was an easy kayak ride but very enjoyable. If you're looking for a relaxing kayak ride through beautiful nature this is perfect! It is 4.5 miles long and took us about 3 hours with a few stops to splash in the water. One highlight was "shooting the tube" or riding through the storm drain. You go faster there and the kids and adults both loved that part. The company was also very accommodating and helpful. I accidentally booked for the wrong day and they switched my day with no fee and no issues at all. There were also staff members helping out on the one place you have to portage across the road. It's a slow road but still helpful. I do suggest bringing a few snacks for your stops and a hat. A great day of family fun!
Written July 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jackieb127127
Glen Ellyn, IL3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
My family has been coming here for years and have never had a bad experience. It is our tradition although until this time we had always done the Canoe's , this time we did Kayak's and highly recommend it! This is not to difficult even if you haven't used a kayak before. You can go at your own pace, the water level is great right now for the kayaks too.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan L
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
Very personable and pleasant to deal with. Showed us the equipment and gave us a test run on the side street to ensure we 4 could master the electronic features that the bike offered. Gave us helmets. Bikes were in immaculate condition and very clean. Bike seats were soft and very adequate for the ride that we went on which was 22 miles on the South leg of the Glen Arbor Sleeping Bear Heritage Bike Trail. The pavement was smooth the entire way. I would not have used a regular bike for this trip as some of the pavement grade was between 7 and 10 percent grade hills on the sand dunes. The e bike gears are eco, sport, touring and turbo and with each of those gears there is also an option for speed numbers which are between 1 and 7 so the bikes were wonderful for this type of up and down hill travel. Very nice building and staff that run the store. Highly recommend Crystal River Outfitters "The Cyclery"
Written September 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah R
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
Kayaking the Crystal River was a favorite activity from our vacation! The river was an easy float for several hours in water that was less than 5 feet deep in most areas. It gets to be a lot of people and navigating at the beginning but people spread out eventually. As you float along the crystal clear water, you get plenty of nature to observe - fish, ducks, birds, etc.
Written July 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sheenagh
indianapolis51 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
This was a fun experience, but be prepared to work for that fun. The first part of the trip takes you through a passage with a lot of downed trees that will require quite a bit of negotiation. I was in a double with a kid, So we had to figure out quickly how to coordinate. Use the pedals inside the boat to help steer. In addition to paddling, there’s quite a bit of “gondoliering “ off of shallow bottoms and submerged logs. After “shooting the tube” it’s a fairly peaceful paddle back to the headquarters. Be forewarned, you by no means have to be an athlete or expert kayaker, but you do have to be in fairly decent shape for this adventure. It’s not terribly taxing, but it’s fairly constant motion and you have to lift your kayak out of the water (portage) and dump it into another part of the river a couple of times. The double weighs about 40# plus all the water that gets into the kayak when you jump in and out. There are no staff stationed at these points to help. Also, it’s a shallow river so heavier parties might have more troubles getting through shallow portions. You will also more than likely get wetter than you think. I saw some people tip and plenty of people having to drag their kayaks through shallows. So glad that we purchased the waterproof cell phone cases. All things considered, there were some truly enchanting parts of the forest we paddled through and saw a turtle, a duck family and a muskrat-like animal swam under our Kayak. The staff were very nice and the shop has quality merchandise. We all had a great time, even the dog who came along for the ride.
Written June 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Crystal River Outfitters Recreational District - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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