Turnip Rock! Kayak To This Michigan Travel Must-SeeTurnip Rock! Kayak To This Michigan Travel Must-SeeTurnip Rock! Kayak To This Michigan Travel Must-SeeTurnip Rock! Kayak To This Michigan Travel Must-SeeTurnip Rock! Kayak To This Michigan Travel Must-SeeTurnip Rock! Kayak To This Michigan Travel Must-See

Turnip Rock! Kayak To This Michigan Travel Must-See




Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have the luxury of taking off weeks at a time for vacations and road trips. The travel itself takes time. Driving, flying, it can eat up whole days on each end. The good news here is that if you live in Metro Detroit, you can make the drive to Port Austin, and the kayak trip to Turnip Rock, all in one day! Some people mistakenly think it’s in the Upper Peninsula, but Turnip Rock is actually located at the tippy top of the thumb of Michigan.

The drive to Port Austin will take you roughly 2 to 2.5 hours. The majority of the trip is a leisurely drive up 53, or Van Dyke Rd. There are quite a few weird, cute things to see along the way. Little farm stands, cemeteries, a big creepy huge old house that looked to be repurposed into a haunted house attraction, etc. So keep your eyes peeled and you shouldn’t be too bored on the way there.

You’ll want to be heading towards Port Austin Kayak. Turnip Rock stands in Lake Huron, but the land surrounding the area is completely privately owned. There is NO way to walk down from the road and see what the rock is cookin’. You HAVE to kayak there, and by the looks of it, Port Austin Kayak has the monopoly on all that.


Port Austin Kayak


Once you get there, a friendly staff member will give you the run down of the trip. To rent a kayak for the whole day it’ll run you 45 bucks. You can rent it for 4 hrs for 35 bucks, but I’d say the day rate is a better deal so you don’t have to worry about rushing. They will only allow you to make the trip to Turnip Rock in a single kayak. You can’t go tandem. So each person in your group will need $35-$45.

It is a 7 mile roundtrip kayak trip. I work out quite a bit, and even I found it a little tiring. There will be times you think you must be almost there, and you’re not. But the cool part is, the scenery is beautiful, and the water must be calm for them to launch the kayaks, so just take as many breaks as you want, float in the water, and then row at your own pace.


Port Austin Kayak


And guess whattttt?? Although it’s a single kayak, it is fairly roomy, and you are allowed to bring your dog!! They will make you sign a dog waiver, but after that you’re good to go. If your dog is heavy it might throw off your kayak a little bit. Bean weighs 27 lbs, and if he shifted we definitely moved a little, but for the most part he just sat up front and enjoyed the view.

So after you’re all paid up, a staff member will walk you down to the kayak launch. They give you a life vest, and help you push off, then you’re basically on your own. You will want to pack some ziplock bags for your phone and camera and such, and maybe some snacks or drinks. My kayak remained super dry inside the entire trip, but better safe than sorry.





The weather the day of our trip was damn near perfect. I believe it was 72 degrees, and just a tiny breeze. You might want to pack sunscreen though as sun + water = burn. It is also suggested by the Port Austin Kayak website that you wear grippy shoes, because when you get out of your kayak the rocks are slippery because of algae and such.


Turnip Rock kayak


So you paddle paddle paddle up the shore from Port Austin to Pointe Aux Barques. Eventually you will come around a little corner, and »HOORAY« Turnip Rock finally comes into view!


Turnip Rock


At this point you can kayak around it and hang out, or you can pull your kayak onto the shore and proceed to take 178 pictures. ♥ The water is really shallow so you can walk almost all around the rock. There’s also a huge cave on the shore, so you can poke around in that.


Turnip Rock beach


Beanie was pretty confused/excited by the feeling of sand. He was a little stir crazy after being in a kayak for a good hour. So he went crazy and dug around and explored the cave.


Turnip Rock beach


Make sure you take a breather once you’ve reached the Turnip Rock area. Don’t forget you have to kayak 3.5 miles back all over again. This is where those snacks and drinks will come into play. *wink*


Turnip Rock selfie





Believe it or not, this is the first time I have ever kayaked. There is definitely a learning curve at first, paddling on the left to turn right, and all that. But please don’t think that you can’t do it. The water is shallow pretty much the entire trip, so you are in very little danger. If you get sick of paddling, just stop. Look at the sparkly water, take a sip of a beverage, and continue on when you’re ready.

Turnip Rock was the perfect day trip. Leave early, get home late, see all the things. For just a tank of gas and 45 dollars for a kayak, it’s a pretty cheap price tag for such a full, fabulous day.


Turnip Rock michigan





Port Austin Kayak  •  119 E Spring St.  •  Port Austin, MI 48467  •  989-550-6651  •  Port Austin Kayak’s website



dog kayak



Turnip Rock! The fantasy world formation you never knew existed



Review Date
Turnip Rock, Michigan
Paws Buzz GO!

2 feet. 4 paws. 1 car.

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  • al
    June 25, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    I am continuously searching online for ideas that can aid me. Thanks!

  • Jim
    July 6, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I am going up to Port Austin at the end of the month to do this! I’m very excited. I found a little rustic motel on the lake to stay at which seems to have nice reviews and is just down the road from Port Austin Kayak.
    I am a first time “kayaker”. I consider myself in decent shape but I am no professional athlete. 🙂 So my question, how long and tiring was the trip? It definitely seems worth it to see Turnip Rock. Thanks for any response and I really love your site! Very cool things/trips you’ve done. I might just have to bring my beagle up with me for the kayak trip! – Jim

    • Paws Buzz GO!
      Paws Buzz GO!
      July 8, 2016 at 5:03 am


      Thanks so much for the kind words! I appreciate that so much! If I remember correctly, I’d say it was about an hour there, and an hour back. And we stayed at the rock about an hour, so like a 3 hour trip. Like I mentioned in the post, you can move at your own pace though! They will not launch the kayaks if the weather is bad/water is too wavy, so the water will be calm, and you can just float around if you need a break… or 3. haha… Bring a bottled water, maybe a powerbar or something. And I don’t see why you couldn’t bring your beagle! Bean sat right between my legs and just hung out. He weighs 27 lbs, if your doggie is very heavy he might sway you a bit, but I’d think our dogs are somewhere around the same size. And I’d put a little lake water on his head here and there to cool him off, he seemed to like that. 😉 Please lemme know if there’s anything else you need! And have the best time! If you are on Instagram, please @pawsbuzzgo under your pics so we can see!

  • Jim
    July 14, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Hey! Thanks much for the response and the info! Really appreciate it. 🙂 My beagle, IndyCar, is 27 lbs too (well he was before bbq season started at my house anyway) 😉 so yeah, I think I will take him. Good idea on cooling him off with some water on his head.
    I’m not on Instagram but I could email our pictures to you and you’d be more than welcome check them out and or share them. My email is below (jimbelanger@juno.com)
    I can’t wait to be up there in 2 weeks! Any new adventure planned for you and your pup soon??

  • jay
    December 8, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Looks like you get some fun and a nice trip 🙂
    That’s a great info about kayaking to turnip rock , how many times are you kayaking with your dog? whether it is easy to take your dog on a kayak, I was just worried if to take my dog and he jumped into the water :-).

    • Paws Buzz GO!
      Paws Buzz GO!
      December 9, 2016 at 3:09 am

      We’ve kayaked a few times now! He is very calm and just sits up front. If your doggie isn’t too big I definitely suggest it! It’s very relaxing and fun and cheap 🙂

  • Barbara Rivers
    December 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    How cool! I’ve only kayaked once so far but it was a blast – fun and a great workout. Still on my list of things to do is kayaking (& stand-up paddle boarding, too) with my pups. They weigh 50 and 70 lbs though, so that’ll be interesting.. *grin*

  • SIR
    May 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for explaining everything in detail, appreciate it! 😊 I would like to try it some day but I don’t know yet, you encouraged me to really think about it though and for that I thank you! 🤗

    • Paws Buzz GO!
      Paws Buzz GO!
      May 19, 2017 at 12:20 am

      Awwww yay!! So glad you stopped by! And you should definitely do it!! I know you can!! 🌊☀️


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Jessica & Bean

Jessica & Bean

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