Summer is just around the corner and with any luck the warm weather will provide a reprieve from the cabin-fever of quarantine. One place to enjoy the Mt. Pleasant summertime is the Chippewa River, which provides a variety of opportunities for summer fun that can be adapted to social distancing recommendations. Here are four fun ways to enjoy the river this summer.

Kayakers drift past fallen trees on the Chippewa River during summertime in Mount Pleasant. 1) Kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and paddleboarding

Awaken a sense of adventure and see familiar terrain from a different point of view with a kayaking, canoeing, tubing, or paddleboarding trip down the Chippewa River. Dip your hand into the cool water and drift calmly as the current carries you past sandy banks, fallen trees, and robust forests. Kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddleboards can be rented at Buckley’s Mountainside Canoes —which offers paddling trips ranging from 1 to 7 hours — or head over to Chippewa River Outfitters which offers relaxing tubing trips as well as and kayaks and canoes. Depending on when you plan your adventure, normal operations at Buckley’s Mountainside Canoes and Chippewa River Outfitters may be impacted by COVID-1, so call in advance to check.

2) Go for a picnic

Lounging in the sun while listening to the gentle gurgling of the Chippewa River is undoubtedly one of the most relaxing ways to spend a summer day in Mount Pleasant. Grab a picnic blanket and nestle down on the river banks at any of Mount Pleasant’s numerous downtown parks. On your way there, help support local businesses by purchasing takeout: delectable sandwiches from Max and Emily’s, Pisanello’s mouth-watering pizza, elaborate hotdogs from Dog Central, and much more.

3) Visit historical sites

Explore the history of Mount Pleasant by checking out the numerous historical sites located along the Chippewa River. These historical sites include the remnants of several sawmills from the 1800s, Drew Dam, and Gilmore Road Bridge, which was rumored to have been destroyed in the 1950s by a runaway milk truck. Also along the river, is the Isabella City Dam and Indian Mills, the site of a sawmill, gristmill, blacksmith shop, and the Council House of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

4) Fishing and swimming

Enjoy a classic Michigan pastime and try your luck fishing for walleye, yellow perch, large and smallmouth bass, and northern pike in the Chippewa River. Mount Pleasant’s downtown parks are perfect for a relaxing day of fishing and Mill Pond Park offers beautiful bridges to cast your line off. If you get warm, head over the Deerfield Nature Park, set down at a sandy bank — great for sunbathing — and take a dip in the river’s cool waters.