• Sylvania Wilderness Paddle Trip, Watersmeet, Upper Peninsula, MI, July 10-15, 2023

Sylvania Wilderness Paddle Trip, Watersmeet, Upper Peninsula, MI, July 10-15, 2023

  • July 10, 2023
  • July 15, 2023
  • Sylvania Wilderness, Watersmeet, MI


  • Final/Full payment is due before the May 10, 2023 cancellation date.
  • Wait List Payment is due at sign up. This registration DOES NOT QUARANTEE a place on the trip. You will be notified when space becomes available.

Registration is closed

Sylvania Wilderness Paddle Trip

Sylvania Wilderness, Watersmeet, Upper Peninsula, MI

July 10-15, 2023

Co-Trip Leaders: Elden Hartman and Linda Conti

Type of Trip: Paddling/Hiking

Trip Cost/Deposit: $470/$235

Cancellation Date and full payment: May 10, 2023

Wilderness Level: 2 - EMS available in 1-2 hours 

Trip Difficulty: Easy, 6-8 mile maximum during weekend, little elevation

Policy on Fitness Self-Assessment 

Level 1: For example, applies to trips in which we carry only day packs and stay on maintained trails. Hiking distances range from 3-6 mile, and elevation gain can be as much as 2000 feet. You should be comfortable hiking 3-6 miles in a day with considerable gain/loss on good trails.

Level 2: For examle, primarily applies to trips in which we carry only day packs. In one day, we can hike up to 9 miles and 4500 feet of elevation gain on maintained trails, or up to 7 miles and 2000 feet of elevation gain on more rugged, less-maintained trails. For a Level 2 trip you should be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles in a day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a light day pack. If a backpacking trip has a Level 2 rating, it means the distances are 2-4 miles with little elevation gain/loss.

Group Size: 6/6 Maximum/Minimum

Adults Only; High School Youth OK with leader approval

***Before registering***

While considering your participation in CIWC trips, be aware that some trips will involve shared transportation, lodging, and other activities. Each participant is encouraged to evaluate your comfort level with such arrangements based on your health condition, vaccination status, and unknown COVID positivity rates at the time of the trip.  Members are encouraged to review the COVID waiver as a part of this evaluation.

Sylvania Wilderness is a protected wilderness area in the Ottawa National Forest near Watersmeet, Upper Peninsula Michigan, encompassing 18,000 acres, 34 named lakes, and 25 miles of hiking trails. It is often called the “Boundary Waters Lite” because it is less remote, smaller, and easier to portage between lakes. The portages are generally easy and level trails, and ¼ mile or less in distance. Visitors can camp in 50 designated campsites within the Sylvania Wilderness, most of which are reservable six months in advance. Visitors enjoy endless canoeing, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. The old-growth forests and pristine lakes in the region provide habitat for a wide range of animal and plant life, including rare orchids, bald eagles, loons and osprey.

We will drive up to Sylvania Wilderness near Watersmeet, Michigan (approximate 9-hour drive), leaving Indianapolis southside at approximately 7:00 a.m. Monday morning, July 10, 2022. We will camp our first night in the Clark Lake campground. We will drive up through Chicagoland and could stop on the way in Lafayette or another location to pick up trip members who do not want to drive to Indianapolis early Monday morning. On Tuesday morning, we will get our canoes and equipment from Sylvania Outfitters, and paddle approximately one hour to our reserved backcountry campsite on Clark Lake, Crooked Lake, or Loon Lake, where we will spend the next four nights, before leaving for home on Saturday morning. During our days in the wilderness, we will take paddling excursions, hikes in the woods, and enjoy fishing, swimming, and leisure time.

All your food and snacks, and cooking and camping gear (other than your tents, sleeping bags and pads) will be provided during your time in the wilderness. Meals on the way up and back will be at your own expense. You will be limited in the amount and weight of gear you take due to space in the vehicle and the fact we may have to portage to our campsite. Your personal gear and clothing should be limited to 20 lbs. or less.

Questions may be submitted to ciwcinfo@gmail.com.

All trip participants must fill out and submit a CIWC Medical Form and Long Waiver Form.  

Effective on all trips, there will be a $50 nonrefundable registration fee. This fee will be assessed to those who sign up for a trip, get on the roster and then later cancel. Even cancelling before the cancel date. Those who never make the active roster (i.e., those who stay on the waitlist) will NOT be charged the $50 cancellation fee. 

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