A leisurely trip, on the calm and gentle flowing Crooked River, is a truly unique experience. Our 40 ft. Coast Guard Certified Pontoon Boat offers comfortable seating, bathroom, and a panoramic view of the river.
The Riverboat Experience
Welcome to Riverboat Tours!
We are very excited to take you on a tour of Crooked River. It is a very beautiful part of Northern Michigan that can only be enjoyed from the water. Crooked River is part of Michigan’s historical Inland Waterway connecting Crooked Lake to Burt Lake. Our trip begins between the two lakes in the charming town of Alanson. From there you will be able to view the world’s shortest swing bridge.
The river twists and turns with fabulous views the whole way. We will glide past many wonderful cottages and homes along the banks of the river as well as many uninhabited natural areas. We never know what wildlife might pop out to say hello. We might see Eagles, osprey, swans, geese, beaver and deer.
In addition to enjoying the wildlife of the river, you will notice that the waterway is enjoyed by many boaters making their way to the lakes. Fisherman, pleasure boaters and kayakers all use the waterway. Now you too can enjoy the Inland Waterway without having to own a boat!
The Inland Waterway is rich in history, beginning with the Native Americans over 3000 years ago. In the 1800’s steam ships began transporting tourists from their trains to various hotels and lodges along the waterway. The captain will share some of this history with you. Also, if you have a story about the history of the waterway, we would encourage you to share it with the other passengers.
JOIN US! So that you and your family may share in this adventure and have an experience full of fun and good times.
Captain Gary has been boating for most of his life and has been a captain for the last 20 years. He started a successful sailing tour company in Charlevoix 15 years ago and has taken over 25,000 people sailing and inspired 8 other people to become captains. He has sailed the Caribbean and Pacific ocean with over 30,000 miles under his keel.
Five years ago Gary toured the Inland Waterway on his friend Emil’s pontoon boat. The two of them love this waterway and invite you to also experience it's beauty, tranquility and wildlife with Riverboat Tours
Reviewed August 30, 2015
We noticed signs on US 31 and called for a reservation based on the reviews I read here. The trip was great. Some narration, but still some time just to look and enjoy. My teenagers really enjoyed it as well. Captain Gary was great. Planning on taking the tour again in the fall. You won't be disappointed!
Reviewed August 28, 2015
Sunny, beautiful and peaceful. This one hour and a half pontoon boat round trip offers mostly nature, nature and... nature. Take your camera! We'd like to go back to take more pictures with the fall colors.
Reviewed August 15, 2015
We didn't have high expectations. Didn't expect it to be very heavily booked. Person on the phone was less than enthusiastic. But we got there, and then eventually a whole boat full of people made their way in. And the captain did an excellent job! Yes, it's a sort of shallow river, but it IS beautiful, and it is important, that inland waterway. The point he made, would you want to be out in the big lake in your birchbark canoe right now? We saw beautiful lakeside cabins, and as the captain promised, we saw wildlife, we saw herons and eagles and swans, looked diligently for the bear...and we plain old had fun! It was well worth a couple of hours and the money.
We had seen the signs up and down the roads all the way from Charlevoix advertising the boat rides, someone had done a pretty good job of publicizing this attraction, should do more. This was an experience which we feel should become a regular part of the whole Alanson Crooked River place to get away.
We will do it again next year, hope we see a real bear this time!
Reviewed August 15, 2015
The riverboat takes along the Crooked River---passing wonderful scenic and natural areas left untouched for thousands of years---as well as an area that is more residential in nature. The tour is narrated, but not excessively so, sharing history and the occasional joke. Opportunities to spot wildlife abound, and the tour itself will be spectacular during the Fall color season. Highly recommended. Suitable for couples, groups of friends, and families.
Reviewed July 4, 2015
We took this tour on 4th of July, and it was a lovely way to get out and have fun without fighting the crowds doing more traditional activities. The trip traverses about 5 miles of the Inland Waterway which connects Little Traverse Bay with the Mackinac Straits and has been used for thousands of years for travel and trade. There was a bit of historical commentary but it was not intrusive. Everyone involved seemed nice and excited to share this experience, although it is a pretty basic experience - mostly a ride on a large,pontoon boat with no real amenities other than free water and a bathroom. I suggest they consider adding a longer tour - perhaps with food - for those who want a more substantial experience.